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.