The Inland Revenue Department (※IRD§) has recently
published advertisements in various newspapers in Hong Kong reminding
employers and employees alike as to their obligations to report
tax-related information to the IRD. As the contents of the advertisements
suggest, these obligations go far beyond merely completing the tax
return forms when they come in.
The IRD from time to time issues reminders to members of the public
alerting them as to their statutory obligations to report tax-related
information to the IRD. One such notice was published in the newspapers
on 19 May 2003, the content of which is summarised below.
Obligation of all persons to furnish information
The IRD draws the attention of all persons to Sections 51(2), (6),
(7) and (8) of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (the ※IRO§), which impose
the following obligations:
(a) Section 51(2) 每 Every person chargeable to tax for any year
of assessment must notify the Commissioner of Inland Revenue (the
※Commissioner§) in writing not later than four months after the
end of the basis period for the year in which he is so chargeable
unless he has already been required to furnish a return for that
(b) Section 51(6) 每 Any person who ceases to carry on a trade, profession
or business or ceases to hold an office or employment in respect
of which Salaries Tax is chargeable, or ceases to have a source
of income in respect of which he is personally assessed, must advise
the Commissioner in writing within one month of such cessation.
(c) Section 51(7) 每 Any person chargeable to Salaries Tax, Profits
Tax or Personal Tax who is about to leave Hong Kong for a period
exceeding one month must notify the Commissioner in writing at least
one month before he is due to leave. This does not apply to persons
who are required to leave Hong Kong frequently in the course of
business or employment.
(d) Section 51(8) 每 Any person chargeable to Property Tax, Salaries
Tax, Profits Tax or Personal Tax who changes his address must within
one month notify the Commissioner in writing of the particulars
of the change.
Obligation of employers to furnish information
The IRD further draws the attention of all employers to Sections
52(4), (5), (6) and (7) of the IRO which impose the following obligations:
(a) Section 52(4) 每 An employer is required to furnish in writing,
within three months of engaging any employee, particulars of any
such employee who is likely to be chargeable to Salaries Tax.
(b) Section 52(5) 每 An employer who is about to cease to employ
in Hong Kong any person who is likely to be chargeable to Salaries
Tax must advise the Commissioner by notice in writing at least one
month before the date he ceases to employ that person.
(c) Section 52(6) 每 Any employer must advise the Commissioner by
notice in writing whenever an employee who is chargeable to Salaries
Tax is about to leave Hong Kong for more than a month, at least
one month before he actually leaves. This does not apply to an employee
who is required, in the course of his employment, to leave Hong
Kong at frequent intervals.
(d) Section 52(7) 每 Where a notice given to the Commissioner by
the employer pursuant to subsection (6) refers to an individual
whom the employer is about to cease to employ in Hong Kong the following
restrictions are placed on the employer:
He must not, for a period of one month from the date of giving such
notice, make any payment to the employee, except with the consent
in writing of the Commissioner. He may, however, during that month
pay to the Commissioner out of moneys due to the employee such sum
as the employee may direct him to pay.
Forms for giving the notices required by subsections (4), (5) and
(6) of Section 52 may be obtained at the IRD＊s Receipt & Despatch
Centre, First Floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai.
Members of the public may call the IRD＊s information hotline 187
8022 or visit their web site: http://www.info.gov.hk/ird
for more information.