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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : news.gov.hk)

Over two million individual tax returns issued

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The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is sending out 2.05 million individual tax returns today (May 3), the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mr Chu Yam-yuen, said. He reminded taxpayers to file their tax returns on time by June 3. The IRD will grant an automatic extension of one month to e-filers to encourage online filing of tax returns.

Speaking at a press conference today, Mr Chu said: "As July 3 is a Sunday, eTAX users filing their tax returns online can have the deadline extended to July 4."

"For a sole proprietor carrying on a business, the filing deadline is three months, i.e. August 3, which will be extended to September 3 for eTAX filers," he added.

The Financial Secretary has in this year's Budget proposed some tax relief measures. These include increasing child allowance, dependent parent and grandparent allowance, and the deduction ceiling for elderly residential care expenses. He also proposed a tax reduction of 75% of salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for the year 2010-11, subject to a ceiling of $6,000 per case.

Mr Chu said that salary earners should complete this year's tax return as usual and no application was needed for the new measures.

The Government has started the law amendment process. After enactment of the relevant legislation, the IRD will effect the relief measures in this year's tax bills.

"Individuals with rental or business income, if eligible, may elect personal assessment in their 2010-11 tax returns to enjoy the tax reduction. The IRD will check, in each case, whether the election will reduce the amount of tax payable, and assess each taxpayer in a way to his best advantage," he added.

Taxpayers having a problem when completing their tax returns may visit the IRD website (www.ird.gov.hk) for the e-Seminars. They may also raise questions in the Q&A corner, or call the IRD telephone hotline 187 8022. The hotline's operator service hours will be extended from May 3 to June 3, from 8.15am to 7pm on weekdays and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. There is no operator service on Sundays and public holidays.

Mr Chu also outlined Hong Kong's substantial progress in international tax treaties in the past year.

"We have now signed comprehensive double taxation agreements with 20 countries or regions. This will be a great help to Hong Kong's economic development," he said.

"In determining the negotiation partners and the timetable, we will give priority to our major trading partners and those with potential for economic development. We will also readily consider suggestions from the industry.

"Once a tax treaty is signed, Hong Kong will seek to complete the legislative procedures as quickly as possible, while time would be allowed for our treaty partner to do the same in its home country," he added.

To update the public with the latest position, the IRD has redesigned its web corner on double taxation relief to show more information, including the progress of ratification. The new web corner was put into use this afternoon.

On revenue collection, Mr Chu said that $209 billion had been collected during 2010-11, an all-time high. Following are the detailed figures:

2010-11 revenue collection (provisional figures)
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2010-11 revenue collection (provisional figures)
Tax Type   2010-11
Provisional
Revenue
($million)
 
  2009-10
Actual
Figures
($million)
 
  Change
    -----------   -----------   -----------
Profits Tax   93,186   76,605.4   +22%
Salaries Tax   44,260   41,245.4   +7%
Property Tax & Personal Assessment
 
  5,569   5,333.4   +4%
    -----------   -------------    
Total Earnings & Profits Tax   143,015   123,184.2   +16%
             
Estate Duty   213   185.1   +15%
Betting Duty   14,759   12,767.1   +16%
Stamp duty   51,007   42,382.6   +20%
Business Registration Fee   36   578.7   -94%
    -----------   -------------    
Total Revenue Collected   209,030   179,097.7   +17%

Ends/Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Issued at HKT 17:48

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