Relocation of Inland Revenue Department Offices

IRD offices is going to move to the Inland Revenue Centre in Kowloon. The arrangement is scheduled by phases from late 2022 to early 2023. However, 4 offices will remain in Wanchai Revenue Tower:

  1. Computer Back Up (Accounts) Section;
  2. Estate Duty Office;
  3. Refund Section; and
  4. Tax Reservice Certificates Section

What are the actual relocation dates of each Inland Revenue Department?

The actual relocation dates of individual offices / sections will be announced in due course.

What can you do before visiting to the IRD office?

If you want to visit the IRD office in person, you better check with the IRD website www.ird.gov.hk for latest information.

For further information, please contact us.

You may want to read: Inland Revenue Department – Tax Audit & Investigation

CHINA: 5+3 NEW QUARANTINE POLICY FOR TRAVELLERS

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) announced to reduce the mandatory quarantine period for foreign arrivals from 7 days to 5 days. And followed by 3 days of medical surveillance at home. So, we call it 5+3 quarantine policy.

Inbound arrivals still need to undergo 6 nucleic acid test (NAT) and prohibit to go outside during those 8 days quarantine period.

When should you undergo NAT:

HotelDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8
HomeNATNAT NAT NAT NAT
NAT Schedule

Ending the Practice of Cancelling International Flights

The International Travallers need to show 1 negative COVID test with 48 hours of boarding flight to China. While it needed 2 negative tests currently.

For further information, please contact us.

You may want to read: HONG KONG NEW 0+3 QUARANTINE MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE POLICY UPDATED

NEW INSPECTION REGIME FOR PERSONAL DATA ARRANGEMENT

Under the Companies Registry, the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622) (“CO”) provided for a new inspection regime for personal data on the Companies Register (“the Register”)

In the past, the general public supposed to have the right to access the Companies Registry information. For instance, the director’s usual address and full identification numbers, full identification numbers of company secretaries, And some other individuals (such as liquidators and provisional liquidators). Similar personal information were also open for public inspection.

The New Inspection Regime will run in three phases

Phase 1

From 23 August 2021, companies may first replace Usual Residential Addresses (URAs) of directors with their correspondence addresses. Also, full identification numbers (IDNs) of directors and company secretaries with their partial IDNs on their own registers for public inspection;

Phase 2

Starting from 24 October 2022, Protected Information on the Index of Directors on the Register will be replaced with correspondence addresses and partial IDNs for public inspection.  Protected Information contained in documents filed for registration after commencement of this phase will not be provided for public inspection.  Hence, “Specified persons” could apply to the Registry for access to Protected Information of directors and other persons personal data. There are 7 types of “Specified persons” who can apply to the Registry for disclose of Protected Information. These 7 types are:

a liquidator,

a trustee in bankruptcy,

a public officer or public body,

a scheduled person,

a solicitor or foreign lawyer,

a certified public accountant , as well as

a financial institution or DNFBP.

Phase 3

From 27 December 2023, data subjects could apply to the Registry for protecting from public inspection. The Protected Information contained in documents registered with the Registry (“Withheld Information”), and replace such information with their correspondence addresses and partial IDNs.  Nevertheless, “Specified persons” could apply to the Registry for access to Withheld Information of directors and other persons.

For further information, please contact us.

You may want to read: NEW INSPECTION REGIME FOR THE COMPANIES REGISTER

COMPANIES REGISTRY – NEW INSPECTION REGIME PHASE 2

Further the new inspection regime for the Company Register. Phase 1 of a new inspection regime of the Companies Register under the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622) commenced on 23 August 2021. Then Phase 2 will commence on 24th October 2022.

What will Phase 2 of the new inspection regime cover?

Under Phase 2 of the new inspection regime, usual residential addresses and full identification numbers (“Protected Information”) on the Index of Directors on the companies Register, will be replaced with correspondence addresses and partial identification numbers for public inspection. Thus, the public cannot assess for the protected information. However, the “Specified persons” could apply to the Companies Registry for access to Protected Information of directors and other persons.

What is the protected information?

  1. Director’s usual residential address
  2. Full identification numbers

What is the replacement of the protected information?

  1. Directors can use corresponding addresses instead of usual residential addresses;
  2. Full Identity or Passport will only show first part

Who are the “Specified persons”?

The Registrar allows to disclose the protected information to the “Specified persons”.

