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  Home > Tax Information - Individuals/Businesses > Employers

Employers

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 Employee assigned to work overseas or to work in Hong Kong

Company carrying on business in Hong Kong is obliged to file Form IR56B for all its employees, irrespective whether the employee rendered services in or outside Hong Kong, so long as their total income exceeded the limit as laid down in Note 1(a) of Notes and Instructions for forms BIR56A and IR56B. You may provide additional information in the remarks column (item 14 of the Form IR56B); e.g. the employee stationed in the Beijing office and had visited Hong Kong for less than a total of 60 days during the relevant year of assessment.

Where an employee of a company is partly paid by an overseas subsidiary because of the services rendered outside Hong Kong for that subsidiary, the Hong Kong company should report in item 11 of the Form IR56B the aggregate amount of income paid by the Hong Kong company and the overseas subsidiary. In addition, the amount paid by the overseas subsidiary should be stated again in item 13 in Form IR56B. An employer should report the full remuneration accrued to an employee irrespective of whether the respective employee is entitled to claim exemption from Salaries Tax or not. An employee who wish to claim full / partial exemption of income or relief, may lodge his claim in his Tax Return- Individuals.

Sometimes a person may be assigned or seconded to the Hong Kong office by the overseas parent company. The employer to be named in item 1 of Form IR56B will be the Hong Kong company.

It may not be uncommon that employees are paid in foreign currencies. Since Salaries Tax is charged in Hong Kong dollars, the sums reported in Form IR56B should also be expressed in Hong Kong dollars. The average exchange rates of major foreign currencies could be obtained from the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) web site at http://www.ird.gov.hk/eng/tax/ind_stp.htm; or through the 24-hour Fax-A-Form Service by dialing 2598 6001.

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 Employee about to leave Hong Kong

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  Employer's Obligations

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 Completing and submitting your employer's return and notification forms

  1. How to obtain employer's return and notification forms

    Normally, we will send BIR56A and IR56B (Employer's Return) to employers on the first working day of April each year.
    If you do not receive BIR56A and IR56B forms by mid April, or the original forms have been lost / damaged, or you need more IR56B forms or other forms (IR56E, IR56F, IR56G, IR56M and IR6036B), you can contact the IRD for these forms. You may complete the IR6163 and send it to the IRD by mail or by fax. The forms requested will be sent to you once we received your request. You may also download the IR56B form, IR56E form, IR56F form, IR56M form and IR6036B form.

    First time employer

    If you are a new employer and have not received BIR56A and IR56B forms by mid April, you can contact us for the forms. You can inform the IRD by completing IR6163 and send it to the Department by mail or by fax. The requested form will be sent to you once the Employer's file has been opened. IR6163 can also be obtained through the 24-hour Fax-A-Form Service (2598 6001).
  2. How to complete and when to submit the employer's return

    You should read carefully the Notes and Instructions accompanying BIR56A. A "NIL" return of BIR56A is still required even if you have no employees or pensioners chargeable to Salaries Tax. To avoid duplication in reporting employee's income, no IR56B is required for those employees for whom an IR56F or IR56G has been submitted before.

    How to Complete When to Submit Number of copies to be submitted to the IRD
    Specimen of Completed BIR56A
    Specimen of Completed IR56B

     

     

    (e-filing service is also available)

    Within 1 month from the date of issue of BIR56A.

    1 copy of BIR56A

    A diskette / CD / DVD / USB storage device containing the data of all IR56Bs together with a signed control list

    OR

    1 copy of IR56B in respect of each employee

    Specimen of Completed IR56E

    (e-filing service is also available)

    Within 3 months of commencement of employment of an employee. 1 copy of IR56E in respect of each employee
    Specimen of Completed IR56F

    (e-filing service is also available)

    1 month prior to the cessation of employment of an employee. 1 copy of IR56Fin respect of each employee
    Specimen of Completed IR56G

    (e-filing service is also available)

    At least 1 month before the expected departure date of an employee. 2 copies of IR56G in respect of each employee
    Specimen of Completed IR6036B
    Specimen of Completed IR56M
    Notes on How to complete Form IR56M

    (e-filing service is also available)

    Together with BIR56A. 1 copy of IR6036B
    (a) 1 copy of IR56M in respect of each person
    (b) A diskette / CD / DVD / USB storage device containing the data of all IR56M together with a signed control list.

