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IRD issues tax returns for 2017-18
     The Inland Revenue Department today (April 3) issued about 190,000 profits tax returns, 130,000 property tax returns and 300,000 employer's returns for the year of assessment 2017-18.

     About 2.6 million tax returns for individuals will be issued on May 2.

     In this year's Budget, the Financial Secretary proposed a one-off reduction of 75 per cent of profits tax, salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for 2017-18, subject to a ceiling of $30,000. Upon enactment of the relevant legislation, the department will effect the tax reduction in this year's tax bills.

     "Individuals with rental income, if eligible, can enjoy the reduction by electing personal assessment. They can make the choice when completing their 2017-18 tax returns for individuals. The department will check in each case whether the election will reduce the amount of tax payable, and assess each taxpayer in the way most advantageous to him," a spokesman for the department said.

     A two-tiered profits tax rates regime is to be implemented from the year of assessment 2018-19 onwards. The profits tax rate for the first $2 million of assessable profits of corporations and unincorporated businesses will be lowered to 8.25 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively. Profits above that amount will continue to be subject to the corporation rate of 16.5 per cent and the standard rate of 15 per cent respectively. For connected entities, the two-tiered rates will only be applicable to one entity nominated among them. In the 2017-18 profits tax returns, taxpayers are required to state whether they are chargeable at the two-tiered rates for 2018-19 provisional tax and, for taxpayers having any connected entities, whether any other connected entity has elected two-tiered rates.

     The department encourages taxpayers to use the convenient and easy-to-use services under eTAX. As in the past, an eTAX account holder can file through the Internet his property tax return in respect of a property owned by him and another person. Filers of employer's returns can sign through their own eTAX account and submit the annual employer's return and upload up to 800 IR56B records. Employers with not more than 30 IR56B records may also choose to complete IR56B directly online. Precedent partners of partnerships and directors, secretaries or managers of corporations holding eTAX accounts can also file profits tax returns for their businesses through their eTAX account.

     "Using eTAX services is simple. Any registered taxpayer can log in to eTAX with his Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) designated for eTAX login and the eTAX password registered with the department or his digital certificate issued by a recognised certification authority," the spokesman said.

     If a taxpayer/filer of an employer's return has not yet registered for eTAX or has forgotten the password, he can open an eTAX account or apply for a new password at www.gov.hk/etax. They can choose their own TIN and password for login when they open their eTAX account.

     Taxpayers/filers of employer's returns can visit the department's website at www.ird.gov.hk for common questions and answers on how to complete tax returns. Taxpayers/employers are reminded to file their properly completed tax returns on time. To facilitate the distribution and processing of returns received by the department, the employers can send the employer's returns back to the designated P.O. Box printed on the top right hand corner of their returns (BIR56A). If tax returns are delivered to the department by post, sufficient postage should be paid to ensure timely and successful delivery. Please note that Hongkong Post has adjusted the postage rates with effect from January 1, 2018. The postage for local letters weighing 30 grams or less has been adjusted from $1.70 to $2. Taxpayers can visit Hongkong Post's website at www.hongkongpost.hk for the current postage rates.

     Underpaid mail items will not be accepted by the department. Mail items addressed to the department without sufficient postage will be returned by Hongkong Post to the sender, who will be charged with the deficiency plus a surcharge. Mail items without a return address will be disposed of by Hongkong Post in accordance with the established procedures for handling undeliverable mail. For proper delivery of tax documents to the department, please ensure the mail items bear sufficient postage before posting.
Ends/Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Issued at HKT 11:10
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