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Hong Kong's Top Firms Paid Less Profit Tax In 2006/7

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

08 May 2007


Hong Kong's top profits tax earner paid HK$2.07 billion (US$256 million) in tax in 2006/2007, while the territory's top individual taxpayer paid HK$56 million (US$7.2 million) in salaries tax, the Inland Revenue Department has reported.

According to the department's figures, the amount of profits tax paid by the top 10 companies in 2006-07 ranged from HK$470 million to HK$2.07 billion, lower than the range of HK$560 million to HK$2.54 billion recorded in 2005-06.

The amount of salaries tax paid by the top earner in 2006-07 is HK$45 million less than the 2005-06 equivalent amount. The second and third top earners in 2006-07 paid HK$55 million and HK$45 million, HK$11 and HK$16 million higher than those in 2005-06.

Total tax revenue soared to a record high of HK$155 billion in 2006-07, up 7% on the previous financial year. Income from profits tax rose 3% over a year earlier, to HK$71.9 billion, while that from salaries tax grew 3%, to HK$38.6 billion.

The tax payable in 2006-07 includes the final tax for 2005-06 and provisional tax for 2006-07. This is primarily computed with reference to the income or profits earned by the taxpayer or company in 2005-06.

However, as the 2005-06 provisional tax paid in the previous year could be set off against the tax charged for the year, it is difficult to ascertain the total assessable income or profits of an individual taxpayer or company from the amount of tax paid for the year.

The department said the amount of tax paid by a handful of taxpayers does not necessarily reflect the overall revenue-collection trend. The amounts of tax paid by a few taxpayers were particularly high, probably because they were in receipt of income other than salaries. Bonuses, commissions, allowances and share-option gains also form part of a taxpayer's assessable income.

The level of profits tax paid, however, depends much more on the business performance of individual companies.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series giving background tax and residence information on many of the key offshore jurisdictions is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report4.asp

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