    Note : After filing, the employer should pass 1 copy of the completed form (IR56B/56E/56F/56G/56M) to the employee or person concerned and also retain a copy for own reference.
    You can also obtain the above specimens through the 24-hour Fax-A-Form service (2598 6001).

    Points to Note when making annual employer's return

    (a) Prepare payroll information

    • For 1 April to 31 March of the following year.
    • Update personal particulars of each employee.
    • Ascertain the annual remuneration for each employee in accordance with the categorization of income for reporting on IR56B.

    (b) Decide mode of filing

    BIR56A in paper copy, plus

    • Paper IR56Bs (must use the printed form of IR56B provided by the IRD, download the form from the IRD web site or obtain the form from the Fax-A-Form Service 2598 6001. The download form and fax-a-form must be printed on white plain A4 size paper; printed information must be complete and legible; and each form must be signed by the same responsible person); or
    • IRD software for IR56B plus a duly signed Control List (must use IRD software, version 3.5 or 4.1) by physical delivery mode; or
    • Your software for IR56B plus a duly signed Control List (must obtain prior approval from the IRD) by physical delivery mode;
    •  OR by way of Electronic Filing of Employer's Return

    (c) How to complete BIR56A

    • Must be signed by Proprietor / Precedent Partner / Company Secretary, manager, director or liquidator for a corporation / Principal Officer for a body of persons/Agent for a non-resident person.
    • Must submit a signed Control List, if filed IR56Bs via diskettes / CD / DVD / USB storage device.
    • Must complete and declare the number of IR56Bs submitted (Number required for both paper and softcopies of IR56Bs. Insert ‘Nil’ in the space for number if there is no employee to report.)
    • OR by way of Electronic Filing of Employer's Return

    (d) Completed BIR56A and IR56Bs must be submitted together

    • Check to ensure all forms are duly signed.
    • If filing by software and by physical delivery mode, attach a signed Control List. The person who signs the BIR56A should also sign on every page of the Control List.
    • Photocopies or fax copies are NOT acceptable.
    • OR by way of Electronic Filing of Employer's Return
  3. Extension to submit annual employer's return

    If you have difficulties in meeting the deadline, you may apply for an extension to submit BIR56A and IR56B. Applications for extension should be in writing and supported by reasonable grounds. In your application letter, please state your employer's file number, the company's name, the year of assessment concerned, the time required and details of the reasons in support.

  4. Submission of employer's return and other notification forms in computerized format

    You can submit IR56B forms in computerized format. You may develop your own software (prior approval from the IRD is required) or use the IRD Software for IR56B. You may also develop your own software (prior approval from the IRD is required) for submitting IR56E / 56F / 56G / 56M in computerized format.

    For details, see:

    Electronic Services : Submission of Employer's Return and other IR56 Notification Forms in Computerized Format

  5. Electronic Filing of Employer's Return
  6. Supplements / Amendments to information previously reported

    If you wish to amend the information previously reported, you may either furnish an additional / replacement / supplementary form or a written notification of amendment.

    For details, see:

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 Employee's Income

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 Penalty on non-compliance

Heavy penalties may be incurred for not complying with the above obligations or for making incorrect return. For details, see

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 Payments to local persons who are non-incorporated service providers

You need to submit Forms IR56M and IR6036B to report payments made to the following local persons:

(a) Consultants, agents, brokers and freelance artistes, sportsmen, writers etc Payments in excess of $25,000 per annum
(b) Sub-contractors Payments in excess of $200,000 per annum

For further information, see

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 Payments to non-resident entertainers or sportsmen

You need to submit Form IR623 to report payments made to a non-resident entertainer or sportsman.

For further information, see

 

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 Payments to non-residents (other than entertainers or sportsmen)

You need to report payments made to a non-resident (other than entertainer or sportsman) by way of a letter and provide the following information and document(s) in connection with the non-resident:

  • Personal particulars (such as name, nationality and passport number, day-time contact telephone number, postal address in Hong Kong and overseas).
  • A copy of the contract made and the nature of service rendered.
  • The dates and amounts of payments made or expected to be made and periods covered by the payments.
  • Date of departure from Hong Kong.

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 Useful Information

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