Macau is a former Portuguese colony and was administered by Portugal from the mid-16th century until late 1999 when it was ceded to China. Macau became the second Special Administrative Region after Hong Kong.
In 2002, the government of Macau enacted a law from 2001 which legalized gambling, and offline casinos opened up. Macau’s Internet gambling sector was regulated in 2003.
Today, Macau is the gambling center of Asia. Its offshore financial sector is growing but still is nowhere near the size of Hong Kong.
Macau by night courtesy of Inamoka, Wiki Commons.
Macau has many different types of corporate structures available, allowing for a wide range of liability.
- Unlimited Liability Company (S.N.C.)
- Mixed Liability Company by Quotas (S.C.)
- Mixed Liability Company by Shares (S.C.A.)
- Limited Liability Company by Quotas (L.D.A.)
- Limited Liability Company by Shares (S.A.)
- Limited Liability Company by Sole Owner (S.U.L.)
Macau companies are exempt from tax on the first 200,000 MOP (Macau pataca), or roughly $25,000 USD, and the next 100,000 MOP is taxed at 9%. Remaining income is taxed at 12%.
Unlike Hong Kong, there’s no territorial taxation system in Macau. Worldwide income may be subject to tax. However, under the Offshore Regime of Macau, companies can be fully tax exempt if they do not operate in MOP currency, do not target Macanese persons, and do not focus on other Macanese companies.
Unlike Hong Kong, where you pay tax depending on the source of income, Macau has taken a different approach of either full tax exemption or full tax liability.
There is no sales tax (VAT) in Macau.
The Offshore Regime creates two types of offshore operations: Offshore Commercial Service Companies and Offshore Auxiliary Services Companies. Both are designated International Business Companies (IBC), but are significantly different from the IBC legislation of Belize, Seychelles, and so on.
The differences between Offshore Commercial Service Companies and Offshore Auxiliary Services Companies lie within their scope of operations. While auxiliary services companies can only perform duties for holding or parent companies, commercial service companies are free to conduct business with anyone. Auxiliary companies pay a lower annual fee—between 4,000 and 10,000 MOP less per year.
All companies in Macau—even those registered under the Offshore Regime—must prepare and file financials. The costs of forming a regular or offshore company in Macau are higher than in Hong Kong, but not by much.
Residents are liable for income tax on salary from employment with Macanese companies or salaries paid into Macau, which means that if you work remotely for a foreign company, you pay no tax. This can be used to live and work tax-free in Macau.
There is no capital gains tax, capital duty, capital acquisitions tax, inheritance tax, wealth, or sales tax.
In late June 2015 the Deputy Finance Minister of Greece Nadia Valavani revealed to Greek television that the government and banks had agreed that people would not be allowed to withdraw cash from safe deposit boxes for as long as the capital controls were in place.
Earlier this year, on 1 April 2015, Chase bank in the US advised clients who rent safe deposit boxes from them that there would be some changes in their policies, by giving them this message,
Notice the the following condition: “Contents of box: You agree not to store any cash or coins other than those found to have a collectible value.”
Picture Courtesy “Safe 01” by Корзун Андрей, Wikimedia Commons.
The banks are convincing people to put their wealth into cash, and their cash into banks in the form of deposits. They’re being assisted by many of the world’s governments, which are increasing the level of legislation that controls what individuals are allowed to do with their own wealth.
After this is completed, the bank customers are “sitting ducks’ for confiscations of their cash holdings. These will of course be implemented by the banks, and in order to maximize the amount that will be taken, it will be necessary to force people out of other forms of wealth storage and into bank deposits.
And even in a confiscation situation, banks would be reluctant to raid safe deposit boxes, as they would a) have to force them open, and b) have to deal in some way with the non-monetary contents of the boxes, such as documentation and fine art. To do so would glaringly expose the banks as plunderers (assuming the theft of deposits had not already achieved that end).
