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忘記密碼/使用者名稱 重新發送啟動電郵 註冊帳號 幫助網絡登錄

HKICPA's response to the HK Government's 2023-2024 Budget

22 February 2023

The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) welcomes the 2023-2024 Budget announced by the Government for its comprehensive approach in focusing on the needs of all sectors of society. It is hoped that the Budget will help the city get back on track, revive the economy in the post-COVID era, and reconnect with the international community. However, the HKICPA believes that the Government could also formulate more targeted measures, such as carrying out a broad review of the tax system and providing more family-friendly measures to retain and attract talent, so as to enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness in the medium and long term.


The HKICPA is pleased to note that the Budget has adopted a range of measures proposed previously by the Institute. These include funding for hosting large-scale international events and activities to promote high-quality tourism and eco-tourism, providing more community relief measures, promoting the digital economy, supporting start-ups and tech ventures, proposing tax incentives for intellectual property business, promoting green finance, introducing policies to encourage foreign direct investment, supporting community sports participation, improving Hong Kong’s livability, and promoting the wider adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).


2023-2024 Budget welcomed by the HKICPA


The Financial Secretary announced that a deficit of HK$139.8 billion is expected for 2022-2023, which is HK$25.9 billion higher than the HKICPA’s earlier estimate. The HKICPA believes that part of this gap is due to the impact of weaker public finances, as well as the withdrawal of three land sales in recent months, which has significantly decreased Government land sales revenue.


“While Hong Kong is on its way back to normality after the pandemic, there is still lingering uncertainty due to the increasing global economic slowdown and rising interest rates. Hong Kong needs to work together to re-establish and reinforce its ties with the international community. This will restore the trust in the city’s reputation as a top destination for global businesses,” says Loretta Fong CPA, President of the HKICPA. 



Tax reform called for to stabilise the economy in the long run


The HKICPA has been for years reiterating that a more extensive review of the tax system should be conducted due to the narrow tax base of Hong Kong, making most of the Government's recurrent revenue and capital income vulnerable to economic cycles. Therefore, the Institute has been calling for the Government to have a review on the mode of public finance and revenue, and a broader review on the taxation system, in tackling the pressure of public finance in the long run and preventing structural deficit.


“We are pleased to see the Government to set up a time table for the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) 2.0 initiative and the implementation in Hong Kong of a global minimum tax rate of 15% for large multinational companies. The HKICPA expects the Government to maintain close communications with major stakeholders, including taxation and accounting professionals, to enhance tax certainty for taxpayers, and hence to maintain Hong Kong's attractiveness in terms of taxation and competitiveness on business operation,” says Eugene Yeung CPA, Convenor of Budget Proposals Sub-committee of the HKICPA.


Relief measures to ease pressure on citizens


Consumption vouchers

The Budget proposed to hand out HK$5,000 in consumption vouchers to Hong Kong citizens, to be distributed in two instalments. This will be especially helpful for individuals and families of lower incomes. Due to the current economic downturn and rising energy costs, the HKICPA believes that in the current economic environment, consumption vouchers can assist grassroots residents reduce their financial burden and boost local consumption.


Given the Government's fiscal deficit and the fact that consumption vouchers only have short-term and limited effects, the HKICPA agrees that it is appropriate to issue a lower amount of vouchers this year than last year.



Salaries tax measures

In the past three years, the economic repercussions of the pandemic have taken a toll on everyone. The HKICPA suggested that the Government step in and relieve taxpayers’ financial burden. The HKICPA expresses disappointment with the decision to reduce the tax rebate from HK$10,000 in the 2022 Budget to HK$6,000 this year, and further suggests that the Government to review personal allowances (e.g. basic and dependent parent allowances) with the adjustment in line with inflation to alleviate taxpayers’ economic burden.


Ad volarem stamp duty (AVD)

The Budget has announced adjustments to the value bands of ad valorem stamp duty payable on the sale and purchase or transfer of both residential and non-residential properties. This will reduce the financial burden on first-time homebuyers.


The HKICPA notes that home prices in Hong Kong still remain relatively high despite the recent market downturn. Moreover, the demand for Hong Kong residential property from mainland buyers may strengthen after the re-opening of boundary with the Mainland. Therefore, the HKICPA supports the continuation of the so-called “property cooling measures”, while being pleased to see the Government make adjustments to the value bands of ad valorem stamp duty (Scale 2).


Tobacco duty and betting duty

The HKICPA understands that the Government is currently under financial pressure and needs to find ways to increase Government revenue in the short term to sustain its finances, including through betting duty and tobacco duty. 


In particular, the HKICPA considers the Government's announcement of an additional five-year football betting tax of HK$2.4 billion on the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the increase of tobacco duty acceptable, given that the Government continues to maintain a low-tax environment and that the impact of the football betting tax on the wider public is limited.