The “specified persons” include –

  • data subject;
  • a person who is authorized in writing by a data subject to obtain the information;
  • a member of the company;
  • a liquidator;
  • a trustee in bankruptcy;
  • a public officer or public body;
  • a person specified in the Schedule to the Regulation;
  • a solicitor or foreign lawyer who practises law in a law firm;
  • a certified public accountant (practising);
  • a financial institution or designated non-financial businesses and professions.

For further information, please contact us.

You may want to read: COMMENCEMENT OF NEW INSPECTION REGIME – PHASE 1

TYPES OF MPF EARLY WITHDRAWAL

Under the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Legislation, you can’t withdrawal MPF until you are 65-year-old. However, you can withdraw your MPF earlier under below circumstances:

Early Retirement Withdrawal

If you are reaching age 60 and no more employment. Then you have to make a statutory declaration that you have no intention of becoming employed or self-employed again. And then you can withdraw you MPF in a lump sum or by instalments.

Permanent departure from Hong Kong Withdrawal

If you are going to leave Hong Kong permanently and reside elsewhere. Then it decided to leave or going to leave Hong Kong. And also, you have no intention of returning to Hong Kong for employment or as a permanent resident. Yet, you have to provide your foreign passport or visa to your MPF trustees as evidence. Let your trustees know you have the right to reside in a place outside Hong Kong.

On the ground of permanent departure, you have to think deep. As you have only one chance to apply for the early withdrawal MPF with this reason. Meanwhile, your final decision is enforcing by law. If the MPF member made a false or misleading statement to the trustees. MPF Authority will take legal action.

Total Incapacity Withdrawal

When the MPF members become permanently unfit to perform his/her previous job. Then the members have to provide a medical certificate written by a registered doctor.

Terminal illness Withdrawal

When the MPF members have an illness that is likely to reduce their life expectancy to 12 months or less. Then the members have to provide a medical certificate issued by a registered doctor.

Early Withdrawal due to Small balance

If you have a balance of not more than $5,000 in only one MPF scheme. And as at the date of application, at least 12 months must have elapsed since the last contribution date. Then you needed to make a statutory declaration that you have no intention of becoming employed or self-employed again.

Early Withdrawal due to Death

Sadly, if the MPF of a deceased scheme member is a part of the member’s estate. Hence, it must be claimed by the member’s personal representative or Official Administrator.

For further information, please contact us.

You may want to read: HOW TO CALCULATE MPF CONTRIBUTIONS?

HONG KONG POLICY ADDRESS 2022 HIGHLIGHT

Hong Kong Chief Executive Mr. John Lee delivered his first Policy Address on 19th October, 2022. The Policy Address mentioned Hong Kong is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. Notwithstanding the challenges, Hong Kong still the strongest business environment worldwide. As Hong Kong has own overriding advantages and enjoys abundant opportunities under the “One Country, Two System”.

Hong Kong Business Policy Address Highlights:

Support enterprises Relieve people’s burden

  • Extend the Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme to end-June next year. Launch a new $1.4 billion scheme thereafter to stage over 200 exhibitions in Hong Kong over three years.
  • Extend the Pre-approved Principal Payment Holiday Scheme for another six months; reduce water and sewage charges for non-domestic accounts for another eight months; and provide rental or fee concessions to tenants of government premises and short-term tenancies for another six months.
  • Raise the funding ceiling per enterprise under the Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales and the SME Export Marketing Fund to $7 million and $1 million.
  • Extend the special measure of Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme for another six months.
  • Extend the interest-free deferral of loan repayment under student financial assistance schemes for local post-secondary students for another one year.

Reinforce traditional advantages Develop emerging industries

  • Enhance competitiveness in financial services by facilitating large-scale advanced technology enterprises to list in Main Board, promoting the launch of more Renminbi-denominated investment tools, strengthening mutual market access, developing green and sustainable finance, etc.
  • Promote innovation and technology (I&T) development Facilitate commercialisation of research and development (R&D) outcomes:
    • Not only, attracting 100 high-potential I&T enterprises to set up operations in Hong Kong in next five years. Target to include at least 20 top-notch I&T enterprises.
    • As well as setting up the $10 billion “Research, Academic and Industry Sectors One-plus Scheme” (RAISe+ Scheme). In order to support commercialisation of R&D outcomes by university research teams.
    • Moreover, enhance existing technology talent schemes. By building more accommodation facilities for I&T talents.
    • Create the post of Commissioner for Industry to be responsible for co-ordinating and steering re-industrialisation strategies.
    • In addition, press ahead with construction of the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Innovation and Technology Park in the Lok Ma Chau Loop and development of San Tin Technopole.

