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COVID-19 CPA Information Centre

COVID-19 – CPA Information Centre

Disruption to all of our personal and business lives continues due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Mainland China, Hong Kong and around the world. We at the Institute are acutely aware of the additional pressure this has put on our members to try and maintain their working routines and continue to provide quality service to employers and clients.

This information centre collates together information and messages from the Institute and other bodies that members may find helpful.


Free e-Learning CPD courses

There are a selection of free e-learning CPD courses available for members and QP students. There are both verifiable and non-verifiable CPD programmes. The verifiable CPD courses are: 


Non-verifiable CPD courses:

Practice review
Reviews are still being undertaken at the Institute’s office. Tentative plans to undertake on site practice review visits are being made and notifications will be sent to the relevant practice units once the schedule is finalized.


Complaint handling
We take great pride in the efficiency and fairness of our complaint handling process and discharge our duty to protect the public interest while respecting the interests of our members. To allow members involved in complaints to properly deal with enquiries and other related matters, our compliance team will consider requests for extension of deadlines on a case-by-case basis.


Institute’s messages

The Institute has sent members messages on the COVID-19 epidemic and the impact on its activities. The latest of which is below.


Date Latest message
1 June 2021 Playing our part in protecting Hong Kong - Leading the vaccination drive in our community
  Full archive





New webpage on government relief measures 

The government has announced over 70 measures to support Hong Kong through the COVID-19 pandemic. To help members, the Institute has created a webpage containing important information about schemes most relevant to the community.


Free access to International Standards

Members can access ICAEW’s International Standards for free. Containing world-class technical resources, practical guidance, and live and recorded webinars, International Standards offers relevant and detailed information on accounting, auditing and ethics standards. For access, members need to complete a short registration process.

Support Programme for attending CPD

The Institute’s Support Programme has long been offering 5% of the seats at face-to-face CPD events free of charge to members who are unemployed or who are not working and planning to rejoin the workforce.

In light of the continuing restrictions and the replacement of face-to-face events with webinars, the Support Programme has been extended to include webinars. Eligible events are indicated in the event list.


Combatting Fraud

A new simple guide from the Institute to help avoid fraud and deception during a pandemic.


HKICPA Trust Fund

The HKICPA Trust Fund, provides assistance to members and their families experiencing financial hardship. Details can be found here.


We recognize the need for flexibility in the current situation and so have lifted the requirement to complete a full application form. Applications can be sent to the Secretary ( with a brief outline of the circumstances. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the fund’s trustees, who may seek further information or a full application.






Advice for auditors


Financial reporting


Listed companies reporting 


Professional accountants in business


Small and medium sized entities


Restructuring and insolvency






Exemption from compulsory quarantine arrangement

Practising members required to travel to the Mainland

The government announced on 18 May 2020 that certified public accountants (practising), partners, directors or employees of registered practice units who are required to travel to the Mainland to conduct audit work for companies listed in Hong Kong with Mainland operations may apply for exemption from the compulsory quarantine arrangement. The Institute is providing administrative support for the scheme, and has sent public interest entity auditors an email, information paper and forms (1, 2) for their completion. 


Latest update

With effect from 8 September 2021, the temporary suspension of quarantine exemption for persons who have stayed in Mainland (except Guangdong Province) during the 14 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong has been lifted, and processing of related applications for exemption has also been resumed. 

In addition, all exempted persons must take the post-arrival tests on specified days through combined nasal and throat swab only by a trained professional. 

Practice units are required to keep log sheets of movement and testing records of their staff to ensure compliance and facilitate contact tracing if required.  Practice units may devise their own log sheet for the said purpose.  Spot checks will be carried out by FSTB. Please click here for details.


For the previous announcements, please click here for details.


Return2hk quarantine exemptions and additional condition to the exempted persons

Return2hk quarantine exemptions and additional condition to the exempted persons
From 29 April, the Return2hk Travel Scheme has been extended from Guangdong Province and Macao to other Mainland provinces and municipalities. Upon fulfilment of all specified conditions Hong Kong residents could be exempted from the 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement when returning to Hong Kong. See the press release from 26 April 2021 or visit the scheme’s webpage for more information. 

In the government’s original announcement of the scheme on 11 November 2020, additional condition were introduced to the exempted persons, both approved or will be approved, under Cap. 599C "Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation" arriving Hong Kong via land boundary control points. The additional conditions, with effect from 23 November 2020, are also applicable to authorizations issued previously by Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau to exempted persons, whether or not they have or are yet to travel to the Mainland. Please click here for details


Guidelines for vehicles providing point-to-point transportation to Cap 599C exempted persons

The Food and Health Bureau issued guidelines for exempted persons and the practice units’ reference of the best practices when arranging point-to-point transportation in March 2021. In the case where the exempted persons arrange the point-to-point transportation by themselves (e.g. pick-up by family or friends), they are also encouraged to follow the guidelines as far as applicable. Click here for details.


