The IRD Homepage remains our effective platform for providing the public with updated information on Hong Kong taxation, including:
- information on tax law, tax returns, tax obligations and other hot topics;
- answers to frequently asked questions;
- IRD software and tax forms;
- interactive programs to calculate salaries tax and tax under personal assessment.
To facilitate users to locate the relevant tax information, there are thematic content pages for individuals, businesses, employers, tax representatives etc.
The revamped IRD Homepage adopting web accessibility design was launched in June 2013 together with a new mobile version. It enables all segments of the community to have a quick and convenient access to tax information.
Electronic Enquiry Service
Instant electronic enquiry services are provided to eTAX users at <www.gov.hk/etax>. They can view their tax position in relation to their returns, assessments and payments, etc.
Enquiry Service Centre
The Department's Enquiry Service Centre handles telephone and counter enquiries. The Centre is equipped with a computer network linked to the Department's Knowledge Database to enable our staff to provide, as far as possible, an immediate “one-stop” service.
Telephone Enquiry Service
The Centre operates an Interactive Telephone Enquiry System (ITES) with 144 telephone lines. Callers can have access on a 24-hour basis to a wide range of tax information by listening to recorded messages. Besides, callers can obtain facsimile copies of information sheets and forms through the system. A “Leave-and-call-back” facility, for recording information requests, and a “Fax-in enquiry” service are also available. The telephones are manned during office hours by staff who would readily serve the callers. The Centre also provides an eTAX help desk hotline to handle enquiries on eTAX services and provide technical support.
The statistics of services provided through ITES during 2013-14 are shown in Figure 32.
|Calls answered by staff||746,414||704,034||-5.7%|
|Calls answered by system||629,248||709,379||+12.7%|
|Documents supplied by fax||3,955||3,540||-10.5%|
Counter Enquiry Service
Generally, the counter staff of the Centre is able to handle enquiries, collect mail items and issue forms all by themselves without the need of referring callers to other sections in the Department for attention. The number of counter enquiries handled during 2013-14 was about 0.53 million (Figure 33).
Information leaflets on topics of general interest are available for collection at the two form stands located on the ground floor and first floor of Revenue Tower. The public may also obtain general tax information and download forms from the Department's website<www.ird.gov.hk> and GovHK's website<www.gov.hk>.
Tax-help Services for Completion of Tax Returns
On the IRD Homepage, e-Seminars are provided for employers, property owners and individual taxpayers. Information on how to complete tax returns, fulfil tax obligations and overcome difficulties in compliance is uploaded to the website. After reading the information, taxpayers can raise enquiries electronically at the “Q&A Column”. The Department will reply the questions on a regular basis.
The Department issued 2.32 million Individuals Tax Returns for the year of assessment 2012-13 on 2 May 2013. To meet taxpayers' demand for telephone enquiry service during the peak season for tax filing, the Department extended the service hours for answering telephone enquiries from that date for one month, up to 7 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
Complaints and Compliments
If taxpayers are dissatisfied with the services provided by the Department or their problems cannot be solved satisfactorily through normal channels, the Complaints Officer may be approached for assistance. The complaint channel provides taxpayers with the means of having individual grievances dealt with independently at a senior level. This ensures that such cases are properly handled in a fair and impartial manner. During 2013-14, 317 complaints cases were received (Figure 34). This represents an increase of 10%, as compared with the previous year.
If taxpayers are dissatisfied with any administrative action taken by the Department, they may refer the matter to the Ombudsman. During 2013-14, the Ombudsman sought written comments from the Department in respect of 18 cases. In the light of these cases, the Department has reviewed relevant operations with a view to improving them.
Taxpayers may compliment the service of the Department. During the year, 115 Letters of Compliments were received.