Edwin Bin is the Founder and Managing Director of Manage Your Tax. He is specialised in Hong Kong and China tax, M&A, transfer pricing, tax risk management, and project implementation. Edwin earned these skill sets from his education, professional life as a tax consultant, and practical in-house tax experience.
Edwin was born in Hong Kong and studied in the UK in the mid-1980s. He graduated in the University of Southampton, UK, and was awarded the BSc degree with First Class Honours in Business Economics and Accounting, and won the 1992/93 Arthur Andersen Tax Prize for best exam performance in Tax Policy.
Trained to be a Professional
Edwin joined the China Tax and Business Advisory Division in Ernst & Young Hong Kong in November 1993, at the time when China abolished the Foreign Exchange Certificates and introduced the 1994 Tax Reform, where the new Foreign Enterprise Income Tax, Land Appreciation Tax, and turnover taxes were introduced. In EY, Edwin assisted MNCs in setting up operations in China, including the very first Chinese Holding Company, as well as China tax advisory, and corporate and individual tax compliance.
To widen his exposures, Edwin joined Arthur Andersen Hong Kong in October 1995. At AA, he handled China and Hong Kong tax and business advisory as well as US individual tax compliance for clients. The AA motos of EXCEED, which stood for “EXceed Client Expectation EveryDay”, and “Think Straight Talk Straight” have been deeply seeded in Edwin’s heart, and have become his own motos guiding his daily work.
When the global Andersen group ceased business in 2002, AA Hong Kong merged with PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Edwin joined PwC and had his focus back on China tax. Subsequently, Edwin was seconded to the Guangzhou and Shenzhen offices in China where he further strengthened his China tax technical knowledge and learned invaluable hands-on experience.
Life in the Commercial World
There was not enough fun to be an external tax advisor. As an external advisor, you don’t get to know if your client would implement your advice properly. You care most about whether the clients agree to your fee proposal and they settle the invoice in time. Edwin cares more about making profound changes to companies’ P&Ls and Balance Sheets. Just like an architect who wants to ensure the structure is built efficiently with the highest quality, functions as designed, maintained properly, last for a long time, and changes people’s lives. With this belief in mind, Edwin left PwC and joined United Parcel Service in April 2005.
United Parcel Service
It proved to be fun. Edwin still remember that on the first day at work, he had to put on the famous brown uniform and spent the morning delivering packages with a colleague, and in the afternoon sat in the freight truck for the Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International Airport to see how the packages got organised and packed into the UPS cargo plane. That was the standard training for managers to understand the hard work of every brown guy that laid the foundation to grow the company, which was reaching her centennial.
Was Edwin able to make any profound changes at UPS, which was a Fortune 500 company with 2015 revenue exceeding US$42.5bn? Yes, he did. Edwin took advantage of the restructuring in Asia for the Supply Chain Solutions business at that time and proactively adopted a tax position which was quickly confirmed by the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department. That removed the uncertain tax position for US accounting purposes and materially reduced the income tax reported by UPS on her consolidated financial statements.
Constantly looking for challenges, Edwin seized the opportunity to join Hutchison Ports in 2008, overseeing all tax matters of her global operations, including the listing of the South China container terminals in Singapore in the form of a Business Trust and various M&A structuring. When attending a Latin America tax conference in Mexico, Edwin learned about the intragroup financing company called Sociedad Financiera de Objeto Múltiple (SOFOM) which he considered to be beneficial to the Mexican operation. He led the project to set up SOFOM for Hutchison Ports, which proved to be valuable to the group.
CK Hutchison Holdings
In 2013, Edwin was appointed the Deputy Head of Group Taxation at the then Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL), which became CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (CKHH) in June 2015. In this new role, Edwin’s scope of responsibility expanded to tax matters relating to all Hutchison businesses including retail, telecom, properties, ports, infrastructure, Chinese medicine R&D, and water. He was heavily involved in handling the structuring, execution and tax reporting related to the merger of HWL and Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited to form CKHH and Cheung Kong Property Holdings Limited (nka CK Asset Holdings Limited) in 2015.
At the same time, the global tax environment was under rapid changes triggered by the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project spearheaded by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Among other BEPS-related initiatives, Edwin was in-charge of responding to the Country-by-Country Report (CbCR) filing requirement due on 31 December 2017 around the world. Started in Autumn 2015, Edwin and his team determined the approach, prepared the detailed internal guidance, created the IT system to generate the report, carried out training to the global participants in the project, conducted Dry Run, rolled out the project, monitor the global implementation status, and developed the XML submit format. Before Edwin left CKHH in November 2017, the CbCR report for the year 2016 could be generated at the press of a button.
Some other Nice-to-Know
Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), Associate
Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA), Fellow
The Taxation Institute of Hong Kong (TIHK), Fellow and Certified Tax Advisor
Activities in the Tax Profession
Edwin is a Council Member (2018/19) of the TIHK, a member of the Tax Policy Committee, China Tax Committee and International Tax Committee of TIHK and a member of the Tax-Subcommittee of ACCA. He actively participates in:
– Submitting tax policy suggestions to the Hong Kong and Mainland Governments
– Regular visits to the Mainland tax offices including the State Administration of Taxation, and municipal tax offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan to exchange views on tax policy, tax administration and current issues
– Speaking in seminars and tax interest groups