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Submission of Employer's Return in Computerized Format


From 1 April 2024 onwards, the Department will NO LONGER ACCEPT submission of IR56B records through any removable storage device.  To file IR56 Form through the Department's Employer's Return e-Filing Services, employers still using IRD IR56B Software are advised to switch to use the IR56 Forms Preparation Tool to prepare the IR56B data file.  For employers still using Employer's Self-developed Software which prepare IR56 Form data file in TXT format, they are required to enhance their software in accordance with the requirements specification and send the testing file through the e-application of electronic services for the Department’s approval.  For details of Employer's Return e-filing services, please visit the Department's website (Tax Information-Individuals/Businesses > Employers > Electronic Filing of Employer's Return).



IR56 Forms Preparation Tool

The IR56 Forms Preparation Tool can be used to prepare the data file of annual IR56B starting from March 1 each year.


The IR56 Forms Preparation Tool (“Preparation Tool”) is a web-based application developed by the Department to provide a convenient way for employers to prepare up to 2,000 sets of IR56B or IR56F record in one single data file.  The Preparation Tool can be used by employers without any installation process.

Employers can designate a person to use the Preparation Tool to prepare the IR56B or IR56F data file online anytime.  The data file so prepared can be submitted to the Department either via the “Online Mode” (Login of the eTAX / "iAM Smart+" Account by an Authorized Signer is required) or the “Mixed Mode” (Login of the eTAX / "iAM Smart+" Account is NOT required) of the ER e-Filing Services. Under the Mixed Mode, employers can designate a person to upload the data file to the Department.  After successful uploading of the data file, the Authorized Signer only needs to sign and submit the 1-page (i.e. Cover Page) Control List (with Transaction Reference Number and QR code) generated by the system together with paper form BIR56A (if applicable) in order to complete the submission process.

To facilitate the distribution of the IR56 forms prepared by the Preparation Tool to employees, employers can either print the IR56 forms or export a soft copy of the forms.

For details on how to use the Preparation Tool, please read User Guide of IR56 Forms Preparation Tool.

Start Using the Tool


IRD IR56B Software

Please note that the Department CEASES to accept the use of IRD IR56B Software for preparation and submission of the data file of annual Form IR56B starting from 1 April 2023 onwards.

Employers are required to use the IR56 Forms Preparation Tool OR enhance their program in accordance with the new requirements specification and submit the testing file through the e-application of electronic services for the Department’s approval. 

Employers can refer to FAQ 57 to know more about the detailed steps for importing their employees’ personal particulars from the data file of the IRD IR56B Software (Version 4.1 and 4.2) into the IR56 Forms Preparation Tool.

Note: The Department accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage which may be incurred by the use of the IRD IR56B Software. 


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Self-developed Software (Softcopy or printed in A4)

Employers can develop their own software in accordance with the Department's requirements specifications to facilitate the filing of the Employer's Return / Notification in computerized format (softcopy / printout).  However, employers must obtain written approval before they can file the respective IR56 forms in computerized format to the Department by using the Self-developed Software.


Requirements Specifications

Please select and click to browse the relevant requirements specifications of various forms: 

Data Table
Requirements Specification Submission in
IR56B Softcopy
IR56E Printout in A4
IR56F Softcopy
IR56G Printout in A4
IR56M Softcopy

The IR56B and IR56F data files in XML format prepared by approved Self-developed Software can be submitted via the ER e-Filing Services (Online Mode and Mixed Mode) with a limit of 5,000 sets of IR56 forms in one data file in each transaction.  Please click here for detail.

Please note that the Department does not accept an application for submission of the Forms IR56F and IR56M in computerized printout.  However, employers who have obtained approval under the old requirements specifications can continue to submit the IR56F or IR56M forms printed by the approved Self-developed Software until further notice.  However, employers are encouraged to make changes to their software so as to comply with the above requirements specifications.  A fresh approval is required.

For enquiries, please contact the Department at telephone number 183 5310 during office hours at 8:15 am to 12:15 pm and 1:15 pm to 5:30 pm from Monday to Friday.

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