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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Information Services Department)

Over 2.3 million tax returns for individuals issued

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The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is sending out 2.37 million tax returns for individuals today (May 2). The Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mr Wong Kuen-fai, reminded taxpayers to file their tax returns on time. The deadline this year is June 3 as June 2 is a public holiday. 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 Wong said, "The 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 an unincorporated business, the filing deadline will be extended to September 2."

In the Budget for this year, the Financial Secretary has proposed to increase the dependent parent allowance, dependent grandparent allowance, additional allowance for residing with each of these parents or grandparents continuously throughout the year, and to raise the deduction ceiling for elderly residential care 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 2013-14, subject to a ceiling of $10,000 per case. After enactment of the relevant legislation, IRD will effect the tax measures in this year's tax bills.

Mr Wong said taxpayers should complete this year's tax return as usual and no application was needed for the proposed measures.

"Property owners who are eligible for personal assessment may elect for personal assessment in their tax returns for individuals for the year of assessment 2013/14 to enjoy the tax reduction. The 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 their best advantage," he added.

Taxpayers may visit the 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 3, except on Sundays and public holidays, the IRD will deploy additional staff to answer the telephone enquiries hotline 1878022 from 8.15am to 7pm on weekdays, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Mr Wong also reported on the recent development regarding the exchange of tax information.

"In a meeting held in February 2014, the G20 finance ministers endorsed the common reporting standard for automatic exchange of tax information. The Global Forum has been mandated to monitor and review implementation of the standard. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is expected to deliver a detailed Commentary on the standard, as well as technical solutions to implement the actual information exchanges, during a meeting of G20 finance ministers in September 2014. The Government will continue to engage local stakeholders with a view to developing a sustainable model of exchange of information for Hong Kong," he said.

On revenue collection, Mr Wong said that $243.5 billion had been collected during 2013-14. The breakdown is as follows:

2013-14 revenue collection (provisional figures)
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Tax Type  

2013-14
Provisional
Revenue
($million)

  2012-13
Actual
Figures
($million)
  Change
    -----------   -----------   ------
Profits Tax   120,882   125,638.4   -4%
Salaries Tax   55,620   50,467.0   +10%
Property Tax &
Personal Assessment
  7,004   6,336.4   +10%
    -----------   -----------    
Total Earnings &
Profits Tax
  183,506   182,441.8   +1%
Estate Duty   388   137.6   +182%
Stamp Duty   41,514   42,879.7   -3%
Betting Duty   18,066   16,564.8   +9%
Business Registration Fees   74   122.9   -40%
    -----------   -----------    
Total Revenue Collected   243,548   242,146.8   +1%

 Ends/Friday, May 2, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:06

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