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AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBLE TAXATION AND THE PREVENTION OF FISCAL EVASION WITH RESPECT TO TAXES ON INCOME

The Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China,

Desiring to conclude an Agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1
Persons Covered

This Agreement shall apply to persons who are residents of one or both of the Contracting Parties.

Article 2
Taxes Covered

1. This Agreement shall apply to taxes on income imposed on behalf of a Contracting Party or of its local authorities, irrespective of the manner in which they are levied.

2. There shall be regarded as taxes on income all taxes imposed on total income, or on elements of income, including taxes on gains from the alienation of movable or immovable property, as well as taxes on capital appreciation.

3. The existing taxes to which the Agreement shall apply are in particular:

(a) in the case of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,

(i) profits tax;

(ii) salaries tax; and

(iii) property tax;

whether or not charged under personal assessment;

(b) in the case of Latvia,

(i) the enterprise income tax (uzņēmumu ienākuma nodoklis); and

(ii) the personal income tax (iedzīvotāju ienākuma nodoklis).

4. The Agreement shall apply also to any identical or substantially similar taxes that are imposed after the date of signature of the Agreement in addition to, or in place of, the existing taxes, as well as any other taxes falling within paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article which a Contracting Party may impose in future. The competent authorities of the Contracting Parties shall notify each other of any significant changes that have been made in their taxation laws.

5. The existing taxes, together with the taxes imposed after the signature of this Agreement, are hereinafter referred to as "Latvian tax" or "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region tax", as the context requires.

Article 3
General Definitions

1. For the purposes of this Agreement, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) (i) the term "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" means any place where the tax laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China apply;

(ii) the term "Latvia" means the Republic of Latvia and, when used in the geographical sense, means the territory of the Republic of Latvia and any other area adjacent to the territorial waters of the Republic of Latvia within which under the laws of Latvia and in accordance with international law, the rights of Latvia may be exercised with respect to the sea bed and its sub-soil and their natural resources;

(b) the term "business" includes the performance of professional services and of other activities of an independent character;

(c) the term "company" means any body corporate or any entity that is treated as a body corporate for tax purposes;

(d) the term "competent authority" means:

(i) in the case of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue or his authorised representative;

(ii) in the case of Latvia, the Ministry of Finance or its authorised representative;

(e) the term "Contracting Party" or "Party" means Latvia or the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, as the context requires;

(f) the term "enterprise" applies to the carrying on of any business;

(g) the terms "enterprise of a Contracting Party" and "enterprise of the other Contracting Party" mean respectively an enterprise carried on by a resident of a Contracting Party and an enterprise carried on by a resident of the other Contracting Party;

(h) the term "international traffic" means any transport by a ship or aircraft operated by an enterprise of a Contracting Party, except when the ship or aircraft is operated solely between places in the other Contracting Party;

(i) the term "national" in relation to Latvia means:

(i) any individual possessing the nationality of Latvia; and

(ii) any legal person, partnership or association deriving its status as such from the laws in force in Latvia;

(j) the term "person" includes an individual, a company and any other body of persons;

(k) the term "tax" means Latvian tax or the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region tax, as the context requires.

2. In this Agreement, the terms "Latvian tax" and "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region tax" do not include any penalty or interest imposed under the laws of either Contracting Party relating to the taxes to which this Agreement applies by virtue of Article 2.

3. As regards the application of the Agreement at any time by a Contracting Party, any term not defined therein shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the meaning that it has at that time under the law of that Party for the purposes of the taxes to which the Agreement applies, any meaning under the applicable tax laws of that Party prevailing over a meaning given to the term under other laws of that Party.

Article 4
Resident

1. For the purposes of this Agreement, the term "resident of a Contracting Party" means:

(a) in the case of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region:

(i) any individual who ordinarily resides in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;

(ii) any individual who stays in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for more than 180 days during a year of assessment or for more than 300 days in two consecutive years of assessment one of which is the relevant year of assessment;

(iii) a company incorporated in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or, if incorporated outside the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, being normally managed or controlled in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;

(iv) any other person constituted under the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or, if constituted outside the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, being normally managed or controlled in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;

(b) in the case of Latvia, any person who, under the laws of Latvia, is liable to tax therein by reason of his domicile, residence, place of management, place of incorporation or any other criterion of a similar nature. This term, however, does not include any person who is liable to tax in Latvia in respect only of income from sources in Latvia or of capital situated therein;

(c) in the case of either Contracting Party, the Party, the Government of that Party and any local authority thereof;

(d) in the case of either Contracting Party, a pension fund or scheme that is established and regulated according to the statutory provisions of a Contracting Party and the income of which is generally exempt from tax in that Contracting Party.

