All companies in Hong Kong are required by statutes to carry out the annual filing with the Companies Registry and the Inland Revenue Department. This article is primarily about the annual filing to the Companies Registry. These questions are addressed in the following sub headers:
What is General Compliance and Annual Filing?
The annual compliance requirements in Hong Kong involve the renewal of company secretary & registered office, auditing the accounts, renewing the business registration, ensuring the company’s statutory records are properly kept, holding an Annual General Meeting, ensure company particulars have been updated with the Companies Registry and carry out the annual filing with Companies Registry and Inland Revenue Department.
Hong Kong’s Companies Ordinance mandated that all companies must file their Annual Returns with the Companies Registry. This annual filing allows the Companies Registry to ensure that members of the public have access to latest specified information of the company, the company officers and shareholders etc.
The annual filing with the Companies Registry is done via form NAR1 which must be signed by the director, company secretary, manager or authorized representative. This form can be obtained from the Hong Kong Companies Registry website. An annual registration fee is payable on delivery of the annual filing with the amount dependent on the type of company i.e., whether it’s a local private company, local public company, a company limited by guarantee or a registered non-Hong Kong company. Registration fees range from HK$105 to HK$180.
The following information is needed for the annual filing with the Companies Registry:
- Particulars of the company such as company name, business name (if any), registered office address.
- Period covered by financial statements that must be submitted together with this annual filing.
- Liability status i.e., the total amount of indebtedness to which the annual return is made up in mortgages and charges.
- Share capital and particulars of members, if applicable.
- Particulars of the Company Secretary or Secretaries.
- Particulars of directors.
- Company records i.e., register, agreements, minutes, memorandums etc. that are not included in accounting records.
For companies that are not a private company, a certified true copy of the financial statements must be submitted together with the Annual Filing. These documents shall include the report from the directors and auditors.
Annual tax returns must be filed with the Inland Revenue Department every 12 months after the first tax return was made. The first tax return must be filed within 18 months of the date of the company’s
incorporation. While companies have the freedom to decide on their fiscal year-end date, most companies year-end date will either be 31st December or 31st March to coincide with the government’s fiscal year.
The tax returns consist of audited accounts including company’s balance sheet, auditor’s report, profit & loss account for the accounting period and a tax computation illustrating how the assessable profits or adjustable loss were calculated. Tax forms can be downloaded at the Internal Revenue Department’s website, www.ird.gov.hk.