Which is an ideal jurisdiction for company incorporation in Asia? Singapore and Hong Kong have been dominant players in the Asian region, vying for the position of “the best place to do business.” But the crucial questions are, which of these jurisdictions have an edge over the other? Is incorporating a business easier in Singapore or in Hong Kong?
Strategic location and attractive tax benefits make Singapore the most preferred location for the overseas companies to set up their business. Various options are – opening up a Branch Office, a Representative Office or a Subsidiary in Marina South . The country also has liberal immigration policies. If the company wants to set up their regional head quarters in Singapore they are also provided with Financial Assistance.
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A key determinant for setting up a business in Marina South is the tax regime in force. In this regard Singapore boast of being one of the lowest tax jurisdictions in the world. Detailed below is an overview of the tax system and Payroll Services in Singapore.
Tax jurisdiction Singapore: Taxes are levied on a territorial principle i.e. companies and individuals are taxed on Singapore sourced income. In addition, the Foreign sourced income (branch profits, dividends, service income, etc.) are taxed when it is remitted or deemed remitted into Singapore unless the income was already subjected to taxes in a jurisdiction with headline tax rates of at least 15%.
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Tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) is an agreement between parties to transfer domestic tax information. It possesses no benefit to private third party. In fact, the government is the only party getting the benefit. The existence of such an arrangement will affect financial secrecy. It is considered as an important feature for some offshore investors. Experts of offshore banking and investments would not suggest their clients to do business in a country with a TIEA attachment.
TIEA is implemented to avoid a harmful tax practice. According to Organization For The Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the lack of effective exchange of information is one of the key criteria in determining harmful tax practices. It even has a working group aimed to develop a legal instrument that could be used to establish effective exchange of information. The Agreement represents the standard of effective exchange of information for the purposes of the OECD's initiative on harmful tax practices. The OECD even has developed a manual and tool-kit for automating the process of information exchange between countries. It also lists countries, which deemed to be unco-operative. Andorra, Liechtenstein, and Monaco listed by The OECD's Committee on Fiscal Affairs as unco-operative tax havens.
A recent act by the OECD was forcing tax haven characterized countries to favour for greater transparency and exchange of information. Singapore and Hong Kong was among the countries devoted to such and arrangements with OECD countries. Both of them were categorized as a tax haven country by offshore specialists.
For individuals this could means less privacy and little space to move. Tax haven is great place for an internet-based business. Own a monetized website, create an offshore account in a tax haven country, and you have a tax-free income. However, this strategy would soon be neglected, since the information and exchange agreement would be implemented and propagate rapidly. For your own convenience, offshore investment as a tax avoiding strategy should not be relied on. Contact a well-known CPA's or tax consultants for a better and legal tax minimizing strategy.
Professional Accounting Bodies In Singapore
A lot of companies today fail to succeed primarily because they have done a poor job of keeping their financial records. Keep in mind this is one of the most important aspects of any business, big or small, that should never be neglected. Fortunately, there are a lot of bookkeeping companies which offer quality book keeping and accounting services. By hiring efficient, reliable and honest bookkeepers from these companies, you would be able to feel secure as to where every dollar goes in your business. You would also be able to keep track of all your assets and payables, without having to do a lot of work.
However, the process of choosing a top company who would be able to provide bookkeepers who are organized and experienced could be a bit hard as it would require a careful selection since they would be handling the financial documents and reports of your company. You can hire just one bookkeeper, which would be sufficient if you only require small business accounting or a team of bookkeepers. To check whether they would be competent enough, you can ask for their credentials and experience as well as if they have had any extensive training. You can ask about how long they have been providing bookkeeping services Singapore.
You could check their website for information on what type of services they can provide and you could read any reviews or testimonials that former clients have posted. If there are no reviews on their website, you could ask for the contact information of their current or previous clients to have good idea of what they are capable to do and how they are as a service provider.
You could also check whether or not they are aware of the newest software which are used for bookkeeping and accounting. This is necessary since a lot of the individuals and the companies who are offering these types of services make sure that they are technologically updated in order to stay competitive in the industry.