Financial Secretary Paul Chan of Hong Kong announced measures worth more than 120 billion Hong Kong dollars ($15.5 billion) for the latest fiscal year in a bid to stimulate the economy in the face of Covid disruptions.
The Financial Secretary proposed a one-off reduction of profits tax, salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for the year of assessment 2020/21 by 100%, subject to a ceiling of $10,000 per case. The relevant legislation for the tax reduction was passed by the Legislative Council and gazetted on 7 May 2021.
For profits tax, the ceiling of the tax reduction is applied to each business. For salaries tax, the ceiling is applied to each individual taxpayer; but for married couples jointly assessed, the ceiling is applied to each married couple (i.e. capped at $10,000 in total). For personal assessment, the ceiling is applied to each single taxpayer or married person who elects for personal assessment separately from his/her spouse. If a taxpayer elects for personal assessment jointly with his/her spouse, the tax reduction is capped at $10,000 for the married couple.
The tax reduction is not applicable to property tax. Individuals with rental income, if eligible for personal assessment, may be able to enjoy such reduction under personal assessment.
A taxpayer who is separately chargeable to salaries tax and profits tax can enjoy tax reduction under each of the tax types. For a taxpayer having business profits or rental income and electing for personal assessment, the reduction will be based on the tax payable under personal assessment. It might be different from the amount of tax reduction he/she would get if he/she was not assessed under personal assessment. The exact position will need to be evaluated case by case.
To elect for personal assessment, eligible taxpayers should complete Part 7 of his/her tax return for individuals (BIR60) for the year of assessment 2020/21. Individuals having salaries income only, but no business profits and rental income, need not elect for personal assessment.
The reduction will reduce taxpayers’ amount of tax payable for the year of assessment 2020/21. Taxpayers should file their profits tax returns and tax returns for individuals for the year of assessment 2020/21 as usual. The Inland Revenue Department will effect the reduction in the final assessment. For any final assessment for the year of assessment 2020/21 issued before the enactment of the law, the Inland Revenue Department will make a reassessment. Taxpayers are not required to make any applications or enquiries to the Department.
The tax reduction will only be applicable to the final tax for the year of assessment 2020/21, but not to the provisional tax of the same year. Therefore, taxpayers are still required to pay their provisional tax on time despite the reduction measure. The provisional tax paid will be applied to pay the final tax for the year of assessment 2020/21 and the provisional tax for the year of assessment 2021/22. Excess balance, if any, will be refunded.
- A one-off reduction of profits tax for the year of assessment 2020/21 by 100%, capped at $10,000 per case.
- Waive of the business registration fees for 2021/22 (from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022). Details can be found here.
- Rates concession given for non-domestic properties for 4 quarters in 2021/22, capped at $5,000 per quarter in first two quarters, and $2,000 per quarter in the following quarters
- A 100% reduction of salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for the YA 2020/21, with a cap of $10,000 per case.
- Rates concession given for domestic properties for 4 quarters in 2021/22, subject to a ceiling of $1,500 per quarter in the first two quarters, and a ceiling of $1,000 per quarter in the following two quarters for each rateable property.
For further information on the latest Hong Kong Budget 2021/22, you can visit this page.