2. Where by reason of the provisions of paragraph 1 an individual is a resident of both Contracting Parties, then his status shall be determined as follows:

(a) he shall be deemed to be a resident only of the Party in which he has a permanent home available to him; if he has a permanent home available to him in both Parties, he shall be deemed to be a resident only of the Party with which his personal and economic relations are closer ("centre of vital interests");

(b) if the Party in which he has his centre of vital interests cannot be determined, or if he has not a permanent home available to him in either Party, he shall be deemed to be a resident only of the Party in which he has an habitual abode;

(c) if he has an habitual abode in both Parties or in neither of them, he shall be deemed to be a resident only of the Party of which he is a national (in the case of Latvia) on in which he has the right of abode (in the case of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region);

(d) if he is a national of Latvia and also has the right of abode in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, or if he is not a national of Latvia nor have the right of abode in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the competent authorities of the Contracting Parties shall settle the question by mutual agreement.

3. Where by reason of the provisions of paragraph 1 a person other than an individual is a resident of both Contracting Parties, the competent authorities of the Contracting Parties shall endeavour to settle the question by mutual agreement and determine the mode of application of the Agreement to such person. In the absence of such agreement, for the purposes of the Agreement, the person shall not be entitled to claim any benefits provided by the Agreement.

Article 5
Permanent Establishment

1. For the purposes of this Agreement, the term "permanent establishment" means a fixed place of business through which the business of an enterprise is wholly or partly carried on.

2. The term "permanent establishment" includes especially:

(a) a place of management;

(b) a branch;

(c) an office;

(d) a factory;

(e) a workshop; and

(f) a mine, an oil or gas well, a quarry or any other place of extraction of natural resources.

3. The term "permanent establishment" also encompasses:

(a) a building site, construction, assembly or installation project or supervisory activities in connection therewith, but only if such site, project or activities last more than nine months;

(b) the furnishing of services, including consultancy services, by an enterprise of a Contracting Party directly or through employees or other personnel engaged by the enterprise for such purpose, but only where such activities continue (for the same or a connected project) in the other Contracting Party for a period or periods exceeding in the aggregate six months within any twelve month period.

4. Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this Article, the term "permanent establishment" shall be deemed not to include:

(a) the use of facilities solely for the purpose of storage, display or delivery of goods or merchandise belonging to the enterprise;

(b) the maintenance of a stock of goods or merchandise belonging to the enterprise solely for the purpose of storage, display or delivery;

(c) the maintenance of a stock of goods or merchandise belonging to the enterprise solely for the purpose of processing by another enterprise;

(d) the maintenance of a fixed place of business solely for the purpose of purchasing goods or merchandise or of collecting information, for the enterprise;

(e) the maintenance of a fixed place of business solely for the purpose of carrying on, for the enterprise, any other activity of a preparatory or auxiliary character;

f) the maintenance of a fixed place of business solely for any combination of activities mentioned in sub-paragraphs (a) to (e), provided that the overall activity of the fixed place of business resulting from this combination is of a preparatory or auxiliary character.

5. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2, where a person - other than an agent of an independent status to whom paragraph 6 applies - is acting on behalf of an enterprise and has, and habitually exercises, in a Contracting Party an authority to conclude contracts in the name of the enterprise, that enterprise shall be deemed to have a permanent establishment in that Party in respect of any activities which that person undertakes for the enterprise, unless the activities of such person are limited to those mentioned in paragraph 4 which, if exercised through a fixed place of business, would not make this fixed place of business a permanent establishment under the provisions of that paragraph.

6. An enterprise shall not be deemed to have a permanent establishment in a Contracting Party merely because it carries on business in that Party through a broker, general commission agent or any other agent of an independent status, provided that such persons are acting in the ordinary course of their business.

7. The fact that a company which is a resident of a Contracting Party controls or is controlled by a company which is a resident of the other Contracting Party, or which carries on business in that other Party (whether through a permanent establishment or otherwise), shall not of itself constitute either company a permanent establishment of the other.

Article 6
Income from Immovable Property

1. Income derived by a resident of a Contracting Party from immovable property (including income from agriculture or forestry) situated in the other Contracting Party may be taxed in that other Party.

2. The term "immovable property" shall have the meaning which it has under the law of the Contracting Party in which the property in question is situated. The term shall in any case include property accessory to immovable property, livestock and equipment used in agriculture and forestry, rights to which the provisions of general law respecting landed property apply, any option or similar right to acquire immovable property, usufruct of immovable property and rights to variable or fixed payments as consideration for the working of, or the right to work, mineral deposits, sources and other natural resources. Ships and aircraft shall not be regarded as immovable property.

3. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall apply to income derived from the direct use, letting, or use in any other form of immovable property.

4. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 3 shall also apply to the income from immovable property of an enterprise.

