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Tax appeal in Hong Kong

12 January 2023

[SCENE: A local coffee shop. Friends JOEL and LEANNE sit at a booth near the window, chatting. LEANNE sighs and stirs her drink. JOEL frowns.]


JOEL: What’s wrong? You’ve been sighing this whole time.


LEANNE: Nothing! I’ve just been dealing with tax matters for my company. You know how it gets.


JOEL: Well, I’m a CPA.


[JOEL leans back and flashes a grin. LEANNE rolls her eyes.]


LEANNE: Yeah. I know. For the rest of us commoners, taxes are a hassle.


JOEL: It’s not so bad. In Hong Kong, the Inland Revenue Department prepares the profits tax assessment for your company.


LEANNE: But that’s the problem! They’re still trying to tax all the business income after my objections!


JOEL: Actually, you can take a further step.

[JOEL adjusts his imaginary glasses.]

LEANNE: How do I do that?


JOEL:  Okay, let me text you the details.


In Hong Kong, the profits tax assessment is prepared by the Inland Revenue Department. The business may raise an objection and/ or appeal if they do not agree with the resulting profits tax assessment. This article gives you some general information on the tax appeal process in Hong Kong.


The taxpayer may submit an appeal to the Board of Review under Section 66 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. The conditions of a valid appeal include:

1.     Submission of the notice of appeal should be in a written format.

2.     The notice of appeal should be received by the Board of Review within one month from the date of the Commissioner's Determination.

3.     A statement of the grounds of appeal should be submitted together with the notice of appeal. The grounds of appeal should be supported by reasons.
The business should be reminded that additional grounds proposed afterward may not be accepted by the Board of Review. So, the drafting of the grounds of appeal must be carefully considered at this juncture.

4.     A copy of the Commissioner's Determination should be attached in the submission.

5.     A copy of the notice of appeal and the statement of the grounds of appeal have to be sent to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue

If the taxpayer is not satisfied with the decision of the Board of Review, the taxpayer may proceed further to the Court of First Instance under Section 69(1), the Court of Appeal, and the Court of Final Appeal under Cap 4 of the High Court Ordinance. For court case, the matter of law subject to appeal must be clearly stated with the agreement from the Board of Review.


[LEANNE reads the procedures very carefully.]


LEANNE: I see, but that means I only have two weeks left! I’m getting a tax representative.

JOEL: Good idea.

LEANNE: Thanks for the help. I’ll do that right after this. Now, what’s been up with you?


JOEL: So there’s this client at work...



About the author

Dr. Annie Mok Yuet-ngo - PhD, FCPA(HK), CPA (Washington State, USA), ATIHK, CTA, Department of Accountancy, Instructor, City University of Hong Kong. Member of Board of Review, HKSAR

Dr. Olivia Leung – PhD, CPA (ICABC Canada), Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), Associate Professor of Teaching, HKU Business School, The University of Hong Kong.