Employers who operate occupational retirement schemes are required to apply to the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA) for registration or exemption of their schemes under the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance (Cap. 426) (ORSO).
Only occupational retirement schemes registered under ORSO qualify as non-reporting financial institutions under Part 2 of Schedule 17C to the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112) (IRO). Occupational retirement schemes exempted from registration are not non-reporting financial institutions. Any scheme which was granted an exemption certificate by MPFA under ORSO will remain a reporting financial institution.
The IRO imposes due diligence, reporting and other obligations on a reporting financial institution. An occupational retirement scheme that is a reporting financial institution, not excluded as a non-reporting financial institution, must comply with the statutory requirements in IRO. If a reporting financial institution fails to comply with these statutory requirements, an offence will be committed.
The anti-abuse provisions under section 61C in the IRO can be applied to counteract arrangement whose main purpose, or one of the main purposes is to avoid the due diligence and reporting obligations under Part 8A of the IRO. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has also launched a disclosure facility on its Automatic Exchange Portal which allows interested parties to report schemes suspected of circumventing the Common Reporting Standard.