Which Asian Hub is Best for Your Single Family Office? A Deep Dive into Singapore and Hong Kong’s Tax Perks

UniTrust Global
2 min readNov 24, 2023

Singapore and Hong Kong have launched aggressive tax incentives to lure wealthy individuals and families to set up Single Family Offices (SFOs) and Family Investment Holding Vehicles (FIHVs) in their cities. But which location offers the truly sweetest deal?

Let’s unravel the subtle yet meaningful differences between the two destinations.

Requirements in Singapore

Singapore’s 13O and 13U Schemes aim to attract high-net worth clients by exempting eligible fund companies tied to SFOs from income tax on designated investments like stocks, bonds, futures and deposits. Easy, right? Well, not so fast — you’ll need to navigate MAS approval processes that can take 1–2 years. And stringent KYC checks mean opening a private bank account extends set-up timelines.

Requirements in Hong Kong

Meanwhile, over in Hong Kong, the Inland Revenue (Amendment) Ordinance promises a 0% tax rate on qualifying FIHV transaction profits. Even better — no need for pre-approval paperwork. Simply opt-in writing for instant tax relief. But meeting minimum asset and spending thresholds, plus the “normally managed” locale rule, requires careful planning.

When structuring offices, Singapore demands local incorporation but allows foreign funds, while Hong Kong permits non-resident structures as long as operations are on Hong Kong soil. And financial penalties also differ between the hubs.

Charity incentives also vary — Singapore offers overseas donation deductions while Hong Kong relaxes family ownership rules to 95% to encourage philanthropy.

So which destination is truly better? Consulting experts is key to navigating each hub’s nuanced schemes and application procedures based on your unique needs, timeline and wealth goals. Reach out if you need help optimizing taxes globally for your family fortune. The choice between these Asian financial centers requires meticulous analysis — but the rewards could be huge!

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