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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Information Services Department)

Over 2 million tax returns for individuals issued

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     The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is sending out 2.32 million tax returns for individuals today (May 2). The Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mr Chu Yam-yuen, reminded taxpayers to file their tax returns on time. The deadline this year is June 3 as June 2 is a Sunday. For sole proprietors of unincorporated businesses, a three-month period is allowed, i.e. the filing deadline is August 2.

     Speaking at a press conference today, Mr Chu said, "IRD will grant an automatic extension of one month to e-filers. eTax users filing their tax returns online can have the deadline extended to July 3. For a sole proprietor of unincorporated business, the filing deadline will be extended to September 2."

     In this year's Budget, the Financial Secretary has proposed to increase both the child allowance and the additional child allowance in the year of birth, and to raise the deduction ceiling for self-education expenses. He has also proposed a 75 per cent reduction of the profits tax, salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for the year of assessment 2012-13, subject to a ceiling of $10,000 per case.

     Taxpayers should complete this year's tax return as usual and no application is needed for the proposed measures. The Government has started the law amendment process. After enactment of the relevant legislation, IRD will effect the tax measures in this year's tax bills.

     "The tax reduction for 2012-13 is not applicable to property tax payers. Property owners who are eligible for personal assessment may elect for personal assessment in their tax returns for individuals to enjoy the tax reduction. IRD will check, in each case, whether the election, taking into account the tax reduction, will reduce the amount of tax payable, and assess each taxpayer in a way to his best advantage," he added.

     Taxpayers may visit IRD's website (www.ird.gov.hk) to read the materials of e-Seminars if they have questions in completing their tax returns. They may also raise their questions in the Q&A corner. From today to June 1, except on Sundays and public holidays, IRD will deploy additional staff to answer the telephone enquiries hotline 187 8022 from 8.15am to 7pm on weekdays, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Mr Chu also reported the latest developments in the work of international tax treaties in Hong Kong.

     "Since April last year, Hong Kong has entered into five more Comprehensive Double Taxation Agreements (CDTAs), taking the total number of CDTAs signed to 28," he said.

     "According to the latest international standard, a jurisdiction should be able to enter into two types of information exchange instruments. The first one is the CDTAs which Hong Kong has been promoting. The second type is the Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs). It is thus time critical for Hong Kong to have in place a legal framework for TIEAs so as to comply with the international standard, thus preserving Hong Kong's international reputation, and avoiding Hong Kong being regarded as an unco-operative tax jurisdiction. Towards this end, the Government introduced the Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 2013 into the Legislative Council last week."

     On revenue collection, Mr Chu said that $242.2 billion had been collected during 2012-13, an increase of some $3.8 billion over the previous year. The breakdown is as follows:

2012-13 revenue collection (provisional figures)
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Tax Type  
2012-13
Provisional
Revenue
($million)
 
2011-12
Actual
Figures
($million)
 
Change
   
-----------
 
-----------
 
------
Profits Tax  
125,639
 
118,599.9
 
+6%
Salaries Tax  
50,472
 
51,761.3
 
-2%
Property Tax & 
Personal Assessment
 
6,336
 
6,460.6
 
-2%
   
-----------
 
-----------
 
 
Total Earnings & Profits Tax  
182,447
 
176,821.8
 
+3%
   
 
 
 
 
 
Estate Duty  
137
 
94.2
 
+45%
Stamp Duty  
42,880
 
44,355.9
 
-3%
Betting Duty  
16,565
 
15,760.6
 
+5%
Business Registration Fees  
123
 
1,292.9
 
-90%
   
-----------
 
-----------
 
 
Total Revenue Collected  
242,152
 
238,325.4
 
+2%

Ends/Thursday, May 2, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:34

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