The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) of Hong Kong is the government body which oversees all matters related to taxation in Hong Kong. It is also in charge of the enforcement and application of Hong Kong’s tax laws which are to be used for the benefit of Hong Kong’s taxpayers. The IRD is led by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue.  

Responsibilities of the Commissioner of Inland Revenue

There are several important responsibilities which are to be performed by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue. These tasks are necessary in order to ensure that the tax system of Hong Kong is able to operate optimally. 

 

Overseeing the administration of Tax Ordinances 

Among the primary responsibilities of the Commissioner of Inland Revenue is that of overseeing the administration of some of Hong Kong’s most significant tax ordinances. Among the ordinances which fall under the purview of the Commissioner of Inland Revenue include: 

  • the Stamp Duty Ordinance,  
  • the Business Registration Ordinance, 
  • the Betting Duty Ordinance, 
  • the Tax Reserve Certificates Ordinance, and 
  • the Inland Revenue Ordinance. 
     

Each of these ordinances, plays a vital role within the tax system of Hong Kong. Their use and enforcement are managed by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, and this fact thus makes that one of the key responsibilities to be fulfilled. 

 

Notice of Tax Compliance  

The Commissioner of Inland Revenue also receives notifications from taxpayers for the purposes of tax compliance. All taxpayers of Hong Kong are legally obliged to inform the Commissioner of Inland Revenue that they are chargeable for tax purposes at a point sooner than four months after the conclusion of the relevant year of assessment. However, this requirement does not apply to any taxpayer who has already received an individual tax return.  

The IRD under the direction of the Commissioner of Inland Revenue may also choose to make an extension to the filing deadline or any other tax deadlines if such an act is deemed suitable. One example of such an extension took place in 2020, when both the individual tax returns deadline and the profit tax returns deadline were both delayed by one month.

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Barring Errant Taxpayers from Leaving Hong Kong 

Another responsibility of the Commissioner of Inland Revenue is that of barring certain errant taxpayers from leaving Hong Kong in order to shirk their unpaid tax obligations. These taxpayers are those who have not paid the entire amount of tax which they owe to Hong Kong’s tax authorities and are also either planning to leave or have left Hong Kong to reside in another location. The Commissioner of Inland Revenue does so by applying to the relevant District Court to receive an official direction which would prevent such a taxpayer from departing from Hong Kong by any means.

 

The Commissioner of Inland Revenue is also to analyze and assess all tax-related objections filed by the taxpayers of Hong Kong. Such objections are filed by those who believe that their tax assessment for that year has been incorrectly or unjustly imposed. These objections are to be received by the IRD within one month of the taxpayer in question’s receiving of a notice of assessment. In most instances, the objections are managed and processed by other members of the IRD.  

However, in situations where the other members of the IRD are unable to reach a consensus regarding the objection in question, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue’s assistance in solving the problem will be required. After considering all the facts which are related to that objection, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue will decide on whether the assessment will either be upheld, modified, or annulled. 

Should you believe that there is a need for you to file a tax objection of any sort, let us at Paul Hype Page & Co assist you in this matter. We will explain just how your tax assessment should be changed if necessary. We will also contact the Commissioner of Inland Revenue or any other important figures within the Hong Kong tax system on your behalf if you seek further clarification from such important people.