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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Government Information Centre)


Financial Secretary visits IRD

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The Financial Secretary, Mr Antony Leung, today (October 30) visited the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) to update himself on its work and in particular on the progress of its preparation for alleviating the tax burden of eligible mortgagees.

This was Mr Leung's first visit to IRD in his capacity as Financial Secretary since he took up the post in May.

During the visit, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mrs Alice Lau, and the directorate officers presented to Mr Leung an outline of the latest developments in IRD, as well as the operation of the IRD's individual units.

Mr Leung was pleased to note that IRD is making all the necessary preparations for implementing the Chief Executive's initiative to relieve the financial burden of home owners by increasing the home loan interest deduction to $150,000. Noting that this initiative requires legislative amendment and that the relevant Amendment Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council this Wednesday, Mr Leung praised IRD colleagues for their forward-looking approach and wholehearted dedication to bringing about early relief to qualified taxpayers.

"With the support of our Legislative Council Members and the timely passage of the Amendment Bill, qualified taxpayers would be able to enjoy a reduction in their first instalment of provisional tax payable in early 2002," Mr Leung said.

End/Tuesday, October 30, 2001

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