Article 7
Business Profits

1. The profits of an enterprise of a Contracting Party shall be taxable only in that Party unless the enterprise carries on business in the other Contracting Party through a permanent establishment situated therein. If the enterprise carries on business as aforesaid, the profits of the enterprise may be taxed in the other Party, but only so much of them as is attributable to that permanent establishment.

2. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3, where an enterprise of a Contracting Party carries on business in the other Contracting Party through a permanent establishment situated therein, there shall in each Contracting Party be attributed to that permanent establishment the profits which it might be expected to make if it were a distinct and separate enterprise engaged in the same or similar activities under the same or similar conditions and dealing wholly independently with the enterprise of which it is a permanent establishment.

3. In determining the profits of a permanent establishment, there shall be allowed as deductions expenses which are incurred for the purposes of the permanent establishment, including executive and general administrative expenses so incurred, whether in the Party in which the permanent establishment is situated or elsewhere.

4. Insofar as it has been customary in a Contracting Party to determine the profits to be attributed to a permanent establishment on the basis of an apportionment of the total profits of the enterprise to its various parts, nothing in paragraph 2 shall preclude that Contracting Party from determining the profits to be taxed by such an apportionment as may be customary; the method of apportionment adopted shall, however, be such that the result shall be in accordance with the principles contained in this Article.

5. No profits shall be attributed to a permanent establishment by reason of the mere purchase by that permanent establishment of goods or merchandise for the enterprise.

6. For the purposes of the preceding paragraphs, the profits to be attributed to the permanent establishment shall be determined by the same method year by year unless there is good and sufficient reason to the contrary.

7. Where profits include items of income which are dealt with separately in other Articles of this Agreement, then the provisions of those Articles shall not be affected by the provisions of this Article.

Article 8
Shipping and Air Transport

1. Profits of an enterprise of a Contracting Party from the operation of ships or aircraft in international traffic shall be taxable only in that Party.

2. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall also apply to profits from the participation in a pool, a joint business or an international operating agency.

3. For the purposes of this Article, profits of an enterprise from the operation of ships or aircraft in international traffic include:

(a) revenues and gross receipts from the operation of ships or aircraft for the transport of persons, goods, mail or merchandise in international traffic including:

(i) income derived from the lease of ships or aircraft on a bareboat charter basis where such lease is incidental to the operation of ships or aircraft in international traffic;

(ii) income derived from the sale of tickets and the provision of services connected with such transport whether for the enterprise itself or for any other enterprise, provided that in the case of provision of services, such provision is incidental to the operation of ships and aircraft in international traffic;

(b) interest on investments that are made in a Contracting Party as integral part of carrying on the business of operation of ships or aircraft in international traffic, which shall be regarded as profits derived from the operation of such ships or aircraft and the provisions of Article 11 shall not apply in relation to such interest;

(c) profits from the use, maintenance or lease of containers (including trailers and related equipment for the transport of containers) by the enterprise for the transport of goods or merchandise when such activities are incidental to the operation of ships or aircraft in international traffic.

Article 9
Associated Enterprises

1. Where

(a) an enterprise of a Contracting Party participates directly or indirectly in the management, control or capital of an enterprise of the other Contracting Party, or

(b) the same persons participate directly or indirectly in the management, control or capital of an enterprise of a Contracting Party and an enterprise of the other Contracting Party, and in either case conditions are made or imposed between the two enterprises in their commercial or financial relations which differ from those which would be made between independent enterprises, then any profits which would, but for those conditions, have accrued to one of the enterprises, but, by reason of those conditions, have not so accrued, may be included in the profits of that enterprise and taxed accordingly.

2. Where a Contracting Party includes in the profits of an enterprise of that Party - and taxes accordingly - profits on which an enterprise of the other Contracting Party has been charged to tax in that other Party and the profits so included are profits which would have accrued to the enterprise of the first-mentioned Party if the conditions made between the two enterprises had been those which would have been made between independent enterprises, then that other Party shall make an appropriate adjustment to the amount of the tax charged therein on those profits. In determining such adjustment, due regard shall be had to the other provisions of this Agreement and the competent authorities of the Contracting Parties shall if necessary consult each other.

Article 10
Dividends

1. Dividends paid by a company which is a resident of a Contracting Party to a resident of the other Contracting Party may be taxed in that other Party.

2. However, such dividends may also be taxed in the Contracting Party of which the company paying the dividends is a resident and according to the laws of that Party, but if the beneficial owner of the dividends is a resident of the other Contracting Party, the tax so charged shall not exceed:

(a) 0 per cent of the gross amount of the dividends if the beneficial owner is a company (other than a partnership);

(b) 10 per cent of the gross amount of the dividends in all other cases.

