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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Government Information Centre)

LCQ18: Overseas artists of Hong Kong Harbour Fest are chargeable to Profits Tax

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Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, in the Legislative Council today(January 14):

Question:

The Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap 112) provides that sums received in respect of, or which in any way derive directly or indirectly from, the performance in Hong Kong by a non-resident entertainer are chargeable to Profits Tax, and the tax is chargeable in the name of the payer of the sums (usually the organizer of the performance). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it knows if the organizer of the Hong Kong Harbour Fest had deducted an amount equivalent to the total tax payable when it paid the remuneration to overseas entertainers who performed in the event; if so, of the amount of deduction; if not, how the organizer will secure funds to meet the tax liability?

Reply:

Madam President,

(a)In accordance with Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap 112) section 20B, overseas artists are chargeable to tax in respect of sums received that derive from their performance in Hong Kong. It is also provided under section 20A of the Ordinance that non-resident persons can be chargeable to tax directly or in the name of his agent. We understand that Red Canvas, the Special Purpose Vehicle of American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham) for organising the Harbour Fest, is in the course of settling the tax for overseas artists performing in Harbour Fest with the Inland Revenue Department. For some artists, performance fees have been withheld by Red Canvas for tax payment. Other artists will pay the tax directly to the Inland Revenue Department. Whilst AmCham is in the process of finalising the amount of tax payable with the Inland Revenue Department, the total amount of tax payable by all overseas artists is estimated to be in excess of $9 million.

Ends/Wednesday, January 14, 2004

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