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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Government Information Centre)


Procedures and timeframe for application for holdover of 2001/02 provisional salaries tax

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The Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mrs Alice Lau, today (November 22) announced the procedures and timeframe for application for holdover of the 2001/02 provisional salaries tax.

Following the passage of the Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 2001 yesterday, the taxpayers concerned may enjoy benefits from the increase in the deduction ceiling of home loan interest as early as the first quarter of 2002. Mrs Lau thanked the members of the Legislative Council for their expeditious examination of the Bill.

Taxpayers can now apply for complete or partial holdover of their 2001/02 provisional salaries tax on the ground of increase in the maximum amount of home loan interest. Their provisional tax payable early next year will be reduced, by $8,500 at the maximum.

Mrs Lau said that a taxpayer, irrespective of whether he has claimed home loan interest deduction in his 2000/01 tax return, may apply for holdover of provisional salaries tax in accordance with the amended legislation if the estimated total amount of home loan interest paid by him as sole owner or together with all other joint owners from April 1, 2001 to March 31, 2002 exceeds $100,000.

Mrs Lau said: "The application procedure is very simple. A taxpayer only needs to complete Form 6124A and return it to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) 28 days before the due date for provisional salaries tax payment."

"For instance, if the payment due date falls on January 2, 2002, the application for holdover should be submitted on or before December 5, 2001. However, as the law has only been passed recently, taxpayers having due dates in early January 2002 may not be able to submit their applications in time. I will, by virtue of the transitional provisions, extend the time limit for application for those cases with payment due dates falling within the period from January 2 to January 9, 2002 inclusive to December 13, 2001," she added.

To facilitate those taxpayers who may benefit from the amendment to apply for holdover of provisional salaries tax, the IRD has issued letters today to over 100,000 taxpayers who have been allowed the maximum limit of $100,000 of home loan interest deduction in the year of assessment 2000/01.

The letter is to advise them that if the estimated total amount of home loan interest payment for the year of assessment 2001/02 exceeds $100,000, they may apply for holdover of provisional salaries tax before the time limit. The related procedures are stated in the letter and an application form is printed on the reverse side.

For taxpayers who have not received the said letter, if the estimated total amount of home loan interest payment for the year from April 1, 2001 to March 31, 2002 exceeds $100,000, they can obtain the Form 6124A via the Fax-A-Form Service (2598 6001), downloading from the IRD's website or at the department's enquiry counters and return to the department after completion. Taxpayers may visit the IRD's website (http://www.info.gov.hk/ird) for details.

In order to handle a large number of applications more efficiently and to notify taxpayers of the revised amounts payable before the tax payment due dates, the IRD will process the applications received in the sequence of the payment due dates and issue the holdover notices to the taxpayers at least three days before the due dates.

Mrs Lau said: "May I appeal to the taxpayers to submit their applications as early as possible, and use the form printed with information on the tax demand, which should reach them in these two or three days."

"The completed application form should be faxed to the number of the handling section as printed on the form. This would be the most efficient way. In the meantime, taxpayers are requested to wait patiently," she added.

End/Thursday, November 22, 2001

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