This paragraph shall not affect the taxation of the company in respect of the profits out of which the dividends are paid.

3. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article, dividends arising in a Contracting Party are exempt from tax in that Party, if they are paid:

(a) in the case of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region:

(i) to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;

(ii) to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority;

(iii) to the Exchange Fund;

(iv) to any institution wholly or mainly owned by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as may be agreed from time to time between the competent authorities of the Contracting Parties;

(b) in the case of Latvia:

(i) to the Government of Latvia or its local authority;

(ii) to the Bank of Latvia;

(iii) to a statutory body or any institution wholly or mainly owned by the Government of Latvia or its local authority, and in either case as may be agreed from time to time between the competent authorities of the Contracting Parties;

(c) in the case of either Contracting Party, to a pension fund or scheme as referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 4.

4. The term "dividends" as used in this Article means income from shares or other rights, not being debt-claims, participating in profits, as well as income from other rights which is subjected to the same taxation treatment as income from shares by the laws of the Party of which the company making the distribution is a resident.

5. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply if the beneficial owner of the dividends, being a resident of a Contracting Party, carries on business in the other Contracting Party of which the company paying the dividends is a resident through a permanent establishment situated therein and the holding in respect of which the dividends are paid is effectively connected with such permanent establishment. In such case the provisions of Article 7 shall apply.

6. Where a company which is a resident of a Contracting Party derives profits or income from the other Contracting Party, that other Party may not impose any tax on the dividends paid by the company, except insofar as such dividends are paid to a resident of that other Party or insofar as the holding in respect of which the dividends are paid is effectively connected with a permanent establishment situated in that other Party, nor subject the company's undistributed profits to a tax on the company's undistributed profits, even if the dividends paid or the undistributed profits consist wholly or partly of profits or income arising in such other Party.

Article 11
Interest

1. Interest arising in a Contracting Party and paid to a resident of the other Contracting Party may be taxed in that other Party.

2. However, such interest may also be taxed in the Contracting Party in which it arises and according to the laws of that Party, but if the beneficial owner of the interest is a resident of the other Contracting Party, the tax so charged shall not exceed:

(a) 0 per cent of the gross amount of the interest, if the interest is paid by a company that is a resident of a Contracting Party to a company (other than a partnership) that is a resident of the other Contracting Party and is the beneficial owner of the interest;

(b) 10 per cent of the gross amount of the interest in all other cases.

3. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article, interest arising in a Contracting Party is exempt from tax in that Party, if it is paid:

(a) in the case of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region:

(i) to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;

(ii) to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority;

(iii) to the Exchange Fund;

(iv) to any institution wholly or mainly owned by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as may be agreed from time to time between the competent authorities of the Contracting Parties;

(b) in the case of Latvia:

(i) to the Government of Latvia or its local authority;

(ii) to the Bank of Latvia;

(iii) to a statutory body or any institution wholly or mainly owned by the Government of Latvia or its local authority, and in either case as may be agreed from time to time between the competent authorities of the Contracting Parties;

(c) in the case of either Contracting Party, to a pension fund or scheme as referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 4.

4. The term "interest" as used in this Article means income from debt-claims of every kind, whether or not secured by mortgage and whether or not carrying a right to participate in the debtor's profits, and in particular, income from government securities and income from bonds or debentures, including premiums and prizes attaching to such securities, bonds or debentures. The term "interest" shall not include any income which is treated as a dividend under the provisions of Article 10. Penalty charges for late payment shall not be regarded as interest for the purpose of this Article.

5. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply if the beneficial owner of the interest, being a resident of a Contracting Party, carries on business in the other Contracting Party in which the interest arises through a permanent establishment situated therein and the debt-claim in respect of which the interest is paid is effectively connected with such permanent establishment. In such case the provisions of Article 7 shall apply.

6. Interest shall be deemed to arise in a Contracting Party when the payer is a resident of that Party. Where, however, the person paying the interest, whether he is a resident of a Contracting Party or not, has in a Contracting Party a permanent establishment in connection with which the indebtedness on which the interest is paid was incurred, and such interest is borne by such permanent establishment, then such interest shall be deemed to arise in the Party in which the permanent establishment is situated.

7. Where, by reason of a special relationship between the payer and the beneficial owner or between both of them and some other person, the amount of the interest, having regard to the debt-claim for which it is paid, exceeds the amount which would have been agreed upon by the payer and the beneficial owner in the absence of such relationship, the provisions of this Article shall apply only to the last-mentioned amount. In such case, the excess part of the payments shall remain taxable according to the laws of each Contracting Party, due regard being had to the other provisions of this Agreement.

Article 12
Royalties

1. Royalties arising in a Contracting Party and paid to a resident of the other Contracting Party may be taxed in that other Party.

