Desktop VersionSite MapContact UsShare RSS
  • Default font size
  • Bigger font size
  • Biggest font size

Tax Exemptions in respect of Relief Measures under the Anti-epidemic Fund

The Exemption from Salaries Tax and Profits Tax (Anti-epidemic Fund) Order ("the Exemption Order") comes into operation on 29 May 2020.   The Exemption Order exempts, subject to certain conditions, individuals and businesses from the payment of salaries tax and profits tax in respect of financial assistance or relief provided under the Anti-epidemic Fund ("AEF").  The exemption applies in relation to salaries tax and profits tax chargeable for the year of assessment commencing on 1 April 2019 and for all subsequent years of assessment.

 back to top


Salaries tax

Tax exemption

The Exemption Order exempts individuals (as employees) from the payment of salaries tax in respect of the following payments under AEF programmes:

  1. A monthly hardship allowance of $1,000 to each of the cleansing / security workers of private residential / composite / industrial / commercial buildings, to strength their capacity on personal and environmental hygiene, and recognize their Anti-epidemic efforts
  2. A monthly allowance of $1,000 to each cleansing worker, toilet attendant and security worker engaged under Government and Hong Kong Housing Authority service contracts, to provide financial support to them in Anti-epidemic efforts, and give recognition to them for their committed services provided at this critical juncture
  3. A subsidy of $1,500 or $1,000 to each registered construction worker
  4. A subsidy of $7,500 to each registered construction worker and registered inspector under the Buildings Ordinance, and licensed plumber under the Fire Service (Installation Contractors) Regulations
  5. One-off relief grant of $10,000 for each employed school bus driver, school private light bus driver and $10,000 per vehicle for employed escorts / nannies
  6. A one-off subsidy of $10,000 to each employed driver of tour service coach
  7. A subsidy of $350 to employed cross-boundary goods vehicle drivers to conduct COVID-19 nucleic acid test in Hong Kong
  8. One-off relief grant of $7,500 for each employed instructor, coach, trainer or operator of interests classes engaged by schools
  9. One-off grant of $7,500 to each employed registered coach under National Sports Associations and Sports Organizations who has proven coaching record in the past one year
  10. A monthly subsidy of $5,000 to each travel agents’ staff and active freelance tourist guides and tour escorts who are employees
  11. One-off cash subsidy to each employed individual with salesperson licence ($2,510) and employed individual with estate agent licence ($3,930)
  12. A cash subsidy of $2,000 to each employed Securities and Futures Commission licensed individuals

 back to top


Arrangement for filing tax returns by Employers or Individuals (employees)

Individuals covered by the measures listed above are not required to report the payments under AEF programmes in their Tax Returns – Individuals for the years of assessment 2019/20 and onwards.

Employers of these individuals are also not required to report the payments under AEF programmes listed above in their employers' returns for the years of assessment 2019/20 and onwards.

Employers who have already filed their employers' returns for the year of assessment 2019/20 and have reported the payments under AEF programmes listed above in their employers' returns, are required to furnish replacement IR56 forms.

For details relating to the amendments to Form IR56s, please visit https://www.ird.gov.hk/eng/tax/ere_amd.htm

 back to top


Profits tax—tax exemption

The Exemption Order exempts businesses from the payment of profits tax in respect of grants, subsidies or other financial assistance provided under AEF programmes.  The exemption, however, does not apply to sums (other than sums paid on a matching arrangement) that are ordinary trading receipts arising in or derived from Hong Kong from a trade, profession or business carried on in Hong Kong, which include but are not limited to –

  1. Proceeds of sale of goods:
    • Sale proceeds of masks received from the Government under the Local Mask Production Subsidy Scheme
    • Income received by technology companies for providing technology applications such as reusable masks
    • Reimbursements received by oil companies in respect of price discounts on liquefied petroleum gas sold to taxis and public light buses
  2. Consideration for provision of services:
    • Fees received by the service provider, mediators and arbitrators for the provision of online dispute resolution services under the COVID-19 Online Dispute Resolution Scheme
    • Administrative fees received by oil companies, MPF trustees, service contractors of the Government and the Hong Kong Housing Authority, and sports organisations for implementing the relevant AEF programmes
  3. Incomes from the letting, sub-letting or licensing of any premises or portion thereof:
    • Reimbursements received by landlords for offering "rental waivers" to their tenants

 back to top


Related links

  1. The Exemption from Salaries Tax and Profits Tax (Anti-epidemic Fund) Order
  2. Relief measures under the Anti-epidemic Fund
  3. Government's press release on 27 May 2020 – Tax exemption for Anti-epidemic Fund
  4. Summary of the proposed tax treatment for the two rounds of measures under the Anti-epidemic Fund (Annex to the above press release)