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Electronic Submission of Information

Under the Electronic Transactions Ordinance (Cap. 553), electronic records submitted by the public to this Department are acceptable provided they conform to the prescribed format, manner and procedure stipulated below :-


  • Electronic records which contain English characters only shall be coded in American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII), ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000, ISO/IEC 10646:2003 with Amendment 1 or ISO/IEC 10646-1:2011.
  • Electronic records which contain Chinese characters shall be coded as follows:
    1. Chinese and English characters shall be coded in ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000, and the set of Chinese characters is restricted to the Chinese characters within the Chinese-Japanese-Korean (CJK) Unified Ideographs defined in ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000 or the characters included in the Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set - 2001 (HKSCS-2001);
    2. Chinese and English characters shall be coded in ISO/IEC 10646:2003 with Amendment 1, and the set of Chinese characters is restricted to the Chinese characters within the CJK Unified Ideographs defined in ISO/IEC 10646:2003 with Amendment 1 or the characters included in HKSCS-2004.
    3. Chinese and English characters shall be coded in ISO/IEC 10646:2011, and the set of Chinese characters is restricted to the Chinese characters within the CJK Unified Ideographs defined in ISO/IEC 10646:2011.
  • HKSCS is available for downloading at the OGCIO web site of the HKSAR Government at

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Manner of Delivery of Electronic Records

  • Where electronic records are compressed, the following compression standards shall be followed : -

a. Zip file (.zip);

b. GNU zip file (.gz);

c. 7-Zip file (.7z); or

d. RAR file (.rar).

  • Electronic records shall be sent as follows:—

a. through electronic mail conforming to:-

    1. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol over Transport Layer Security (SMTP over TLS);
    2. Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (MIME) or the Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (S/MIME) standard;
    3. size not exceeding 10 MB;

b. in the form of 1.44MB diskette with size of 3.5 inches in MS-DOS format for files not exceeding one diskette's storage capacity;

c. in the form of CD-ROM in ISO 9660 format;

d. in the form of DVD-ROM in ISO/IEC 13346:1995 format; or

e. in the form of USB Mass Storage Device in FAT format.

  • For the avoidance of doubt, electronic records in the following physical form WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED -

a. Floppy diskettes of size 5.25 inches or 8 inches;

b. Iomega Zip Disk;

c. Iomega Jaz Disk;

d. Programmable Diskette (PD);

e. Magneto-Optical Diskette (MO);

f. 4mm DLT Tape;

g. 8mm Data Tape;

h. Data Cartridges and Tape Cartridges;

i. RAM cards in any form; or

j. any other physical storage media.

  • When submission is made in acceptable physical forms, a label shall be affixed to the diskette / CD-ROM / DVD-ROM / USB Mass Storage Device with identification information such as name of sender, contact telephone no. / address and file reference written thereon. To facilitate our subsequent follow up, please also indicate which public key of IRD has been used for data encryption, if encryption is made. Besides, please do not use the same diskette / CD-ROM / DVD-ROM / USB Mass Storage Device to store records relating to different file reference.

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File Format

An electronic record and all electronic records contained in it shall be given, served and presented in the following file format standards : -

File Format
  File Format Standard(s)
(a) Text Format

Plain text format (TXT)

(b) Formatted Document File Format

Microsoft Rich Text Format (RTF);

Hypertext Mark Up Language (HTML);

Microsoft Word 97 format (.doc );

ISO/IEC 29500:2008 format (.docx); or v2.0 format (.odt)

(c) Presentation File Format

Microsoft PowerPoint 97 format (.ppt);

ISO/IEC 29500:2008 format (.pptx); or v2.0 format (.odp)



Spreadsheet File Format

Microsoft Excel 97 format (.xls);

ISO/IEC 29500:2008 format (.xlsx); or v2.0 format (.ods)

(e) Portable Document Format

Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) v1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 or 1.7 (ISO 32000-1)

(f) Graphics or Image Format

Encapsulated PostScript Files (EPSF);

Tag Image File Format (TIFF);

Portable Network Graphics (PNG);

Graphics Interchange Format (GIF); or

Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG)

(g) Computer Aided Design Drawings Format

Autodesk Drawing Exchange Format (DXF)

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Digital Signature

  • An electronic record given, presented or served under a statutory provision must be signed with a digital signature if:–

a. the provision expressly requires the signature of a person; or

b. the provision requires the submission to be made in a specified form and the specified form has a signature requirement.

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  • Electronic records given, presented or served shall not contain any computer instructions, including but not limited to:-
    a. computer viruses; and
    b. macros, scripts and fields that depend on the execution environment and the execution of which will cause changes to the electronic record itself or the information system displaying the electronic record.

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E-mail Addresses

E-mail to our designated e-mail address according to the subject matter :

Matter relating to Designated address
Betting Duty
Business Registration
Collection Enforcement
Employer's Return (Group A to F)
Employer's Return (Group G to N)
Estate Duty
Field Audit and Investigation
Hotel Accommodation Tax
Profits Tax (Corporation/Partnership)
Property Tax
Stamp Duty
Tax Payment and Accounts
Tax Return - Individuals (Group A to F)
Tax Return - Individuals (Group G to N)
General Enquiry
Annual Open Data Plans


Please note that e-mails are vulnerable to third-party interception. You should consider to send your written enquiry by mail or fax if the content is private and confidential. Alternatively, if you have a recognized digital certificate, you may consider to encrypt your e-mail with the corresponding public key of our e-mail address. Please note that reply to your e-mail enquiry will not be made via e-mail unless you requested and have your recognized public key available for encryption.

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Download of Public Keys of IRD

The public keys of the e-Certs of IRD can be downloaded from the Hongkong Post e-Cert Directory. For detail procedures of how to download the e-Cert of other people ( public keys ) , please see the "e-Cert User Guide" which is available in the Hongkong Post e-Cert web page. Please note that each Hongkong Post e-Cert is only valid for a limited period and users have to obtain the latest e-Cert public key from Hongkong Post e-Cert Directory if the previous one obtained has been expired.