Welcome to Herbert Smith Freehills’ 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.


Plan to tweak VCC framework to draw more single family offices

An enhancement may be in the works for the variable capital company (VCC) framework, in response to strong interest among single family offices (SFOs).

For SFOs keen to register and manage a VCC, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is looking into relaxing the requirement for “permissible fund managers” subject to certain conditions. In response to questions, the MAS said it is looking into possibly “widening the scope of permissible fund managers to allow SFOs to manage VCCs”. “This proposal, including conditions and safeguards to be imposed if it goes through, is still under deliberation,” it said. This enhancement – if approved – may well attract yet more SFOs to set up a presence in Singapore. The VCC framework would give SFOs a number of benefits, including tax benefits and access to Singapore’s double-tax treaty network.


Tax-resident foreign skilled workers now exempt from worldwide tax for four years

Indonesia’s newly enacted Employment Creation Law Number 11/2020 (the so-called ‘Omnibus Law’), exempts foreign individuals from tax on their offshore income for up to four years after they become a tax resident of the country, provided that they hold certain skills and fulfil eligibility criteria. Indonesian nationals who live abroad for more than 183 days in a 12-month period will be classed as non-resident taxpayers and taxed only on the income that they earn in Indonesia, under certain eligibility conditions. Implementing regulations are to be issued within the next three months.

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.


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.