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Newsletter | April 24, 2023

Irish company law to change

The 2021 Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Act has brought in changes to Irish Company Law intended to avoid incomplete disclosure of relevant information, fraud and identity theft. The law changes will be accompanied by strict enforcement provisions including rejection of documents submitted and hefty fines.

As from April 23rd, 2023*, directors of Irish companies will have to give their personal Public Services Numbers (PPSN) whenever submitting documents electronically to the Companies Registration Office CRO in connection with incorporation, annual returns and changes in the director details.

*’Go-live’ date of 23rd April for the CRO PPS number requirement has been deferred due to a last-minute IT issue. We understand that this issue will push back the go-live date by at least two weeks.

The PPSNs will not appear on the filed documents viewable by the public and their use will be limited to the validation of the documents. Apparently, the CRO will hold encrypted versions of the PPSNs for filings carried out in the future.

Mismatches in personal information will cause filings to be rejected.

None of this will be especially hard for Irish-resident directors but may be so for others. Non-resident Irish directors who do not have a PPSN need to get moving and complete a form to obtain a Verified Identity Number VIF number. After this date, they may not be able to make their filings and face fines and have their companies eventually struck off.

Unless the director already holds an RBO number (Register of Beneficial Ownership), the director must apply for an IPN (Identified Person Number) by completing and submitting a VIF form providing details of their name, address, date of birth and nationality. The information must be solemnly sworn as correct and true and be witnessed and signed by hand.

Compliance with the new rule is not optional, and failure to comply can lead to a fine of up to €5,000.

Hong Kong Immigration News

From April 2nd, 2023, people who wish to obtain new visas or entry permits or to renew existing ones under four Talent Admission Schemes (TAS) must apply online.

The schemes involved are the following:

  • Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS), 
  • Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS), 
  • Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG) and 
  • Admission Scheme for the Second Generation of Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents (ASSG) 

Applicants to the four schemes must now go to the Hong Kong Immigration Department website ( 

Holders of existing visas and entry permits that are ending and wish to renew them have to apply online at least four weeks before their expiry dates.

Changes to Malaysian Immigration

As of April 1st 2023, the process for obtaining projection requests will be simplified and automatic.

The employing company must apply for a projection on expatriates for the current year. The basis of the projection is the number of expatriates.

The company is still required to apply for a projection on expatriates for the current year. The forecast is based on the number of existing expatriates and proposed new hires.

Where an application has been submitted before April 1st, 2023, and has not been decided, the company can submit the request as set out above, and benefit from automatic approval.

It is not possible to carry forward any unused projection into the following year.

Anyone requiring a projection should apply without delay.

The UAE has just announced a new tax break for startups

The UAE Ministry of Finance has issued a new ministerial decision on Small Business Relief, allowing small businesses with revenues of $816,880 (Dhs3m) or less to claim tax relief in a tax period when their income does not exceed a certain threshold.

Small Business Relief seeks to support startups and other small or micro businesses by reducing their corporate tax burden and compliance costs. It was issued in accordance with Article 21 of the corporate tax law, “which treats the taxable person as not having derived any taxable income in a given tax period where the revenue did not exceed a certain threshold.”

The ministry said the new scheme stipulates that taxable persons who are residents of the UAE can claim Small Business Relief when their revenue in the relevant and previous tax periods is below Dhs3m for each period. Once a taxable person exceeds the revenue threshold in any tax period, then the tax relief will no longer be available, said the Ministry of Finance.

The revenue threshold will apply to tax periods starting on or after June 1st, 2023, and will only continue to apply to subsequent tax periods that end before or on December 31st, 2026. The authorities highlighted that they would determine the small businesses’ revenue on the applicable accounting standards accepted in the country.

The new corporate tax break will not apply to qualifying free zone entities or multinational companies as defined in Cabinet Decision No. 44 of 2020. The UAE defines multinational companies as businesses with operations in more than one country and has consolidated group revenues of more than D3.15bn.

“In tax periods where businesses do not elect to apply for Small Business Relief, they will be able to carry forward any incurred tax losses and any disallowed net interest expenditure for use in future tax periods in which the scheme is not elected,” the ministry said in a statement.