Two tutorial videos on the disinfection procedure for vehicles providing point-to-point transportation and preparation of portable 1:49 bleach wipes gear for vehicles are provided by the Bureau for exempted persons' reference and implementation as far as practicable.  


Other professions that can apply for exemption


For all exemptions, click here.


Quarantine arrangements to persons arriving at Hong Kong from United Kingdom

On 1 April, the government announced its latest quarantine arrangements to persons arriving at Hong Kong from United Kingdom.


Financial Industry Recruitment Scheme for Tomorrow (FIRST)

On 25 September 2020, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau announced that the Financial Industry Recruitment Scheme for Tomorrow (FIRST) under the second round of the Anti-epidemic Fund will be launched and open for application on 30 September 2020. FIRST is a cross-sectoral job creation scheme dedicated to the financial services industry to help create 1,500 new jobs in the financial services industry. Refer to the dedicated webpage for details.


Latest social distancing measures 
On 28 September, the government announced to maintain most of the social distancing measures currently in place.


Advice on general meetings

For companies with annual general meetings, there are specific exemptions to the regulations to allow them to hold their AGMs, subject to no food or drink being served, the number of persons allowed in a room or partitioned area is 20. More details can be found in the press release from the government. Other bodies have also released guidance:

  • The SFC and the HKEX released a joint statement on 1 April 2020.
  • The Companies Registry has a webpage containing answers to questions about holding a general meeting.
  • The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries has also published guidance and messages on the topic on 31 March 2020 , 9 April 2020, and 21 April 2020


Government services

  • Companies Registry – Starting on 18 February, normal public services are resumed. Refer to the announcement for detailed arrangements.
  • Inland Revenue Department – Starting on 18 February, normal public services are resumed. Refer to the announcement for detailed arrangements.
  • The Judiciary – Court hearings will generally continue to proceed as scheduled. From 7 December 2020 onwards, the registries and accounts offices of all levels of courts will reduce their operating hours to 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Refer to the announcement for detailed arrangements.
  • Official Receiver's Office – Starting on 18 February, normal public services are resumed. Refer to the announcement for detailed arrangements.

Inland Revenue Department announcements

Tax exemptions for Anti-epidemic Fund schemes

The Exemption from Salaries Tax and Profits Tax (Anti-epidemic Fund) Order comes into operation on 29 May 2020. The order implements tax exemptions from the year of assessment 2019-20 to most of the financial assistance or relief under the Anti-epidemic Fund provided to businesses or individuals. Read the press release and annex for more about the order, and refer to the announcement for detailed arrangements.


Filing deadlines for 2019/20

  • Profits tax returns:
    This year there are also special extensions available under the block extension scheme for companies with accounting date code “N” (i.e. those whose accounting year end dates falls within 1 April to 30 November 2019). For N-code companies represented by tax representatives, filings are due by 30 June 2020.
    For unrepresented N-code companies that do not expect to be able to meet their one-month deadline  which means filing their returns by 3 June 2020, they can request IRD in writing for an extension of time. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    On 9 September the IRD announced that for filing Profits Tax returns for 2019/20 with Accounting Date Code D (i.e. accounting date falls within 1 December 2019 to 31 December 2019) are due by 30 September 2020.

Extended deadlines 

On 9 April 2020 the IRD announced that deadlines for the second payments for salaries tax, personal assessment and profits tax will be extended automatically for three months if the first payments are duly settled before the payment due dates. The extension does not apply to property tax, salaries tax due for individuals who will leave Hong Kong for good, and payments in which instalment arrangements are in place.


On 4 September 2020, the IRD announced that deadlines for tax payments (excluding Auto Tax Payment Service under the Tax Reserve Certificates Scheme), lodgement of objections and holdover applications, and submission of tax returns and information that fall between 20 July 2020 and 13 September 2020 will be automatically extended to 14 September 2020.





The HKSAR government

  • The HKSAR government’s COVID-19 Thematic Website, a one-stop platform for the local situation of the COVID-19 epidemic, including figures and dashboards relating to the epidemic, infection situation updates, government’s measures, health advice and guidance, as well as public services special arrangement updates.
  • Information Services Department, latest news on the COVID-19 from


International bodies


Global Accounting Alliance members


Accounting firms


Law firms