A revamped Macau SAR Tax Code and further steps in financial diversification
João Nuno Riquito and Francisco Trigueiros da Cunha of Riquito Advogados describe how the Macau SAR Tax Code will update the local tax system
During the third quarter of 2021, Macau SAR was flooded with news of the much touted ‘financial diversification’ of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) with a number of government initiatives being prepared for it.
In October, the Executive Council (EC), an advisory body to the Chief Executive, announced that it had completed and finally delivered the draft of what is to be the future Macau SAR Tax Code (MTC) to the Legislative Assembly (LA). This came after the draft laws submitted to public consultations in both 2011 and 2016 never managed to reach the LA.
More than a just simple compilation of the separate tax laws passed during the 1970s and currently still in force, the MTC’s aim is to revamp and update the local tax system, finally introducing concepts that are already commonly used in other jurisdictions such as those of ‘tax resident’ and ‘tax residence’. Drafted as a true broad tax code, its acknowledged objectives are “to better comply with the SAR’s international tax obligations” and “better attract foreign investment”.
Another noteworthy initiative was the launch of the Central Securities Depository (CSD), with its final design and test phase being almost complete according to the Macau Monetary Authority (AMCM).
Designed in collaboration with the stated-owned China Central Depository & Clearing Co, Ltd, the CSD will provide securities account opening services and centralized securities depository services and is considered to be a financial infrastructure crucial to strengthening the integration of Macau SAR’s financial market with those overseas.
On December 6 2021, the AMCM also announced the launch of a new trial fast interbank transfer service for small amounts, named ‘easy transfer’, supported by a ‘fast payment service’ (FPS) platform. This service will be available for local bank accounts in Patacas (MOP). After signing up for the service through their banks and receiving an ‘FPS ID’, users may transfer small amounts to other bank accounts in real-time and round the clock using only their mobile phones.
The transfer is made by introducing the telephone number of the intended beneficiary, who must also be registered as a user of the platform. The FPS interbank platform will also accept telephone numbers from mainland China and Hong Kong and transfers made using this service will be completed in 30 seconds, according to the AMCM.
João Nuno Riquito
Managing partner, Riquito Advogados
Francisco Trigueiros da Cunha
Registered lawyer, Riquito Advogados