Reinforce and develop on arts, cultural and creative industries

  • Showcase our soft power
    • Set up Culture Commission to formulate the Blueprint for Arts and Culture and Creative Industries Development.
    • Promote Hong Kong’s pop culture to go global through three media of film, TV and streaming platforms.
    • Establish the Mega Arts and Cultural Events Fund to support staging of international arts and cultural events in Hong Kong.
    • Provide financial support to promising and budding small and medium-sized arts groups and artists, and launch internship programmes for students studying arts and cultural programmes in post-secondary institutions.
    • Map out a 10 – year development blueprint to build more and expand arts and cultural facilities.
    • Enhance Asia IP Exchange portal to promote copyright trading and development of arts, cultural and creative industries.

For further information, please contact us.

You may want to read: 2021 POLICY ADDRESS HIGHLIGHT ON THE HONG KONG ECONOMY

STAMPING OF SHARE TRANSFER IN HONG KONG

Share Transfers

Share Transfers happens in any businesses, your Company Secretary or Agent will prepare a Contract Notes. The Contract Notes are required to be executed and stamped within a timeframe.

What’s within the Contract Note for a share transfer?

According to the Stamp Duty Ordinance (Cap. 17), the contract note should contain the following particulars

(a) whether the person effecting the sale or purchase of the stock is acting as principal or agent and, if as agent, the name of the principal must be listed;

(b) the date of the transaction and the making of the contract note;

(c) the quantity and description of such stock;

(d) the price per unit of such stock and the amount of the consideration or, in the case of an exchange, particulars of the property for which such stock is exchanged; and

(e) the date of settlement.

How much should you pay for the stamp?

The calculation of the stamp amount is according to the share transfer price. The equation of stamp duty paid:

Profit / Number of Shares x Number of Shares Transfer X 0.26 stamp + HKD5 admin fee to IRD

What kind of documents you need to prepare?

To enable the Stamp Office to assess the proper amount of stamp duty payable, the following documents and information should be submitted together with the transfer documents:

a. the Articles of Association and the latest copy of Annual Return (Form NAR1)

b. the latest copy of Return of Allotment (Form NSC1) ; if applied.

c. a certified true copy of the Agreement for Sale and Purchase of the shares

d. a statement on whether the company and its subsidiary(ies) (if any) has acquired any landed property, rights to acquire landed property or investments and, if so, with a completed Schedule of Landed Properties  

e. the following documents if the company involved has commenced business: –

  • the latest audited accounts of the company and its subsidiary(ies)
  • certified management accounts to-date of the company and its subsidiary(ies)
  • a certified copy of the resolution of meetings of directors for dividends paid or payable,
  • any other information and documents, where necessary, in individual case.

f. For the a recently incorporated company should prepare a written confirmation supported by a copy of the certificate of incorporation of the company

Time for Stamping

Stamp duty payable should within the following specified time:

Nature of DocumentTime for Stamping
Contract Note for Sale or purchase of any Stock2 days after the sale or purchase, if effected in Hong Kong; 30 days after the sale or purchase, if effected elsewhere
Transfer operating as a voluntary disposition inter vivos7 days after execution; 30 days after execution if executed outside Hong Kong
Transfer of any other kindBefore execution; 30 days after execution if executed outside Hong Kong
Stamp duty payable

Late Penalty

Late stamping subjects to the payment of penalty

Stamping DelayPenalty
not exceeding 1 month2 times the amount of stamp duty
exceeding 1 month but not exceeding 2 months4 times the amount of stamp duty
in any other case10 times the amount of stamp duty
Late Penalty

If you are requesting for remission of the penalty, then you should submit a full written explanation of the delay with supporting evidence. Then, the collector may or may not remit wholly or in part the penalty payable depending on individual circumstances.

For further information, please contact us.

You may want to read: CALCULATE STAMP DUTY RATES FOR COMPANY SHARE TRANSFER

LATEST ARRANGEMENT OF VACCINE PASS IN HONG KONG

What’s NEW with the VACCINE PASS?

Starting from 30th September 2022, children aged between 5 to 11 have to comply with the specified vaccination requirements. Children need to show the valid vaccine pass when entering any applicable premises. That is:

  1. Having received 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine; or
  2. Within 3 months after receiving the 2nd doses after the 1st dose of vaccine.

What about children aged above 12?

For the children aged above 12, they have to receive the 3rd dose after vaccinating 2nd dose within 5 months.

