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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Government Information Centre)
 

Tax Return - Individual 2000/01

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The Acting Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mrs Lau Mak Yee-ming, Alice, today (May 1) introduced the Individual Tax Return for 2000/01 and the key customer service initiatives to assist taxpayers in completing tax returns. Over 1.8 million Individual Tax Returns will be issued tomorrow.

"The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) aims at providing quality and user-friendly service to the public. This year, to assist taxpayers in completing tax returns, we aim for "EEC", to wit, the tax information is "Easy to Understand"; the tax return is "Easy to Complete"; and the IRD is "Communicating with Taxpayers" - the public to be provided with easy access to tax information." Mrs Lau said.

In order to make the return form easier to comprehend and complete correctly for taxpayers, the IRD conducted a customer survey to obtain comments and suggestions from the participants (including those who had complained that the returns were difficult to complete) in August last year. The Official Language Agency has also been consulted on the Chinese version of the return form. After considering the comments, the IRD rewrote the Guide to the completion of the return. One of the initiatives is the inclusion of illustrations and examples to show how particular parts of the return should be completed. The format, sequence, instructions and guidance notes of the return form are also improved to make it easy to complete.

"Generally, if a taxpayer follows the step-by-step instructions in section 2 of the Guide, he could complete the return form easily without the need to make further enquiry." said Mrs Lau.

On "Communicating with Taxpayers", the IRD took steps to enhance its enquiry service and adopted new means to disseminate information to the public. Firstly, a media workshop was conducted to provide the media with a preview of the tax return and the various tax help services. It is hoped that the media can help to get the message across. Secondly, a series on "Easy Return Filing" will be broadcast in Radio Television Hong Kong to draw taxpayers' attention to important points related to return completion and filing, in a lively and interesting format. Thirdly, electronic filing of tax return will be vigorously promoted .

"Electronic filing of tax return is convenient, fast and accurate. It enhances the efficiency in lodging tax return, saves postal time and money, and provides instant transmission of data and acknowledgement of receipt." Mrs Lau added.

Meanwhile, Mrs Lau said that from tomorrow till May 31, IRD staff will be on duty to answer telephone enquiries until 7 pm, Monday to Friday and to 5 pm on Saturday. A tax return enquiry helpline 187 8222 will be put to service in addition to the existing hotline 187 8022. Extended counter enquiry service will be held on May 26 and 27, from 1 pm to 5pm, at the Enquiry Service Centre (Revenue Tower, Wan Chai) and the two sub-offices (Mongkok and Tsuen Wan).

"For public's access in the Internet, specimen of the Return Form, Demonstration on How to Complete the Individual Tax Returns and Common Enquiries and Answers on Completion of Individual Tax Returns are now put on the IRD homepage (http://www.info.gov.hk/ird)," Mrs Lau added. She also reminded taxpayers to submit their tax returns on time, that is on or before June 1.

End/Tuesday, May 1, 2001

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