2. However, such royalties may also be taxed in the Contracting Party in which they arise and according to the laws of that Party, but if the beneficial owner of the royalties is a resident of the other Contracting Party, the tax so charged shall not exceed:

(a) 0 per cent of the gross amount of the royalties for the use of, or the right to use, industrial, commercial or scientific equipment or for information concerning industrial, commercial or scientific experience if the royalties are paid by a company that is a resident of a Contracting Party to a company (other than a partnership) that is a resident of the other Contracting Party and is the beneficial owner of the royalties;

(b) 3 per cent of the gross amount of the royalties in all other cases.

3. The term "royalties" as used in this Article means payments of any kind received as a consideration for the use of, or the right to use, any copyright of literary, artistic or scientific work including cinematograph films, films or tapes for radio or television broadcasting, any patent, trade mark, design or model, plan, secret formula or process, or for the use of, or the right to use, industrial, commercial, or scientific equipment, or for information concerning industrial, commercial or scientific experience.

4. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply if the beneficial owner of the royalties, being a resident of a Contracting Party, carries on business in the other Contracting Party in which the royalties arise through a permanent establishment situated therein and the right or property in respect of which the royalties are paid is effectively connected with such permanent establishment. In such case the provisions of Article 7 shall apply.

5. Royalties shall be deemed to arise in a Contracting Party when the payer is a resident of that Party. Where, however, the person paying the royalties, whether he is a resident of a Contracting Party or not, has in a Contracting Party a permanent establishment in connection with which the liability to pay the royalties was incurred, and such royalties are borne by such permanent establishment, then such royalties shall be deemed to arise in the Party in which the permanent establishment is situated.

6. Where, by reason of a special relationship between the payer and the beneficial owner or between both of them and some other person, the amount of the royalties, having regard to the use, right or information for which they are paid, exceeds the amount which would have been agreed upon by the payer and the beneficial owner in the absence of such relationship, the provisions of this Article shall apply only to the last-mentioned amount. In such case, the excess part of the payments shall remain taxable according to the laws of each Contracting Party, due regard being had to the other provisions of this Agreement.

Article 13
Capital Gains

1. Gains derived by a resident of a Contracting Party from the alienation of immovable property referred to in Article 6 and situated in the other Contracting Party may be taxed in that other Party.

2. Gains from the alienation of movable property forming part of the business property of a permanent establishment which an enterprise of a Contracting Party has in the other Contracting Party, including such gains from the alienation of such a permanent establishment (alone or with the whole enterprise), may be taxed in that other Party.

3. Gains derived by an enterprise of a Contracting Party operating ships or aircraft in international traffic from the alienation of ships or aircraft operated in international traffic or movable property pertaining to the operation of such ships or aircraft shall be taxable only in that Party.

4. Gains derived by a resident of a Contracting Party from the alienation of shares or of a comparable interest of any kind deriving more than 50 per cent of their value directly or indirectly from immovable property situated in the other Contracting Party may be taxed in that other Party. However, this paragraph does not apply to gains derived from the alienation of shares:

(a) quoted on such stock exchange as may be agreed between the Parties; or

(b) alienated or exchanged in the framework of a reorganisation of a company, a merger, a division or a similar operation.

5. Gains from the alienation of any property other than that referred to in paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4, shall be taxable only in the Contracting Party of which the alienator is a resident.

Article 14
Income from Employment

1. Subject to the provisions of Articles 15, 17 and 18, salaries, wages and other similar remuneration derived by a resident of a Contracting Party in respect of an employment shall be taxable only in that Party unless the employment is exercised in the other Contracting Party. If the employment is so exercised, such remuneration as is derived therefrom may be taxed in that other Party.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1, remuneration derived by a resident of a Contracting Party in respect of an employment exercised in the other Contracting Party shall be taxable only in the first-mentioned Party if:

(a) the recipient is present in the other Party for a period or periods not exceeding in the aggregate 183 days in any twelve month period commencing or ending in the taxable period concerned, and

(b) the remuneration is paid by, or on behalf of, an employer who is not a resident of the other Party, and

(c) the remuneration is not borne by a permanent establishment which the employer has in the other Party.

3. Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this Article, remuneration derived in respect of an employment exercised aboard a ship or aircraft operated in international traffic by an enterprise of a Contracting Party shall be taxable only in that Party.

Article 15
Directors' Fees

Directors' fees and other similar remuneration derived by a resident of a Contracting Party in his capacity as a member of the board of directors or any other similar organ of a company which is a resident of the other Contracting Party may be taxed in that other Party.

Article 16
Artistes and Sportsmen

1. Notwithstanding the provisions of Articles 7 and 14, income derived by a resident of a Contracting Party as an entertainer, such as a theatre, motion picture, radio or television artiste, or a musician, or as a sportsman, from his personal activities as such exercised in the other Contracting Party, may be taxed in that other Party.

