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50% waiver on 2006-07 salaries tax and tax charged under personal assessment


A waiver of 50% of salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for 2006-07, subject to a ceiling of $15,000 per case, was proposed by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, in his Budget delivered today (February 28).

The waiver is expected to benefit more than 1.35 million taxpayers liable to salaries tax and tax charged under personal assessment in 2006-07. More than a million taxpayers will be paying only half of their 2006-07 final tax, while the rest will have $15,000 waived in their tax bills for the 2006-07 year. The concession will cost the Government some $8.1 billion in 2007-08.

Unlike the tax rebate exercises in 1999 and 2003, the measure proposed this year will be reducing the amount payable in the tax bill for the coming year, instead of making refunds of tax previously paid. Taxpayers will, as usual, file their tax returns for 2006-07 in the coming May. Upon legislative amendments, the Inland Revenue Department will effect the waiver in the final assessment for 2006-07. Salaries tax bills with the waiver will be issued from late July onwards. The tax will normally fall due in January, 2008.

The proposed waiver will only be applicable to the 2006-07 final tax, so taxpayers are still required to pay on time the 2006-07 provisional tax, the second instalment of which will fall due from this April. The provisional tax paid will, in accordance with the Inland Revenue Ordinance, be applied in payment of the final tax for 2006-07 and provisional tax for 2007-08. Excess balance, if any, will be refunded.

Individuals with rental and business income, if eligible, will be able to enjoy the tax waiver by electing personal assessment in their 2006-07 tax returns. The Inland Revenue Department will check if the election will reduce the amount of tax payable in each case, and assess the taxpayer in the way to his advantage.

Along with this concession, the Financial Secretary also proposed to revert the marginal tax bands and rates under salaries tax to their 2002-03 levels, to increase the child allowance and the deduction ceiling for self-education expenses in 2007-08.

Details of tax concessions proposed and examples on how to calculate the tax reduction are available on the department's website or fax hotline 2598 6001.

Ends/Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Issued at HKT 19:42