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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : news.gov.hk)

Inland Revenue Department commemorates 60th anniversary (with photo)

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The Inland Revenue Department will hold a series of activities, including an exhibition and three public seminars, from today (October 23) to October 25 (Saturday) at the Hong Kong Central Library to commemorate the department's 60th anniversary.

With the theme "Hong Kong Taxation: A Diamond Journey", the exhibition aims to review the development of Hong Kong's tax system, the evolution of the different tax types, the growth of the department and the rights and obligations of taxpayers.

The three-day exhibition was officially opened by the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, and the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor K C Chan, at Exhibition Gallery 4 and 5 of the Hong Kong Central Library in Causeway Bay earlier this (October 23) morning.

It will be opened to the public from 2pm to 7.30pm this (October 23) afternoon, from 9.30am to 7.30pm tomorrow (October 24) and from 9.30am to 4.30pm on October 25 (Saturday). Admission is free.

Among some of the memorabilia on display at the exhibition is an enlarged abacus, a mathematical calculator bearing witness to the department's 60 years of history. Until the full computerisation of the department in the 1980s, every assessor was given an abacus upon joining the department to assist in calculating the tax.

Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to have hands-on experience of eTAX, the latest technology in the department's electronic services, offering account holders a wide range of personalised online services including return filing, receipt of notices of assessment, tax payment, update of personal particulars and checking of tax position, anytime, anywhere.

Three public seminars on different taxation topics will also be held at the Lecture Theatre of the Hong Kong Central Library. Topics of the seminars are:

* A Brief History of Hong Kong's Inland Revenue Ordinance;
* The Hong Kong Tax System;
* A New Era of Taxpayer Services.

The first two sessions will be held from 2pm to 3.15pm and from 4pm to 5.15pm this (October 23) afternoon, while the final session will be held from 10am to 11.15am tomorrow (October 24).

All the seminars will be conducted in Cantonese with free admission by ticket. Enrolment is on a first come, first served basis. For prior registration, please email seminar@ird.gov.hk. A small number of tickets are also available for distribution on site at the Lecture Theatre. Further details of the exhibition and the seminars are available on the department's website: www.ird.gov.hk

The Inland Revenue Department was established on April 1, 1947, at Windsor House, near to today's Landmark in Central. With less than 100 staff, the department administered a simple range of taxes on earnings and profits. Total revenue collected was only $14 million in the first year.

Today, the department has evolved into an excellent tax administration that plays an important part in promoting Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. The number of staff has increased to 2,800, administering profits tax, salaries tax, property tax, stamp duty, estate duty, betting duty, business registration fees and hotel accommodation tax. Total revenue collection for 2007-08 was $200.7 billion.

Ends/Thursday, October 23, 2008
Issued at HKT 12:26

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The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, officiates at the opening ceremony of the Inland Revenue Department's 60th anniversary exhibition today (October 23). With him are the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor K C Chan and the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mrs Alice Lau.