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PRESS RELEASE

(Source : Information Services Department)

Over 2.4 million tax returns for individuals issued

***************************************************

     The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is sending out 2.48 million tax returns for individuals today (May 4).  The Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mr Wong Kuen-fai, reminded taxpayers to file their tax returns on time by June 4. For sole proprietors of unincorporated businesses, a three-month period is allowed and the filing deadline is August 4.  

    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 4. For a sole proprietor of unincorporated business, the filing deadline will be extended to September 4."

    In the Budget for this year, the Financial Secretary has proposed to increase the child allowance and the additional child allowance in the year of birth. He has also proposed a 75 per cent reduction of profits tax, salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for the year of assessment 2014/15, subject to a ceiling of $20,000 per case. The Government has started the law amendment process. After enactment of the relevant legislation, the 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.  

    "Individuals with rental income, if eligible, may elect personal assessment in their tax returns 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 his best advantage," he added.

    Taxpayers may visit the IRD's website (www.ird.gov.hk) to read the material under e-Seminars if they have questions on completing their tax returns.  They may also raise their questions in the Q&A corner.  From today to June 4, except on Sundays and public holidays, the IRD will deploy additional staff to answer the telephone enquiries hotline 1878022 and extend the service hours up to 7pm on weekdays, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.  

    Mr Wong also reported on the latest international development on the exchange of information.

    "In mid-September 2014, Hong Kong indicated to the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes its support for implementing the new global standard on automatic exchange of information on a reciprocal basis with a view to commencing the first information exchange by the end of 2018, on the condition that Hong Kong will put in place necessary domestic legislation by 2017. In order to allow time for  financial institutions in Hong Kong to collect information for reporting to the IRD in 2018, we plan to introduce an amendment bill in the Legislative Council in early 2016," he said.

    On revenue collection, Mr Wong said that $301.9 billion was collected during 2014-15, an increase of some $58.4 billion over the previous year. The breakdown is as follows:

2014-15 revenue collection (provisional figures)
---------------------------------------------------------------

Tax Type  

2014-15
Provisional
Revenue
($million)

  2013-14
Actual
Figures
($million)
  Change
    -----------   -----------   ------
Profits Tax   137,848   120,881.8   +14%
Salaries Tax   59,347   55,620.3   +7%
Property Tax &
Personal Assessment
  7,760   7,003.8   +11%
    -----------   -----------    
Total Earnings &
Profits Tax
  204,955   183,505.9   +12%
             
Estate Duty   178   388.4   -54%
Stamp Duty   74,844   41,514.7   +80%
Betting Duty   19,479   18,066.4   +8%
Business Registration Fees   2,481   73.5   +3,276%
    -----------   -----------   ----------- 
Total Revenue Collected   301,937    243,548.9   +24%

Ends/Monday, May 4, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:00

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