and Press Releases : Press
(Source : Government Information Centre)
Tax returns : what's new for 1999-2000
The Board of Inland Revenue recently specified
the tax return forms which will be issued from April 2000. The Secretary
to the Board, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Inland Revenue (Technical),
Mrs Alice Lau, said today (Monday, April 3) that a number of changes
have been incorporated into the returns this year.
"The changes are intended to make it easier
for taxpayers to complete the returns correctly and for the Department
to process them." Mrs Lau said.
For individuals, the information required
to be supplied is substantially the same as before. As to corporations,
there is a new question concerning e-commerce. They are required
to simply state "yes" or "no" as to whether or not they were involved
in Internet trading during the year.
Mrs Lau said, "The Inland Revenue Ordinance
applies equally to Internet and traditional transactions. Answers
to the question will help the Department to become aware of the
extent and nature of Internet trading activities and hence facilitate
planning for future developments."
The profits tax returns also contain a
new part which require financial data to be transcribed from the
accounts of the taxpayers' businesses. Mrs Lau explained, "This
is intended as a preparatory step towards modifying the return forms
for electronic lodgement and to facilitate the collection of statistics
for assessment purposes."
A benefit resulting from the financial
data provided on the returns is that a small business with gross
income not exceeding $500,000 is no longer required to submit accounts
and other supporting documents with its tax return.
"However, as in previous years, the accounts
and the tax computation of a business must be prepared in order
to ascertain its assessable profits before its tax return can be
completed. In the case of a company, accounts must be audited unless
the law of its place of incorporation does not impose such a requirement.
The Department may request the submission of such documents for
examination in relation to its enquiries." Mrs Lau added.
Today, 140,000 profits tax returns, 90,000
property tax returns and 210,000 employer's returns have been issued.
Mrs Lau reminded taxpayers to file their returns on time. As regards
individual tax returns, about 1.9 million copies are scheduled to
be issued on May 2, 2000.
Constituted under section 3 of the Inland
Revenue Ordinance, the Board of Inland Revenue operates independently
of the Inland Revenue Department. Besides return forms for tax and
personal assessment, it is also tasked with prescribing rates of
annual allowance for depreciation on machinery and plant; and procedures
relating to applications for refunds and relief and appeals proccedures.
It has the Financial Secretary as its
Chairman and four other appointed members. They are Mr. Marvin CHEUNG
Kin-tung, Mr. Herbert TSOI Hak-kong, Dr. Michael WU Po-ko and the
Commissioner of Inland Revenue (who is the ex officio member).
End/Monday, April 3, 2000