Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Could we see a tax cut?

Singapore recently reduced its corporate tax rate to a level much closer to Hong Kong's 16.5%. Given that Hong Kong's only competitive advantage is its low tax rate, there has to be some chance that the Hong Kong government will use the next budget (due out soon) to reduce taxes. Given the size of both the government's reserves and the annual budget surplus, there would be a strong case for reducing taxes anyway. The move by Singapore to boost its attractiveness as a regional centre should give the Hong Kong administration added incentive to follow.

That said, I would expect any reduction in the personal tax rates to target lower income groups in the form of increased allowances (which will not benefit those who are subject to the standard tax rate).

Unfortunately, it would be unrealistic to expect any reduction in the 80% duty on wine.

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