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Electronic Filing of Employer's Return

Starting from 25 September 2019, employers may use self-developed software to prepare and upload / submit Additional, Replacement or Supplementary IR56B data files to the Department.  Employers may refer to the new Requirements Specification of IR56B data files in our website and seek approval from the Department:

Employers who have obtained approval under the previous requirements specification can continue to submit the original IR56B data files.  However, the Department encourages employers to enhance their program as soon as possible to enjoy the convenience of the extended coverage by the new Requirements Specification for IR56B.


The Employer's Return e-Filing Services ("ER e-Filing Services") have the following two modes of submission:

(1) Online Mode (Login of the eTAX / “iAM Smart+” Account by an Authorized Signer is required) 

An Authorized Signer* is required to sign and submit the Employer’s Return / Notification through his/her eTAX Account, MyGovHK Password, recognized personal digital certificate or "iAM Smart+" Account (with digital signing function).

(2) Mixed Mode (Login of the eTAX / “iAM Smart+” Account is NOT required)

This is a new mode of submission introduced in November 2018 which allows employers to designate a person to upload a data file containing the IR56 records via the ER e-Filing Services without the login of the Authorized Signer’s eTAX / “iAM Smart+” Account.  After uploading of the data file, a Control List (with Transaction Reference Number and QR code) will be generated by the system.  The Authorized Signer is required to sign and submit the paper Control List to complete the submission process.

* An Authorized Signer refers to the person in one of the following capacities:

  • Proprietor for a sole proprietorship business
  • Precedent Partner for a partnership business
  • Director, Company Secretary, Manager, Investment Manager (only applicable to a corporation that is an open-ended fund company), Provisional Liquidator / Liquidator for a corporation
  • Principal Officer for a body of persons


Details of the ER e-Filing Services

(1) Online Mode (eTAX / “iAM Smart+” Account required)

  • Submission of a Data File Prepared by “Direct Keying”

Employers can complete and submit annual Employer’s Returns BIR56A plus IR56B, IR6036B plus IR56M and Employer’s Notifications IR56E/IR56F/IR56G (including amendment forms) through the Internet using the “Direct Keying” service of the Filing of Employer’s Return/Notifications Services.

For annual submission of Employer’s Return / Notification (BIR56A/IR6036B) via Online Mode, employers can only perform submission once for each year of assessment and each data file created by Direct Keying can only contain up to 30 sets of IR56B/M forms.  Multiple submissions for the same year are not allowed.

For additional/replacement/supplementary IR56B/M and original/additional/ replacement IR56E/F/G, employers can complete and submit up to 30 sets of IR56 forms each time. Multiple submissions in a day are allowed.

  • Submission of a Data File by Uploading

Employers can submit a data file containing up to 800 sets of IR56 forms prepared by the following means:

    • IR56 Forms Preparation Tool (Forms IR56B and IR56F)
    • IRD IR56B Software (Annual Form IR56B with the submssion of Employer's Return)
    • Pre-approved self-developed software (Forms IR56B and IR56F)

For annual submission, employers are only allowed to submit once for each year of assessment. For other cases, employers are allowed to perform multiple submissions in a day.

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(2) Mixed Mode (eTAX / “iAM Smart+” Account NOT required)

Employers can designate a person to upload data files prepared through the following means:

  • The IR56 Forms Preparation Tool (Forms IR56B and IR56F)
  • The IRD IR56B Software (Annual Form IR56B)
  • Pre-approved self-developed software (Forms IR56B and IR56F)

After successful uploading of the data file, a Control List (with a QR Code and Transaction Reference Number), listing a summary of the IR56 forms stored in the data file will be generated by the system.

The Authorized Signer is required to sign on each and every page of the Control List and then submit it to the Department by post or in person to complete the submission process. For annual submission of the original IR56B records, a duly completed and signed paper BIR56A is required to be submitted with the duly signed Control List.

Multiple uploads in a day and for a year of assessment are accepted. However, employers should ensure all the relevant Control Lists are signed and submitted to the Department in order to complete the submission process. The mere uploading of the data file will not be regarded as having complied with the employer’s obligations as stipulated in the Inland Revenue Ordinance.

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Start Using the Employer’s Return e-Filing Services

User Guide

Online Demo