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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : news.gov.hk)

IRD issues tax returns for 2009-10 (with photo)

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The Inland Revenue Department today (April 1) issued about 160,000 profits tax returns, 110,000 property tax returns and 270,000 employer's returns for the year of assessment 2009-10.

About 2.04 million tax returns for individuals will be issued on May 3.

In this year's Budget, the Financial Secretary proposed a one-off reduction of 75% of salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for 2009-10, subject to a ceiling of $6,000. Upon enactment of the relevant legislation, the department will effect the tax reduction in this year's tax bills.

"Individuals with business profits or rental income, if eligible, can enjoy the reduction by electing personal assessment. They can make the election when completing their 2009-10 tax returns. The department will check in each case whether the election will reduce the amount of tax payable, and assess each taxpayer in the way most advantageous to him," a spokesman for the department said.

Over the years, the department has strived to enhance its e-filing service by adding more user-friendly features to make return-filing an easy job for taxpayers. This year, the department has extended its eTAX Internet filing service to enable small corporations and partnerships to file profits tax returns online.

The spokesman said: "After study, the department decided to raise the turnover limit from $500,000 to $2,000,000 for 'Small Businesses', which are not required to attach supporting documents with their profits tax returns. The relaxation of the turnover limit will enable more businesses to use the new e-filing service.

"Precedent partners of partnerships, directors, secretaries or managers of corporations holding eTAX Accounts can now file profits tax returns for their businesses electronically through their eTAX Account."

The e-filing process involves two steps, namely, completion and submission of the return. Tax representatives can complete the profits tax returns for their clients online first, then send them to their clients for checking. The filers, who can be the precedent partners of partnerships or the directors, secretaries or managers of corporations, can then sign and submit the completed returns through their eTAX Account, using their eTAX Password or personal digital certificate as in filing individual tax returns. The department will issue an instant acknowledgement after submission. To promote the use of the new service, businesses filing tax returns online can enjoy a further extension of two weeks for filing their returns. The public can visit (www.gov.hk/etax) to find out more about the details of the new service and to view the online demo on filing of returns.

As in the past, taxpayers can file property tax returns for their jointly owned properties through their eTAX Account.

The department encourages taxpayers to use the convenient and easy-to-use services under eTAX.

"The opening of an eTAX Account is simple. Any taxpayer can log into eTAX at (www.gov.hk/etax) with his Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and the eTAX Password registered with the department or his digital certificate issued by a recognised certification authority," the spokeman said.

If a taxpayer does not have a password or has forgotten it, he can apply for a new one under eTAX. Taxpayers can choose their own TIN and eTAX Password when they open their eTAX Account.

Taxpayers can visit the department's website (www.ird.gov.hk) for common questions and answers on how to complete tax returns. Taxpayers are reminded to file their correct tax returns on time.

Ends/Thursday, April 1, 2010
Issued at HKT 12:01

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The Inland Revenue Department has enhanced its eTAX Internet filing service to enable small corporations and partnerships to file profits tax returns online.