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14 January 2021
The government has issued a draft law on tax benefits for undertaking activities dedicated to scientific and technological innovation. This draft law is a consequence of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Policy Address for the Fiscal Year of 2019, particularly in relation to innovation in the areas of technology and smart-city development, and aligns with the goal of transforming the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) into an international centre of science, technology and innovation.
The draft law was first introduced to the MSAR Legislative Assembly on 6 November 2020 and has been assigned to its First Standing Committee for consideration.
The draft law aims to provide incentives for scientific and technological innovation to individual entrepreneurs and collective entrepreneurs (companies). The proposed tax benefits concern stamp duty, property tax, complementary income tax and professional tax, among other things.
Definition of STI
Under the draft law, 'scientific and technological innovation' ('STI') is defined as the innovation and invention, or activities that involve the application of, scientific knowledge, technology or artesian in an innovative manner when manufacturing a product or in the provision of services – particularly activities that involve new-generation IT, AI, integrated circuits, biomedicine, traditional Chinese medicine, energy conservation and environmental protection, marine engineering or nutrition – as well as innovation and inventions relating to those areas.
The draft law prescribes the following incentives:
To apply, qualifying individuals or companies must:
Applications must be submitted to the Macau Finance Bureau (MFB) and include:
In turn, the MFB will submit the application to an evaluation committee for its consideration of whether the applicant meets the requirement of undertaking STI. The director of the MFB is competent to decide whether to grant the incentives.
The draft law aims to provide tax incentives to STI entrepreneurs in order to boost innovation in the areas of technology and smart-city development and transform the GBA into an international centre of science, technology and innovation. It may also be seen as a tool to diversify the Macau economy, which is currently dependent on gaming and tourism – areas which have been hugely affected by COVID-19.
For further information on this topic please contact Pedro Cortés or Calvin Tinlop Chui at Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados by telephone (+853 2856 2322) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortés Advogados website can be accessed at www.lektou.com.
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