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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : news.gov.hk)

Individual tax returns for 2006-07 issued

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The Inland Revenue Department today (May 2) issued 1.86 million individual tax returns.

The Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mrs Alice Lau, today spoke about Individual Tax Returns for 2006-07 and Internet filing and gave details of the 2006-07 revenue collection.

A guide for completion was enclosed with each tax return, which Mrs Lau asked taxpayers to read and follow carefully. A one-month period is allowed for filing individual tax returns. The deadline falls on June 2. For sole proprietor of un-incorporated businesses, a three-month period is allowed and the filing deadline is August 2.

In this year's Budget, the Financial Secretary proposed to waive 50% of salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for 2006-07, subject to a ceiling of $15,000 per case.

"Salary earners should complete this year's tax return as usual. No application is needed for the waiver. Individuals with rental or business income will need to elect for personal assessment, if eligible, to enjoy the waiver. They can make the election in this year's tax return. The department will check, in each case, whether the election will reduce the taxpayer's liability, and will make the assessment in the way to his or her advantage," Mrs Lau said.

She also drew taxpayers' attention to the three proposed items of tax concessions for individuals, starting from 2007-08 in the Budget. First, the child allowance will be increased from $40,000 to $50,000 for each child. For a newborn child, an additional one-off allowance of $50,000 in the year of birth is also introduced. That adds up to a total of $100,000 child allowance in the year the child is born. If a taxpayer has a new baby born in 2007-08, in case the baby was born before he submits this year's tax return, he can put down the relevant details in the return so that IRD can take into account in assessing his provisional tax payable. If the baby is born after the tax return is submitted, he can apply to have his provisional tax held over after receipt of the tax bill.

Second, the deduction ceiling for self-education expenses will be increased from $40,000 to $60,000. In this year's tax return, taxpayers are advised to put down the actual amount of such expenses for 2006-07 as the 2007-08 provisional tax will be calculated by reference to that amount. Third, the marginal tax bands and tax rates under salaries tax will be reverted to their 2002-03 levels. If the proposals are endorsed by the Legislative Council, the department will work out this year's tax bills effecting the above tax concessions.

If taxpayers have a problem when completing their tax returns, they may visit the department website for more information through the department's e-Seminars. They may also seek help in the Q&A corner or call the enquiry hotline 187 8022. The service hours of this telephone enquiry service will be extended from today to June 2, from 8.15am to 7pm on weekdays, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Mrs Lau said that this year, the department had further enhanced its Internet Filing. The main features include pre-filled data, interactive instructions and instant tax computation. The system has also been updated with the tax concessions proposed in the 2007-08 Budget. Through Internet Filing, taxpayers will instantly get the amount of tax payable in the coming bill after the tax concessions.

"Hong Kong people are leading hectic lives. Some are also travelling a lot. Therefore I would recommend they file their tax returns through the Internet, which can be done anywhere around the clock," she said. To encourage online filing of this year's individual tax returns, the department is granting an automatic extension of one month to July 3 for last year's e-Filers, and a two-week extension to June 16 for new e-Filers.

Mrs Lau said that $155.1 billion had been collected during 2006-07, an increase of some $10.1 billion over last financial year. Please see the detailed figures on the following table.

2006/07 revenue collection (provisional figures)
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Tax Type   2005/06
($million)
  2006/07
($million)
  Difference
    ------------   ------------   --------------
Profits Tax   69,796   71,919   +3%
Salaries Tax   37,494   38,587   +3%
Property Tax &   4,461   4,812   +8%

Personal Assessment

       
    ------------   ------------   ------------
Total Earnings & Profits Tax
 
111,751   115,318   +3%
             
Estate Duty   1,676   778   -54%
Betting Duty   11,938   12,047   +1%
Stamp duty   17,867   25,077   +40%
Others   1,789   1,882   +5%
    ------------   ------------   ------------
Total Revenue Collected   145,021   155,102   +7%

Ends/Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Issued at HKT 14:48

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