New function on the LeaveHomeSafe (LHS) Application

LHS application has a new function to facilitate the new arrangement of vaccine pass. Users can update LHS application, then the application can store up to 8 accompanied persons at the same time. In additions, the new function serves to enable members of the public:

  • to store the vaccine pass of accompanied persons who are exempted from using the LHS application. That is, persons aged 15 or below; Or persons aged 65 or above
  • Persons with disabilities

Therefore, it’s easier when a family entering to a premise, which only one person is need to present the vaccine pass for the whole family that accompanies together.

For further information, please contact us.

You may want to read: HONG KONG NEW 3+4 QUARANTINE POLICY UPDATED

EARLY WITHDRAWAL OF MPF

Previously, Centre O have talked about the circumstances for Early Withdrawal of MPF. Let us recap the scenarios:

  1. Early Retirement
  2. Permanent Departure from Hong Kong
  3. Total Incapacity
  4. Terminal Illness
  5. Small Balance
  6. Death

Required documents for Early Withdrawal of MPF

If you experiences any of the circumstances above and decide to withdraw your MPF. Then you should send a claim form to your trustee(s) of relevant MPF scheme(s) with the below required documents.

Early Withdrawal GroundsRequired Documents
Early Retirement-Identity document (e.g. HKID card)
-Claim form [MPF(S) – W(R)]
-Statutory -declaration* form [MPF(S) – W(SD1)]
Permanent departure from Hong Kong-Identity document (e.g. HKID card)
-Claim form [MPF(S) – W(O)]
-Statutory declaration* form [MPF(S) – W(SD2)]
-Documentary proof satisfying the trustee that the member is permitted to reside in a place outside Hong Kong
Total incapacity-Identity document (e.g. HKID card)
-Claim form [MPF(S) – W(O)]
-Certificate of a person’s permanent unfitness for a particular kind of work” form [MPF(S) – W(M)]
Terminal illness-Identity document (e.g. HKID card)
-Claim form [MPF(S) – W(O)]
-Certificate of a person’s permanent unfitness for a particular kind of work” form [MPF(S) – W(M)]
Small balance-Identity document (e.g. HKID card)
-Claim form [MPF(S) – W(O)]
-Certificate of a person’s permanent unfitness for a particular kind of work” form [MPF(S) – W(M)]
Death-Identity document of the personal representative (e.g. HKID card)
-Claim form [MPF(S) – W(O)]
-Letter of Administration or Probate

Notes to Statutory Declaration*

  • Undoubtedly, original application form must be filed.
  • Either signed by a Commissioner of Oaths, Notary Public or Justice of the Peace in Hong Kong; or
  • If overseas, equally, declaration must be signed and sealed by overseas:
    • A Notary Public; or
    • An authorised under the law of that place to administer an oath; or
    • A person authorised under the law of that place to take a statutory declaration.

How long does it take for the MPF payout?

On the whole, trustees need to payout your MPF within 30 days upon receiving all documents

For further information, please contact us.

You may want to read: Why MPFA is not authorising my request of releasing my money?

HONG KONG NEW 0+3 QUARANTINE MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE POLICY UPDATED

Started from 26 September 2022, arrivals to Hong Kong NO longer needed to isolate in a designated quarantine in a hotel. Instead, inbound travellers can choose to undergo 3 days of medical surveillance at home or at a hotel. During the medical surveillance, they can leave home, but restricted to visit premises like eat-in in restaurants. And travellers subject to take the PRC test in the community centres.

What is the details of the 0+3 Policy?

The New 0+3 Policy applies to arrival from overseas or Taiwan. The details of inbound control measures as below:

Boarding Requirement

  • Self RAT test – 24 hours before prior to the scheduled time of departure.
  • Obtain a Green Code via compete the Online Health & Quarantine Information Declaration of the Department of Health in advance.

Arrangement upon Arrival

To register for undergoing a nucleic acid test by scanning the health declaration QR code. Then, the system will issue medical surveillance notices, vaccination records and Provisional Vaccine Pass QR amber codes electronically.

Amber Code Restriction

Amber Code restrictions means visitors are not allowed to enter high-risk premises involving mask-off or group activities. For example, bars and restaurants. Travellers can conduct daily essential activities of lower risks, such as taking public transport, going to work, entering supermarkets and shopping malls, etc.

PCR Testing Arrangements

  • Day 0: On arrival Nucleic Acid Test at the airport;
  • Day 2, Day 4 and Day 6: Arrivals undergo nucleic acid test at a community testing centre; and
  • During medical surveillance and self-monitoring periods, arrivals are subject to daily RAT until Day 7 of arrival at Hong Kong.

For further information, please contact us.

You may want to read: HONG KONG NEW 3+4 QUARANTINE POLICY UPDATED