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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Government Information Centre)

Individual Tax Returns for 2001/02 issued

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The Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mrs Lau Mak Yee-ming, Alice, today (May 2) introduced the Individual Tax Return for 2001/02, and announced the Inland Revenue Department (IRD)'s work plan for 2002/03 as well as the tax revenue collected in 2001/02.

This year's return is largely the same as that of last year. Information relating to the completion of the Return as well as common errors and common enquiries on completion of the Return is now available on the IRD homepage (www.info.gov.hk/ird).

"One of the common errors is the failure to report all sources of income. For example, some taxpayers changed jobs in the middle of the year but did not fill in the income earned in previous employments," Mrs Lau said. She reminded taxpayers to study carefully the "Guide to completion of tax return" enclosed with the return. Late or incorrect returns will be liable to penalty.

The IRD issued 1.83 million Individual Tax Returns today. From now till May 31, telephone enquiry services will be extended. Members of the public can call 187 8022 (8:15 am to 7 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 5 pm on Saturdays) or 187 8222 ( 5 pm to 7 pm on weekdays and noon to 5 pm on Saturdays).

A counter enquiry service will also be provided at the Enquiry Service Centre (Revenue Tower, Wan Chai) and the two sub-offices (Mongkok and Tsuen Wan), from 1 pm to 5pm on May 25 and 26 (Saturday and Sunday).

On the work plan, Mrs Lau said that IRD would delete 56 posts this year under the Enhanced Productivity Programme. Nonetheless, through the gainful use of information technology and business re-engineering, IRD is confident that more and better services can be provided whereas the efficiency and effectiveness of tax collection can be enhanced.

"With advanced information technology, IRD is able to provide quality electronic services to the public. The recent launch of TeleTax facilities provides an instant reply to tax enquiry. IRD will vigorously promote electronic filing for an increasing use of this mode of filing. It is convenient, fast and accurate," Mrs Lau added.

To ensure that every taxpayer will pay the correct amount of tax, IRD will adopt a two-pronged approach. On the one hand, it will strengthen tax audit in tackling tax evasion and avoidance. On the other, IRD will promote taxpayer education on the importance of filing correct returns.

"We have implemented a 3-tier audit system, the 'Audit Trilogy'. Computer programmes are used to select cases for assessing officers to conduct 'Desk Audit', field auditors to conduct 'Field Audit' and investigators to carry out 'In-depth Investigation'," Mrs Lau said.

She said that the tax revenue collected for 2001/02 totalled $101.3 billion. This provisional figure represented an increase of $0.9 billion, as compared with the previous year (Details attached).

"The increase is mainly attributable to the growth in 2000/01 salaries income and company profits. Both contributed to the increase in Earnings and Profits Tax collections," she added.

Annex

Revenue collected for 2001/02 (Provisional figures)

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Type of Tax 2000/01 2001/02 Change
       
  ($m) ($m)  
       
Profits Tax 42,969 44,376 +3%
       
Salaries Tax 26,303 28,637 +9%
       
Property Tax andPersonal Assessment 4,598 4,739 +3%
       
  ---------- ----------  
       
Total Earnings and Profits Tax 73,870 77,752 +5%
       
Estate Duty 1,503 1,928 +28%
       
Betting Duty 12,630 11,571 -8%
       
Stamp Duty 10,911 8,637 -21%
       
Others 1,523 1,444 -5%
       
  ---------- ----------  
       
Total Revenue: 100,437 101,332 +1%
       

End/Thursday, May 2, 2002

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