- The Hong Kong Fiscal year starts April 1 and ends on March 31, thus their financial year may precede that of many western countries. This may impact either favourably or negatively on their future and that of other countries as their year starts when other countries are either in the middle of, or are coming to the end of their financial year, hence the value of reserves, foreign exchange rates and so forth may need to include this type of information when discussing or reviewing them so as to allow for the information to be relevant or reliable. See the following links for a comparison on the fiscal years of countries. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiscal_year
- According to the opening statement in Forbes' article "Dealing With The China Slowdown: Five Takeaways From The Hong Kong Budget" Hong Kong is heading into election year and this may have impacted upon the budget which was presented. See the following link for more information on this: http://www.forbes.com/sites/alreyes/2016/02/24/monkey-year-gifts-five-takeaways-from-the-hong-kong-budget/#74a3957c1921. While I am still undecided on that opinion, I especially like Point # 4 on Demographic preparedness. This point appears to deal with the need to have a different type of health care for a population where there is a large number of older persons who are living longer as compared to a population where there is a growth in births, which can create a demand for pediatrics and other types of support. See the extract on that concept! " 4 Like China, Hong Kong must also deal with ageing demographics, though unlike the mainland, Hong Kong is a wealthy society that can cope with its growing ranks of elderly and spend the money needed to care for senior citizens. Medical and health expenditure in the 2016-17 fiscal year will account for 16.5% of total expenditure, more than 90% the share more than a decade ago. The government has set aside HK$200 billion ($25.7 billion) for a 10-year hospital development program. Hong Kong must be doing something right in the healthcare sector: Life expectancy for men (81 years) and women (87 years) is among the longest in the world. Since 2014, in response to its demographic challenges, the Hong Kong government has been moving forward to develop a comprehensive Population Policy. But the work done so far has been described by one legislator as “thin”."
- According to South China Morning Post, there may be a need to find ways to improve the tax system. "Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah admitted on Sunday that the government had to think of ways to improve the tax system as he acknowledged that Hong Kong’s current tax base was rather “narrow”.
Writing on his online blog, Tsang disclosed that only 40 per cent of the working population in the city paid salaries tax, with 60 per cent of the revenue coming from just 5 per cent of taxpayers." See the following link: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/economy/article/1918429/ For information on the tax profile of Hong Kong as of Nov, 2013 see the Country Tax profile from KPMG, which covers an array of topics, one of which is on the countries with whom Hong Kong has "Income Tax Treaties for the Avoidance of Double Taxation". See the following link for additional information. http://www.kpmg.com/global/en/services/tax/regional-tax-centers/asia-pacific-tax-centre/documents/countryprofiles/hongkong.pdf
In conclusion, one thing which can put some of the above points in perspective going forward, is that KPMG creates a weekly tax update which provides insight on the possible tax changes of several countries which occurred over a week. This will provide updates over the next year which will allow us to track comparability of financial sysytems, growth in the various countries and changes which may help us all. So perhaps writing to the various tax providers for opinions on the various transactions which one may enter into, in a country whiich may be foreign to you and I, may be a good start for all of us!! See the following link for access to one of the providers: https://home.kpmg.com/xx/en/home/insights/2016/02/tnf-kpmg-week-in-tax-22-26-february-2016.html. P.S. I have included the link to another tax provider at the start of the post. © Jennifer Bailey firstname.lastname@example.org