In the future, we can expect to see more steps taken by banks and governments to squeeze people out of other forms of wealth storage like precious metal, fine art, jewelry, etc. and to deposit the wealth as cash in the banks.
The EU, US, Canada, and several other jurisdictions have passed bail-in legislation the last few years, opening the possibility for confiscating the cash deposits of bank customers, if they deem this necessary.
Believe it or not, you just wake up one morning, and your cash deposits have been raided.
In addition to The United States, here are four other countries where you can own arms:
The Swiss are not only allowed to have guns, but many citizens were traditionally required to own one and go through training on how to use it.
Switzerland’s laws require having a permit in order to be able to buy certain firearms, and these are attainable relatively easy.
Swiss flag image courtesy of Wiki Commons
Czech Republic is another place in Europe where you relatively easy can get a permit for gun ownership, also for most foreigners who live there.
There’s no limit to how many firearms you can own and you can carry a concealed firearm.
Private possession of a large variety of guns is allowed for Estonian residents under a license. These can be obtained for any number of reasons, including self-defense.
The government maintains a record of individual civilians licensed to possess firearms and ammunition, but private sale and transfer is allowed, as is concealed carry.
Most types of firearms can be legally purchased in Paraguay, but a license is required and a central registry of gun ownership is maintained.
Even as a tourist you can legally buy weapons in Paraguay.
The financial services industry on Curaçao was started by the Dutch during the 1940’s when Dutch corporations moved their assets to the region to escape the Nazis.
After the war many of the companies returned their head quarter back to the Netherlands but left behind the infrastructure of an offshore center.
The infrastructure includes 70 banks, more than 50 of them international, as well as asset management, trust and insurance companies. The worlds major international audit and law firms are also established on the island.
Picture of Curaçao courtesy of Wiki Commons
The Caribbean island of Curaçao realized that competition for business is stiff. So they had to keep the tax rate extremely low and attractive and add value to business. Being a tax free jurisdiction almost guarantees that you’ll end up on some OECD or IRS blacklist.
So the tax rate on corporate profits was set to 2% only, something that wouldn’t qualify them as a tax haven, but would be low enough to attract entrepreneurs. In addition, Curaçao also looked at ways it could actually provide value to 21st century businesses.
The Internet businesses they hoped to attract all need bandwidth. So Curaçao invested in fiber to the point that its data centers now have among the fastest, most highly connected data centers in the region.
So instead of just being a Curaçao company in name only, businesses can actually host their servers here as well. This helps any Internet business justify why the company is based in Curaçao.
Advantages of being based in Curaçao:
– Not being listed as a tax haven.
– Offering robust local services incl. state of the art internet which support the business.
– International financial center
– A blend of European and Caribbean Culture
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a member of the European Union. However, Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten all have the status of Dutch overseas countries and territories and are not part of the EU.
The U.K. to join he Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a founding member and CIPS the alt. to SWIFT ?
The government of the United Kingdom just announced that they would be applying to join the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a founding member.
The United States currently dominates the global financial system. But after years of sanctions, wars, debt, money printing and regulations, the rest of the world are looking for an alternative.
The soon-to-be-live Chinese International Payment System (CIPS) will provide a way for banks to transfer funds to one another without having to use the US banking system or the US dollar.
Shanghai by night courtesy of Wiki Commons
China is also the initiator behind both the BRICS development bank (called the New Development Bank, or NDB) as well as the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Both of these are multilateral development banks that aim to end the dominance of the western-controlled World Bank and IMF.
NDB includes all the BRICS nations– Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Founding members of the AIIB include China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, etc. They’re typically all rapidly growing and/or resource-rich developing nations.
New Zealand was the first western nation to join AIIB in October 2014, and Britain has just announced its intention to become the second.
The signatories to the NDB and AIIB charter documents want to create an alternative to the United States dominance of the global financial system by launching these new development banks and an alternative payment system together.