SNAPSHOTS OF HONG KONG BUDGET 2018/2019

The Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr Paul Chan delivered the 2018/19 Budget speech on 28 February 2018. Having another year of healthy fiscal surplus the initiatives put forward in this Budget underpinned three main objectives:

1. Diversified economy: To diversify Hong Kong’s economy to create wealth for its people and to provide wider and better development opportunities for our young people.

2. Investing for the future: To address the needs for the ageing population and ensure that Hong Kong’s living environment is improved environmentally and technologically, making it an ideal location in which to live and work.

3. Caring and sharing: To better support children and young people with care, protection and opportunities; relief the financial burdens of the middle-class families and support the underprivileged and vulnerable.

This highlight summarised the major proposals in relation to tax and business that was announced:

TAX RELIEF AND SUPPORT MEASURES

(a) Salaries tax

 A one-off reduction of 75% of salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for 2017/2018, subject to a ceiling of HK$30,000.

 Tax rates and allowances

The tax charge is the lower of:

a) The standard rate of 15% applying to net chargeable income before allowances and deductions;

b) The progressive rates applying to net chargeable income with widen marginal bands for salaries tax from current HK$45,000 to HK$50,000 are as follows:

Present

2017/2018

Rate

Proposed (From 2018/19 onwards)

Rate

First HK$45,000

2%

First HK$50,000

2%

Next HK$45,000

7%

Next HK$50,000

6%

Next HK$45,000

12%

Next HK$50,000

10%

Balance

17%

Next HK$50,000

14%

Balance

17%

 

TAX RELIEF AND SUPPORT MEASURES (continued)

(a) Salaries tax (continued)

 Increasing allowances, deductions and introducing a personal disability allowance as follows:

Year of Assessment

Present
(2017/18)
$

Proposed (From 2018/19 onwards)
$

Child allowance

For each of the 1st to 9th child

100,000

120,000

Additional Child Allowance for each child born during the year of assessment

100,000

120,000

Dependent Parent/ Grandparent Allowance (For each dependant)

Parent/ Grandparent aged 60 or above, or is eligible to claim an allowance under the Government’s Disability Allowance Scheme

46,000

50,000

Parent/ Grandparent aged between 55 and 59

23,000

25,000

Additional Dependent Parent/ Grandparent Allowance (For each dependant who is living with the taxpayer continuously throughout the year)

Parent/ Grandparent aged 60 or above, or is eligible to claim an allowance under the Government’s Disability Allowance Scheme

46,000

50,000

Parent/ Grandparent aged between 55 and 59

23,000

25,000

Personal Disability Allowance

Not applicable

75,000

Elderly Residential Care expenses

92,000

100,000

 

Making the following changes to personal allowances and deductions:

Allow married persons the option to elect personal assessment separately, starting from the year of assessment 2018/19.

Provide a tax deduction for qualified premium for taxpayers who purchase eligible health insurance products for themselves or their dependants under the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme, at the annual ceiling of HK$8,000 per insured person.

Allow tax deduction for voluntary contributions made to the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) and contributions made to deferred annuity products under the Life Annuity Scheme.

 

(b) Profits tax

Tax Rate:

The tax rate remains unchanged. A one-off reduction of 75% profits tax for 2017/18, subject to a ceiling of HK$30,000 has been proposed. The reduction will be reflected in the taxpayer’s final tax payable for 2017/18.

Subject to enactment of the two tier profits tax regime, the profits tax rate for corporations will remain at 16.5% and for unincorporated businesses, it will remain at 15%. The proposed regime will reduce the current rate by 50% for the first HK$ 2 million of taxable profits as illustrated below: Present

(2017/18)

Proposed (From 2018/19 onwards)1

Companies

 First HK$2,000,000

16.5%

8.25%

 On the remainder

16.5%

16.5%

Unincorporated businesses

 First HK$2,000,000

15%

7.25%

 On the remainder

15%

15%

 

To actively seek to sign Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs), Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) and Comprehensive Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements (CDTAs) with other economies, including those along the Belt and Road, to fortify Hong Kong’s position as an international trade and investment hub.

MEASURES TO SUPPORT ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION

 To allow one-off tax deduction for capital expenditure incurred by enterprises in procuring eligible energy efficient building installations and renewable energy devices.

To extend waiver in full the first registration tax (FRT) for electric commercial vehicles, electric motor cycles and electric motor tricycles until 31 March 2021. Apart from the continuation of the current FRT concession of up to HK$97,500, a “one-for-one replacement” scheme is introduced today to allow eligible private car owners who buy a new electric private car and scrap an eligible private car they own to enjoy a higher FRT concession of up to HK$250,000, until 31 March 2021.

OTHER RELIEF MEASURES

Waive rates for four quarters of 2018/19, subject to a ceiling of HK$2,500 per quarter for each rateable tenement.

Provide two-month extra allowance to recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA), Old Age Allowance, Old Age Living Allowance and Disability Allowance.

Similar arrangements will apply to Low-income Working Family Allowance (LIFA) and Work Incentive Transport Subsidy.

Provide a one-off grant of HK$2,000 to each student in need to support learning and pay examination fees for candidates sitting for the 2019 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination.

Continue the issuance of Silver Bonds in 2018 and 2019, targeting Hong Kong residents aged 65 or above and launch of a green bond issuance with a borrowing ceiling of HK$100 billion.

 

If you wish to understand more on the budget, please feel free to approach:

Ms Peggy Fung – Email: peggy.fung@acutus-hk.com
Ms Winifred Yue – Email: winifred.yue@acutus-hk.com

Address: Unit 201 2nd Floor Tesbury Centre
28 Queen’s Road East Wanchai
Hong Kong SAR

Other offices
Singapore – Mr Jimmy Oei – Email: jimmy.oei@acutus-ca.com
Malaysia – Mr Low Kok Fei – Email: kokfei.low@acutus-ca.com

 

DISCLAIMER: This article is issued exclusively for the general information of clients and staff of Acutus. The material should not be relied upon without appropriate professional advice. Acutus will not be liable for any loss or damage arising out of or in connection with the material contained in this publication.

© March 2018. This article is contributed by Acutus Tax & Corporate Services Limited. All rights reserved

 

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