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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Government Information Centre)

LCQ9: Levy of estate duty

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Following is a question by the Hon Henry Wu and a written reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Miss Denise Yue, in the Legislative Council today (July 4):

Question:

Regarding the levy of estate duty, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of estate duty cases and the total amount collected in each of the past three years, broken down by bands of $2.5 million each;

(b) of the expenditure on levying estate duty, and its ratio to the total amount of estate duty collected, in each of the past three years; and

(c) whether it will review the cost-effectiveness of levying estate duty; it if will, of the timetable for the review; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

President,

(a) The Inland Revenue Department handled a total of 13,949, 14,157 and 13,880 estate duty cases in 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01 respectively.

The number of cases assessed to be liable to estate duty and the total amount collected in each of the past three years, broken down by bands of $2.5 million each are set out below:

  1998/1999 1999/2000 2000/2001
Duty Assessed Number of Dutiable Cases
$1 - $2,500,000 211 221 215
$2,500,001 - $5,000,000 68 73 58
$5,000,001 - $7,500,000 19 19 13
$7,500,001 - $10,000,000 6 15 8
$10,000,001 and above 22 26 24
Total Number of Dutiable Cases 326 354 318
Total Amount of Estate Duty Collected ($million) 1,237 1,272 1,503

We have no statistics on the amount of Estate Duty collected within each band, since the estate duty due from the cases assessed in each year are not necessarily settled and collected within the same year.

(b) The total expenditure incurred by the Inland Revenue Department in collecting and administering estate duty and its ratio to the total amount of estate duty collected in each of the past three years are as follows:

  1998/1999 1999/2000 2000/2001
  ($million) ($million) ($million)
Estate Duty Collection $1,236.7 $1,271.6 $1,502.6
Cost of Collection $16.7 $17.3 $17.2
Ratio of Cost to Collection 1.4% 1.4% 1.1%

(c) As shown in (b) above, the cost of collecting estate duty amounts to a very small percentage (around 1%) of the total amount of duty collected each year. We do not see any imminent need to review the cost-effectiveness of levying estate duty.

End/Wednesday, July 4, 2001

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