Nonetheless, the effectiveness of this method of collecting betting duty on a fixed-term basis differs from the Government's previous profit and betting pool bases, and therefore HKICPA hopes that the Government will further explain this taxation method.


Strengthening global connections 


The post-COVID era remains fraught with challenges and instability. The Budget includes the introduction of re-domiciliation mechanism, a new Capital Investment Entrant Scheme and a “patent box” tax incentive for intellectual property business, which should enhance Hong Kong's ability to attract investment and facilitate the city’s return to the international stage.


Hong Kong's tourism industry was hit hard during the pandemic. The HKICPA is pleased that the Government has been receptive to their recommendations to promote high-end tourism, which includes encouraging and supporting international events and activities such as conferences and exhibitions. It is hoped that Hong Kong's status as an events capital will not only enhance its international appeal, but will also attract more high-spending business travellers and tourists from mainland China and abroad. This, in turn, will give a much-needed boost to industries such as retail and tourism that have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.


Sarah Chan FCPA, Chair of the Taxation Faculty Executive Committee of the HKICPA, comments, “As Hong Kong emerges from the pandemic, it is imperative that Hong Kong reconnects with the international community. We believe that the Government should now also review the effectiveness and competitiveness of the existing tax incentives, such as the incentives for corporate treasury centres, and implement more concrete medium- and long-term measures to seize the opportunities presented by the post-COVID recovery, strengthen its international image, and enhance its competitiveness.”


HKICPA’s commentary on other initiatives

  • Promoting green finance development: Hong Kong is uniquely poised to be an international centre for green technology and finance. The HKICPA applauds the Government's move in issuing the first batch of tokenised green bonds, taking a pioneering role in green finance and fintech while aligning its green financing standards and taxonomies with international standards.
  • Such initiatives can help bolster investor confidence, thereby enlarging the market for sustainable financial products. This aligns with Hong Kong's sustainable development goals while staying up to date on global ESG trends.
  • Promoting a healthy lifestyle: The HKICPA welcomes the Government's decision to provide funding for the building of indoor skateboarding, climbing and other urban sports facilities. This move is expected to provide more opportunities for increasing participation in these healthy sports. The HKICPA also suggests that the Government adopt its recommendation to give a tax deduction of up to HK$12,000 for taxpayers and their dependants for enrolment in qualifying sports courses and activities.
  • Attracting and retaining talent: Lately Hong Kong has experienced an exodus of skilled workers, commonly referred to as the “brain drain”. To address this talent gap, the HKICPA suggests that the Government investigate measures to make Hong Kong more attractive to overseas talent, such as subsidising private education for their children, and providing allowances for hiring domestic helpers or for childcare services. The latter incentives would also benefit new parents who are unable to work from home.
  • Electric vehicles (EVs): The HKICPA supports the proposed measures in the Budget to encourage the use of new energy transportation. The Government is recommended to continue to support and incentivise public transport providers to further explore and test green and innovative technologies and to expand the EV charging infrastructure. Also, Euro VI emission standards should be adopted for all commercial vehicles that cannot be replaced by electric vehicles. This would hasten the process of replacing old commercial vehicles.
  • Family office: The HKICPA is pleased with the Government’s continued effort to promote Hong Kong as a destination for family offices through InvestHK. Hong Kong is strategically situated in the Greater Bay Area, with a sound financial regulatory framework. This makes it an ideal destination for family offices to expand their operations and meet the investment needs of ultra-high-net-worth individuals in the region through engaging with Hong Kong's markets.


Loretta Fong CPA, President of HKICPA (Centre), Eugene Yeung CPA, Convenor of Budget Proposals Sub-Committee of HKICPA (Left) and Ms. Sarah Chan FCPA, Chair of Taxation Faculty Executive Committee of HKICPA(Right) attended press conference to response to government Budget 2023-24.









稅制改革 長遠穩定經濟

香港會計師公會財政預算案建議委員會召集人楊澤志認為:「我們樂見政府為『稅基侵蝕及利潤轉移』(BEPS)  2.0 方案下對大型跨國企業實施全球最低稅率15%進一步訂下時間表。公會期望政府與主要持份者,包及會計專業保持緊密溝通,為納稅人提供更大的稅收確定性,以維持本港稅務及營商競爭力。」


引領社會復蘇 推振經濟措施





與國際接軌 迎接全球競爭







鼓勵市民健康生活公會歡迎政府計劃撥款興建室內滑板、攀石等設施,支援城市運動發展。公會期望政府可陸續增加相關措施,並進一步考慮公會的建議,為納稅人及其受養人所支付的認可運動課程和活動的費用提供每人最高 12,000港元的扣稅額。



電動汽車 (EVs)公會樂見財政預算案提出多項措施推動新能源運輸,並建議政府繼續鼓勵和支持公共交通營辦商探索測試綠色創新運輸技術及擴展電動汽車充電設,並對所有不能被電動車取代的商用車採用歐盟六期廢氣排放標準,務求可加快更換舊商用車。