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14.3. Calendar of Important Compliance Events

Tax Year

The tax year in Hong Kong is 1st April to 31st March of the following year.

Tax Return Filing

Tax returns are filed annually, typically within one month of when the return notice is issued to the taxpayer by the IRD, with an addition two weeks if filing electronically. If the taxpayer has a tax representative that has applied for the extension scheme, the due date is generally in May of the following year for accounting periods ending 1 April to 30 November; in August of the following year for accounting periods ending in December; and in November of the same year for accounting periods ending 1 January to 31 March. The return is filed along with a tax computation showing the tax adjustments to the accounting profits in arriving at the taxable profits or allowable tax losses for a given year of assessment.

After tax returns are filed, notices of assessment are issued which detail the due dates for provisional and final tax payment, typically twice a year as covered above. The first payment is generally due by the third quarter, and the second due by the end of the year.

Newly registered businesses will generally receive their first profits tax return some 18 months after the date of commencement of business or the date of incorporation. There are also cases in which the IRD will not issue an annual tax return notice. Such cases are when a trade, profession or business carried does not give rise to assessable profits or where the trade, profession or business has not commenced or has ceased.

Annual Tax Returns and Audited Financial Statements

Companies Incorporated in Hong Kong must prepare and submit audited financial statements with their annual tax return. They must appoint a company auditor who is qualified under Hong Kong Professional Accountants Ordinance.

Taxpayers which qualify as small corporations (those with gross income of HKD 2,000,000 or less) are not required to submit audited financials with their tax return. However, they must still keep audited financials and make them available upon request by the IRD.

Branches of foreign companies, and companies located in jurisdictions which do not require accounts be audited, are also typically exempt from providing audited financials in annual tax returns

Companies Registry Annual Return

Companies incorporated in Hong Kong are required to submit an annual return to the Hong Kong Companies Registry. The return should include the particulars of the company such as the address of the registered office, shareholders, directors, secretary, etc.

Availability of E-filings

Hong Kong corporations and partnerships that satisfy certain conditions can file their annual profits tax electronically via Hong Kong's eTAX system.

The conditions for corporations include:

  • Its gross income does not exceed HKD 2,000,000
  • No profits assessable to a non-resident regarded as assessable to the resident corporation
  • It is not claiming a foreign tax credit
  • It has not obtained an advance ruling on any of its tax matters in relation to that year of assessment
  • It should not have paid or accrued to a non-resident person any sum for the use of intellectual property.

Conditions for partnerships include those for corporations as well as:

  • It cannot have more than 6 partners during the period of assessment
  • All partners must be individuals
  • If any of the conditions are not met, paper filing is required.