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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Government Information Centre)
 

Tax returns: what's new for 2000-2001

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The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) will issue from today (April 2) about 145,000 profits tax returns, 98,000 property tax returns and 243,000 employer's returns for the year 2000-01. For individuals, about 1.8 million tax returns will be issued on May 2. The return forms have been approved by the Board of Inland Revenue.

The Secretary to the Board, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Inland Revenue (Technical), Mr Tam Kuen-chong, said that a number of changes have been incorporated into the forms this year.

"The changes are mainly to reflect comments and suggestions made by participants in a survey conducted by the Department, and others which were received during the course of the year," Mr Tam said.

Regarding the profits tax return, Mr Tam said, "The question concerning e-commerce has been slightly expanded to require a business to provide further details of its Internet operations, such as the website to accept orders, the name of the company hosting the website, and that of the company providing payment gateway etc."

Small corporations with gross income not exceeding $500,000 are now required to provide brief details of the Auditor's Report. Mr Tam explained: "This is to help ensure that such corporations have their accounts audited, although they are not required to submit accounts with their tax returns. The department may, at a later date, request the submission of such accounts for examination in relation to its enquiries."

The tax returns also contain new items which allow a deduction to be claimed for contributions made to the Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme by an employee or a self-employed person. Mr Tam said, "This deduction applies in respect of contributions made on or after December 1, 2000, the date of implementation of the scheme."

Common questions and answers on how to complete the profits tax returns can be found in IRD's homepage (http://www.info.gov.hk/ird).

Mr Tam went on to say that since December 9, 2000, the date of implementation of the Government's Electronic Service Delivery System, individual taxpayers have been able to use the system to file their property tax returns and individual tax returns electronically. Mr Tam said, "The electronic returns, as seen on the screen, differ in some respects from the conventional paper returns. The differences mainly reflect the mode adopted for data input under the electronic filing system. The electronic returns were also approved by the Board. Details can be obtained from (http://www.esd.gov.hk)."

The Board of Inland Revenue was constituted under section 3 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance and operated independently of the IRD. Besides specifying 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 procedures.

It comprises 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 2, 2001

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