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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : news.gov.hk)

Individual Tax Returns for 2005-06 issued

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The Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mrs Alice Lau, today (May 2) gave details on the completion of Individual Tax Returns for 2005-06 and the development of e-filing. She also gave details of the 2005-06 revenue collection.

A guide for completion is enclosed with the tax returns. Mrs Lau reminded taxpayers to read and follow the guide carefully in completing their tax returns. All individual tax returns should be submitted within one month (by June 2, 2006) or, for sole proprietors of unincorporated businesses, within three months (by August 2, 2006). Mrs Lau also pointed to three areas of concern.

"First, taxpayers can now claim allowances for dependent parents or grandparents aged 55 to 59. Second, the level of child allowance has been raised from $30,000 to $40,000 per child. Third, it was proposed in the 2006-07 Budget that home loan interest may be deducted for 10 years of assessment instead of seven with effect from the year of assessment 2005-06. Taxpayers who wish to continue with home loan interest deduction claims are reminded to complete Part 7 of the return. Their claims will be dealt with upon enactment of this Budget proposal," Mrs Lau explained.

Regarding the proposed reduction of marginal tax rates, Mrs Lau said that upon enactment of the proposal, the 2006-07 provisional tax to be payable from January, 2007, would be automatically computed with the new rates. No application is required.

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) issued 1.84 million individual tax returns today. To answer taxpayers' enquiries, the IRD will deploy extra support to the enquiry hotline and extend its service hours. From today until May 31, enquiries can be made at 187 8022 from 8.30am to 7pm from Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays.

"E-Seminars" are also provided on the IRD website for individual taxpayers. Enquiries can be raised electronically at the "Questions and Answers" column on the website and replies will be made on a regular basis.

On e-filing, enhanced features this year include "Pre-filling of data", "Estimation of salaries tax payable", "Saving of data" and "Viewing and printing".

"To give e-filing a try, you simply need an e-certificate or an e-tax password. E-certificates may have been attached to your smart ID. Or you may choose to apply online or through our hotline 183 2033 for an e-tax password and enjoy the e-filing service," Mrs Lau said.

To encourage e-filing, automatic extension of one month to July 3, 2006, is granted to last year's e-filers. Other e-filers will also be granted a two-week extension to June 16, 2006.

On revenue collection, Mrs Lau said that $145 billion had been collected during 2005-06, an increase of some $17.3 billion over last financial year. Please see the detailed figures below.

2005/06 revenue collection (provisional figures)
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Tax Type 2004/05
($million)
-------------
 
  2005/06
($million)
--------------
  Difference

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Profits Tax 58,640   69,796   +19%
Salaries Tax 33,990   37,494   +10%
Property Tax and Personal Assessment 4,079
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  4,461
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  +9%

 
Total Earnings
and Profits Tax
96,709   111,751   +16%
Estate Duty 1,468   1,676   +14%
Betting Duty 12,057   11,938   -1%
Stamp Duty 15,852   17,866   +13%
Others 1,596   1,789   +12%
  -------------   -------------    
Total Revenue
Collected
127,682   145,020   +14%

Ends/Tuesday, May 2, 2006
Issued at HKT 16:01

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