Double Taxation Agreement Germany Hong Kong

Double Taxation Agreement between Germany and Hong Kong: What You Need to Know

If you`re a business owner or individual who conducts business between Germany and Hong Kong, it`s crucial for you to understand the implications of the double taxation agreement (DTA) between these two countries. In this article, we`ll provide a brief overview of what the DTA entails, how it affects businesses, and what steps you can take to optimize your tax situation.

What is a Double Taxation Agreement?

A DTA is a treaty between two countries that aims to reduce the income tax paid by individuals and businesses in both countries. This agreement eliminates the possibility of paying double taxes, which is when a business or individual is taxed in both countries for the same income. Typically, a DTA will outline which country has the authority to tax certain types of income, such as royalties, dividends, capital gains, and employment income.

The DTA Between Germany and Hong Kong

The DTA between Germany and Hong Kong was signed in 2006 and took effect on January 1, 2007. Under this agreement, double taxation is avoided by providing relief in the form of tax credits, exemptions or reductions. Some of the types of income covered by the DTA include:

– Business profits: Any profits earned by a business in Hong Kong will be taxed only in Hong Kong, even if the business is owned by a German resident. Similarly, if a business earns profits in Germany, they will only be taxed in Germany.

– Dividends: Dividends paid by a German company to a Hong Kong resident are subject to a dividend withholding tax of up to 15%. However, this rate is reduced to 0% if the Hong Kong resident owns at least 10% of the shares in the German company. Conversely, if a Hong Kong company pays dividends to a German resident, the German resident is subject to a 15% withholding tax, which can be reduced under certain circumstances.

– Interest and royalties: Interest and royalties paid by one country to a resident of the other country may be subject to a reduced withholding tax rate of 0-10%.

Implications for Businesses

The DTA between Germany and Hong Kong has important implications for businesses operating in both countries. By understanding the provisions of the agreement, businesses can optimize their tax situation and avoid paying unnecessary taxes. Some of the key steps businesses can take include:

– Ensuring that all relevant documentation is in order and filed with the appropriate tax authorities.

– Carefully reviewing tax residency status for both countries to ensure that they are accurately recorded.

– Taking advantage of tax incentives and exemptions provided under the agreement to reduce the overall tax burden.


In conclusion, the double taxation agreement between Germany and Hong Kong provides significant benefits for businesses and individuals conducting business between these two countries. By taking proactive steps to understand and utilize the provisions under the DTA, businesses can avoid paying double taxes and optimize their tax situation. It`s important to work closely with a qualified tax advisor to ensure that all requirements are met and to take advantage of all available tax incentives.