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Company fined for not informing Inland Revenue of staff leaving HK

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A shipbroker was fined today (February 4) for failing to notify the Commissioner of Inland Revenue (CIR) one month before the expected date of departure from Hong Kong for a period exceeding one month of two employees who had ceased to be employed, and for failing to withhold money to be paid to the employees.

The defendant pleaded guilty to two charges in the Eastern Magistrates' Courts and was fined $ 4,000 for each charge, making a total fine of $8,000.

The defendant employed and paid salary to the two employees from April 2000 to December 31, 2002. However, the defendant failed to give advance notice of one month to the CIR regarding the employees' departure from Hong Kong as required under section 52(6) of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (IRO). Also, the defendant failed to withhold payment of money to the two employees, as required under section 52(7) of the IRO.

The offences were discovered when the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) reviewed the "Notification by an employer of an employee who is about to depart from Hong Kong" filed by the defendant and was unable to recover from the two employees salaries tax totalling some $210,000.

A spokesman for IRD reminds employers to comply with the provisions of section 52(6) and (7) of IRO to avoid prosecution. The maximum penalty for each offence is $10,000.

Ends/Wednesday, February 4, 2004

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