2. Where income in respect of personal activities exercised by an entertainer or a sportsman in his capacity as such accrues not to the entertainer or sportsman himself but to another person, that income may, notwithstanding the provisions of Articles 7 and 14, be taxed in the Contracting Party in which the activities of the entertainer or sportsman are exercised.

Article 17
Pensions

1. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article and paragraph 2 of Article 18, pensions and other similar remuneration (including a lump sum payment) paid to a resident of a Contracting Party in consideration of past employment including self-employment shall be taxable only in that Party.

2. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 18, pensions and other similar remuneration (including a lump sum payment) made under a pension or retirement scheme which is:

(a) a public scheme which is part of the social security system of a Contracting Party; or

(b) a scheme in which individuals may participate to secure retirement benefits and which is recognised for tax purposes in a Contracting Party,

shall be taxable only in that Contracting Party.

Article 18
Government Service

1. (a) Salaries, wages and other similar remuneration, other than a pension, paid by a Contracting Party or a local authority thereof to an individual in respect of services rendered to that Party or authority shall be taxable only in that Party.

(b) However, such salaries, wages and other similar remuneration shall be taxable only in the other Contracting Party if the services are rendered in that Party and the individual is a resident of that Party who:

(i) in the case of Latvia, is a national thereof and in the case of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, has the right of abode therein; or

(ii) did not become a resident of that Party solely for the purpose of rendering the services.

2. (a) Any pension (including a lump sum payment) and other similar remuneration paid by, or paid out of funds created or contributed by a Contracting Party or a local authority thereof to an individual in respect of services rendered to that Party or authority shall be taxable only in that Party.

(b) However, if the individual who rendered the services is a resident of the other Contracting Party and the case falls within subparagraph (b) of paragraph 1 of this Article, any corresponding pension (whether a payment in lump sum or by instalments) and other similar remuneration shall be taxable only in that other Contracting Party.

3. The provisions of Articles 14, 15, 16, and 17 shall apply to salaries, wages, pensions (including a lump sum payment), and other similar remuneration in respect of services rendered in connection with a business carried on by a Contracting Party or a local authority thereof.

Article 19
Students

Payments which a student or business apprentice who is or was immediately before visiting a Contracting Party a resident of the other Contracting Party and who is present in the first-mentioned Party solely for the purpose of his education or training receives for the purpose of his maintenance, education or training shall not be taxed in that Party, provided that such payments arise from sources outside that Party.

Article 20
Other Income

1. Items of income of a resident of a Contracting Party, wherever arising, not dealt with in the foregoing Articles of this Agreement shall be taxable only in that Party.

2. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall not apply to income, other than income from immovable property as defined in paragraph 2 of Article 6, if the recipient of such income, being a resident of a Contracting Party, carries on business in the other Contracting Party through a permanent establishment situated therein and the right or property in respect of which the income is paid is effectively connected with such permanent establishment. In such case the provisions of Article 7 shall apply.

Article 21
Elimination of Double Taxation

1. In the case of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, double taxation shall be eliminated as follows:

Subject to the provisions of the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region relating to the allowance of a credit against Hong Kong Special Administrative Region tax of tax paid in a jurisdiction outside the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (which shall not affect the general principle of this Article), Latvian tax paid under the laws of Latvia and in accordance with this Agreement, whether directly or by deduction, in respect of income derived by a person who is a resident of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from sources in Latvia, shall be allowed as a credit against Hong Kong Special Administrative Region tax payable in respect of that income, provided that the credit so allowed does not exceed the amount of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region tax computed in respect of that income in accordance with the tax laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

2. In the case of Latvia, double taxation shall be eliminated as follows:

Where a resident of Latvia derives income which, in accordance with this Agreement, may be taxed in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, unless a more favourable treatment is provided in its internal law, Latvia shall allow as a deduction from the tax on the income of that resident, an amount equal to the income tax paid thereon in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Such deduction shall not, however, exceed that part of the income tax in Latvia, as computed before the deduction is given, which is attributable to the income which may be taxed in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Article 22
Non-Discrimination

1. Persons who, in the case of Latvia, are Latvian nationals, and, in the case of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, have the right of abode or are incorporated or otherwise constituted therein, shall not be subjected in the other Contracting Party to any taxation or any requirement connected therewith, which is other or more burdensome than the taxation and connected requirements to which nationals of that other Party (where that other Party is Latvia) or persons who have the right of abode or are incorporated or otherwise constituted in that other Party (where that other Party is the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) in the same circumstances, in particular with respect to residence, are or may be subjected. This provision shall, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 1, also apply to persons who are not residents of one or both of the Contracting Parties.

