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(Source :

Over 2 million individual tax returns issued

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is sending out 2.16 million individual tax returns today (May 2). The Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Mr Chu Yam-yuen, reminded taxpayers to file their tax returns on time by June 2. For sole proprietors of unincorporated businesses, a three-month period is allowed and the filing deadline is August 2.

Speaking at a press conference today, Mr Chu said, "The IRD will grant an automatic extension of one month to e-filers. As July 2 is a public holiday, eTax users filing their tax returns online can have the deadline extended to July 3. For a sole proprietor of an unincorporated business, the filing deadline will be extended to September 3 as September 2 falls on a Sunday."

The Financial Secretary has in this year's Budget proposed a number of tax measures. These include increasing the allowances, raising the deduction ceilings for elderly residential care expenses and mandatory contributions to mandatory provident fund schemes, and extending the number of years of deduction for home loan interest. He also proposed a 75 per cent tax deduction for profits tax, salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for the year of assessment 2011-12, subject to a ceiling of $12,000 per case.

Taxpayers should complete this year's tax return as usual and no application is needed for the proposed measures. The Government has started the law amendment process. After enactment of the relevant legislation, the IRD will effect the tax measures in this year's tax bills.

"The 75 per cent tax reduction for 2011-12 is not applicable to property tax payers. If eligible, property owners may elect for personal assessment in their individual tax returns to enjoy the tax reduction. The IRD will check, in each case, whether the election will reduce the amount of tax payable, and assess each taxpayer in a way to his best advantage," he added.

Taxpayers who encounter a problem when completing their tax returns may visit the IRD website ( for e-Seminars. They may also raise questions in the Q&A corner, or call the IRD telephone hotline 187 8022. The hotline's operator service hours will be extended from May 2 to June 2, from 8.15am to 7pm on weekdays and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. There is no operator service on Sundays and public holidays.

Mr Chu also reported the latest developments in international tax treaties in Hong Kong.

"Upon amendment of the Inland Revenue Ordinance in early 2010, the exchange of information arrangements in Hong Kong are aligned with the international standards, thereby removing the major obstacle for Hong Kong to extend the international tax treaty network. Hong Kong has since the coming into effect of the amendment ordinance, i.e. March 2010, entered into Comprehensive Double Taxation Agreements (CDTAs) with 19 countries, bringing the total number of CDTAs concluded to 24," he said.

"The IRD rolled out the Advance Pricing Arrangement (APA) programme in April 2012, and the Departmental Interpretation and Practice Notes on APA has also been issued."

On revenue collection, Mr Chu said that $238.3 billion had been collected during 2011-12, which is another record high after 2010-11. The detailed figures are as follows:

2011-12 revenue collection (provisional figures)

Tax Type   2011-12
($ million)
($ million)
    ---------------   ---------------   -------------
Profits Tax   118,602   93,183.1   +27%
Salaries Tax   51,765   44,254.7   +17%
Property Tax &
Personal Assessment
  6,461   5,568.9   +16%
    ---------------   ---------------   -------------
Total Earnings &
Profits Tax
  176,828   143,006.7   +24%
Estate Duty   94   212.8   -56%
Betting Duty   15,761   14,759.0   +7%
Stamp Duty   44,355   51,005.1   -13%
Business Registration Fees   1,293   35.8   +3,512%
    ---------------   ---------------   -------------
Total Revenue Collected   238,331   209,019.4   +14%

Ends/Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:55