Over the past few months we have seen a host of tax developments in both India and the ASEAN and Greater China parts of Asia. A momentous development was on 7 June 2017, when the representatives of approximately 70 jurisdictions (including China, which also represented Hong Kong) attended the signing ceremony for the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the Convention) or the Multilateral Instrument (MLI). The provisional 'MLI position' for each signatory was subsequently published on the OECD's website. Nine Asia Pacific jurisdictions (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and Singapore) are signatories and parties to the Convention as of 7 June 2017. Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand have not yet signed up. However, it should be noted that the MLI positions currently available on the OECD's website are only provisional and may still be subject to change before ratification. In addition, the final impact of the MLI on a particular tax treaty will depend on the MLI position taken by both jurisdictions of that Deferred Tax Asset (DTA), and these may not necessarily be the same.
This edition of the Asia Tax Bulletin also discusses many other tax developments, such as the profits tax exemption in Hong Kong for qualifying private open-ended fund companies, Korea's top tax-related pledges made by its new president, India's developments on the new GST law, the revised safe harbour transfer pricing rules, Indonesia's new tax audit procedure, and Singapore's signing of the multilateral agreements to exchange financial account information and country-by-country reports, among other news items.