2. Stateless persons who are residents of a Contracting Party shall not be subjected in either Contracting Party to any taxation or any requirement connected therewith, which is other or more burdensome than the taxation and connected requirements to which nationals of the Party (where the Party is Latvia) or persons who have the right of abode in the Party (where the Party is the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) in the same circumstances, in particular with respect to residence, are or may be subjected.

3. The taxation on a permanent establishment which an enterprise of a Contracting Party has in the other Contracting Party shall not be less favourably levied in that other Party than the taxation levied on enterprises of that other Party carrying on the same activities. This provision shall not be construed as obliging a Contracting Party to grant to residents of the other Contracting Party any personal allowances, reliefs and reduction for taxation purposes on account of civil status or family responsibilities which it grants to its own residents.

4. Except where the provisions of paragraph l of Article 9, paragraph 7 of Article 11, or paragraph 6 of Article 12, apply, interest, royalties and other disbursements paid by an enterprise of a Contracting Party to a resident of the other Contracting Party shall, for the purpose of determining the taxable profits of such enterprise, be deductible under the same conditions as if they had been paid to a resident of the first-mentioned Party.

5. Enterprises of a Contracting Party, the capital of which is wholly or partly owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by one or more residents of the other Contracting Party, shall not be subjected in the first-mentioned Party to any taxation or any requirement connected therewith which is other or more burdensome than the taxation and connected requirements to which other similar enterprises of the first-mentioned Party are or may be subjected.

6. The provisions of this Article shall, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 2, apply to taxes of every kind and description.

Article 23
Mutual Agreement Procedure

1. Where a person considers that the actions of one or both of the Contracting Parties result or will result for him in taxation not in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, he may, irrespective of the remedies provided by the internal laws of those Parties, present his case to the competent authority of the Contracting Party of which he is a resident or, if his case comes under paragraph 1 of Article 22, to that of the Contracting Party of which he is a national (in the case of Latvia) or in which he has the right of abode or is incorporated or otherwise constituted (in the case of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region). The case must be presented within three years from the first notification of the action resulting in taxation not in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement.

2. The competent authority shall endeavour, if the objection appears to it to be justified and if it is not itself able to arrive at a satisfactory solution, to resolve the case by mutual agreement with the competent authority of the other Contracting Party, with a view to the avoidance of taxation which is not in accordance with the Agreement. Any agreement reached shall be implemented notwithstanding any time limits in the internal laws of the Contracting Parties.

3. The competent authorities of the Contracting Parties shall endeavour to resolve by mutual agreement any difficulties or doubts arising as to the interpretation or application of the Agreement. They may also consult together for the elimination of double taxation in cases not provided for in the Agreement.

4. The competent authorities of the Contracting Parties may communicate with each other directly, including through a joint commission consisting of themselves or their representatives, for the purpose of reaching an agreement in the sense of the preceding paragraphs.

Article 24
Exchange of Information

1. The competent authorities of the Contracting Parties shall exchange such information as is foreseeably relevant for carrying out the provisions of this Agreement or to the administration or enforcement of the internal laws of the Contracting Parties concerning taxes covered by the Agreement, insofar as the taxation thereunder is not contrary to the Agreement. The exchange of information is not restricted by Article 1.

2. Any information received under paragraph 1 by a Contracting Party shall be treated as secret in the same manner as information obtained under the internal laws of that Party and shall be disclosed only to persons or authorities (including courts and administrative bodies) concerned with the assessment or collection of, the enforcement or prosecution in respect of, or the determination of appeals in relation to the taxes referred to in paragraph 1. Such persons or authorities shall use the information only for such purposes. They may disclose the information in public court proceedings or in judicial decisions. Information shall not be disclosed to any third jurisdiction for any purpose.

3. In no case shall the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 be construed so as to impose on a Contracting Party the obligation:

(a) to carry out administrative measures at variance with the laws and administrative practice of that or of the other Contracting Party;

(b) to supply information which is not obtainable under the laws or in the normal course of the administration of that or of the other Contracting Party;

(c) to supply information which would disclose any trade, business, industrial, commercial or professional secret or trade process, or information, the disclosure of which would be contrary to public policy (ordre public).

4. If information is requested by a Contracting Party in accordance with this Article, the other Contracting Party shall use its information gathering measures to obtain the requested information, even though that other Party may not need such information for its own tax purposes. The obligation contained in the preceding sentence is subject to the limitations of paragraph 3 but in no case shall such limitations be construed to permit a Contracting Party to decline to supply information solely because it has no domestic interest in such information.

5. In no case shall the provisions of paragraph 3 be construed to permit a Contracting Party to decline to supply information solely because the information is held by a bank, other financial institution, nominee or person acting in an agency or a fiduciary capacity or because it relates to ownership interests in a person.

