Welcome to Herbert Smith Freehills’ new monthly private wealth industry updates in Asia.

Every month we survey ten Asian jurisdictions for legal developments concerning trust and estate planning which are of interest to the private wealth industry, and provide a succinct summary in a table format. The jurisdictions covered in the update are Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Japan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. We hope that these updates will prove to be a useful resource to keep private clients, business people, and lawyers abreast of legal updates in the region.

Hong Kong

New limited partnership status exempts funds from profit tax

Hong Kong’s limited partnership legislation, gazetted in March 2020, is expected to come into operation on 31 August 2020, allowing funds in the jurisdiction to be registered as limited partnerships exempt from profits tax. Eligible funds must have at least two partners not all belonging to the same corporate group, as well as a registered office in Hong Kong, a business registration certificate, a Hong Kong resident investment manager, an auditor and an anti-money laundering compliance officer.


Companies must now register their controllers with regulator

From May 2020, all companies, foreign companies and limited liability partnerships incorporated or registered in Singapore must submit their register of persons with significant control to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The information will not be fully available to members of the public, but will be accessible online by all of Singapore’s public agencies without the need to notify the company concerned. The register must be kept updated within two business days of any changes. Listed companies and regulated Singapore financial institutions are exempt, but single family offices and private trust companies are not.

CRS and FATCA filing deadlines extended due to COVID-19

Singapore is extending the financial account reporting deadlines for both the OECD Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) for the 2019/20 reporting year. Both deadlines are deferred from 31 May 2020 to 31 August 2020.China


Foreign actor’s appearance fee for event in Dubai is deemed taxable in India

The Mumbai Income Tax Appellate Tribunal has ruled that a US$ 440,000 appearance fee paid by Volkswagen to actor Nicholas Cage for his presence at a product launch in Dubai was taxable in India. The payment was made in connection with Volkswagen’s car financing business in India, resulting in an intangible business connection with the non-resident celebrity that was deemed to arise in India. The Indian tax authorities considered that the whole purpose of organising an India-centric event in Dubai was to avoid income accrual subject to tax in India.

Concessions on day-counting residence test during epidemic

India’s government has made some concessions on the tax residency of visitors who were forced to remain in the country when it restricted all incoming and outgoing international travel on 22 March 2020. Days between 22 March to the end of the tax year on 31 March, and any period between 1 March and 31 March spent in quarantine, will not count towards the tax residency test for 2019/20. A circular along similar lines will be issued to clarify the position for 2020/21 once international flight operations resume.

The contents of this document are for reference purposes only. Some of the information comes from public sources and this may not be comprehensive, accurate or up to date; where we have relied on third party information and sources, this has not been verified by us. The document does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication, and any facts in this document should be checked for your specific circumstances at the time you wish to use or refer to them.



Richard Norridge
Richard Norridge
+44 20 7466 2686
Joanna Caen
Joanna Caen
+852 21014167
William Cheung
William Cheung
Senior Associate
+852 21014183


Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is licensed to operate as a foreign law practice in Singapore. Where advice on Singapore law is required, we will refer the matter to and work with licensed Singapore law practices where necessary.