Article 25
Members of Government Missions

Nothing in this Agreement shall affect the fiscal privileges of members of government missions, including consular posts, under the general rules of international law or under the provisions of special agreements.

Article 26
Miscellaneous Provisions

1. Nothing in this Agreement shall prejudice the right of each Contracting Party to apply its internal laws and measures concerning tax avoidance, whether or not described as such.

2. For the purposes of this Article, "laws and measures concerning tax avoidance" includes laws and measures for preventing, discouraging, avoiding or counteracting the effect of any transaction, arrangement or practice which has the purpose or effect of conferring a tax benefit on any person.

Article 27
Entry into Force

1. Each of the Contracting Parties shall notify the other in writing of the completion of the procedures required by its law for the bringing into force of this Agreement. The Agreement shall enter into force on the date of the later of these notifications.

2. The provisions of the Agreement shall thereupon have effect:

(a) in the case of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region:

in respect of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region tax, for any year of assessment beginning on or after the first day of April in the calendar year next following that in which the Agreement enters into force;

(b) in the case of Latvia:

(i) in respect of taxes withheld at source, on income derived on or after the first day of January in the calendar year next following that in which the Agreement enters into force;

(ii) in respect of other taxes on income, for taxes chargeable for any fiscal year beginning on or after the first day of January in the calendar year next following that in which the Agreement enters into force.

Article 28
Termination

This Agreement shall remain in force until terminated by a Contracting Party. Either Contracting Party may terminate the Agreement by giving the other Contracting Party written notice of termination at least six months before the end of any calendar year. In such event, the Agreement shall cease to have effect:

(a) in the case of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region:

in respect of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region tax, for any year of assessment beginning on or after the first day of April in the calendar year next following that in which the notice has been given;

(b) in the case of Latvia:

(i) in respect of taxes withheld at source, on income derived on or after the first day of January in the calendar year next following that in which the notice has been given;

(ii) in respect of other taxes on income, for taxes chargeable for any fiscal year beginning on or after the first day of January in the calendar year next following that in which the notice has been given.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, duly authorised thereto, have signed this Agreement.

DONE in duplicate at Riga this 13th day of April 2016 , in the Latvian, Chinese and English languages, all three texts being equally authentic. In the case of divergence of interpretation the English text shall prevail.

For the Government of the Republic of Latvia

 

For the Government
of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
of the People's Republic of China

Dana Reizniece-Ozola

 

Ceajer Ka-keung Chan

 

PROTOCOL

At the time of signing of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income ("the Agreement"), the two Governments have agreed on the following provisions which shall form an integral part of the Agreement.

1. With reference to Article 5:

It is understood that an enterprise of a Contracting Party shall be deemed to have a permanent establishment in the other Contracting Party in respect of offshore activities in connection with the exploration or extraction from the sea bed and sub-soil of natural resources situated in the other Contracting Party if it carries on such activities in the other Contracting Party, but only where such activities are carried on for a period or periods exceeding in the aggregate 30 days in any twelve month period.

2. With reference to Article 6:

It is understood that all income and gains from the alienation of immovable property referred to in Article 6 and situated in a Contracting Party may be taxed in that Party.

3. With reference to Article 17:

It is understood that a pension or retirement scheme is recognised for tax purposes if it is established and regulated in a Contracting Party and contributions to the scheme qualify for tax relief.

4. With reference to Article 24:

(a) It is understood that the provisions in this Article also apply to the following taxes that are administrated and enforced in Latvia:

(i) the value added tax (pievienotās vērtības nodoklis); and

(ii) the immovable property tax (nekustamā īpašuma nodoklis).

(b) The Article does not require the Contracting Parties to exchange information on an automatic or a spontaneous basis.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, duly authorised thereto, have signed this Protocol.

DONE in duplicate at Riga this 13th day of April 2016, in the Latvian, Chinese and English languages, all three texts being equally authentic. In the case of divergence of interpretation the English text shall prevail.

For the Government of the Republic of Latvia

 

For the Government
of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
of the People's Republic of China

Dana Reizniece-Ozola

 

Ceajer Ka-keung Chan

 
Tiesību akta pase
Statuss:
Spēkā esošs
Spēkā esošs
Valsts:
 Honkonga
 Ķīna
Veids:
 starptautisks dokuments
 divpusējs
Stājas spēkā:
 24.11.2017.
Parakstīts:
 13.04.2016.
Parakstīšanas vieta: 
Rīga
Ratificēja:
 Saeima
Atruna: Nav
Deklarācija: Nav
Publicēts:
 "Latvijas Vēstnesis", 202 (5774), 18.10.2016.
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