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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 urges Government to use budget surplus to nurture innovation and invest in community well-being

05 February 2018

[Hong Kong, 5 February 2018] The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) today shared its tax-related recommendations for the 2018-19 Budget, which will be announced on 28 February 2018. Under the heading "Being Smart, Staying Ahead and Staying Healthy", the Institute’s budget proposal focuses on tax policies and measures on the revenue side of the budget.

Hong Kong’s fiscal reserves stood at HK$954 billion at the end of March 2017. HKICPA estimates that the fiscal surplus for 2017/18 will reach HK$176 billion at the end of March, and fiscal reserves will increase to over HK$1.1 trillion. This is being driven by the higher than expected revenue from land sales, which the Government estimates at HK$101 billion, but which HKICPA believes will be HK$185 billion; as well as an increase in stamp duty, which is expected to be over HK$30 billion more than the Government estimates.

Investing in the tax regime development

In its budget submission, HKICPA expressed concern that key elements of the tax regime have become less predictable, especially around offshore claims and the source of profits, which may negatively affect investment.

“Uncertainties caused by unclear interpretation of court judgments and tax rules can act as a brake on investment, as businesses would prefer to invest where they can gauge their tax liabilities,” said Mr. So Kwok Kay, Chairman of the Institute's Taxation Faculty Executive Committee.

“To help businesses, there should be more codification of tax treatments in the rules, and the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) should introduce a clearer process for consulting on Departmental Interpretation and Practice Notes,” he explained.

HKICPA welcomes the establishment of the Tax Policy Unit (TPU) last year, but believes the TPU should broaden its scope beyond its initial focus on R&D and the two-tier profits tax arrangements.

“A number of major developments in international tax are forcing changes on Hong Kong’s system,” said Mr. So, “These include new standards on transfer pricing and exchange of taxpayers' financial account information between revenue authorities. Increasing competition for investment is also leading many countries to reduce tax rates. The US for example, is slashing its corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.”

The Government should provide more resources for the IRD, and also to the TPU, which should make greater use of external experts in the tax and commercial fields to help with researching into key issues, such as the long-term sustainability of the source principle; broadening the tax base; reviewing the effectiveness of existing incentives and modernising the legislation.

Promoting start-ups, innovation and R&D

“In a fast-changing world, the Government needs to regularly evaluate Hong Kong's tax policies and measures. The time is right for Hong Kong to do more to nurture innovation, review the tax regime and invest in the community's well-being.” said Mr. Curtis Ng, Convenor of Budget Proposals Sub-committee of HKICPA.

“Expanding the scope of eligible research and development (R&D) deductions would be very helpful. The 2017-18 Policy Address announced super deductions of up to 300% on qualifying R&D expenditure, which we generally welcome. However, start-up companies may not be generating profits in their early years, so granting tax credits to start-ups would be a better way of incentivising investment in R&D by such companies," Mr. Ng said.

"More flexibility is required in how the deductions for R&D are applied. Deductions should be allowed for R&D activities controlled from Hong Kong but which may be subcontracted wholly or partly to parties overseas," added Mr. Ng.

In addition, the Government should consider tax incentives to encourage venture funds and angel investors to invest in start-up companies, to supplement the efforts of the new Innovation and Technology Venture Fund Scheme, which is a time-limited initiative.

HKICPA is proposing several measures to promote Hong Kong as an intellectual property (IP) hub, including expanding the range of IP rights eligible for capital expenditure deductions, to encourage the creation and commercialisation of IP in Hong Kong. The Government should also give tax credits for foreign withholding taxes paid on royalties. This is particularly important in relation to countries where Hong Kong does not have a double tax agreement in place- that deals with the taxation of royalties.

Hong Kong’s Smart City Blueprint highlights the need for long-term sustainable development. New tax incentives could support the Blueprint by promoting retro-commissioning and building-based smart technologies. Additional deductions should also be considered for businesses to undertake cybersecurity audits. Cybersecurity is particularly important in industries which store and make use of large quantities of sensitive personal data.

The volatility of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies underscores the potential risks of the digital economy. Hong Kong should take action to determine whether more regulation and investor protection are needed and what tax treatment should apply to digital currencies. Investors and taxpayers also need guidance on tax repercussions of digital currency transactions.

To help promote better air quality and more sustainable living, the Government should further encourage the adoption of electric private cars by exploring incentives for commercial car parks to install charging stations. The Government should consider raising the cap on the waiver of first registration tax on electric private vehicles, at least for those who replace a petrol or diesel engine car with an electric car, or those buying a car for the first time. In addition Hong Kong should revisit the idea of electronic road pricing to reduce traffic congestion at peak times.

Improving community well-being


Despite the expectations of another very large fiscal surplus and massive fiscal reserves, HKICPA does not believe that the Government should give across-the-board cash handouts in the Budget. Rather, financial assistance should be targeted towards helping the most needy.

In promoting community well-being, HKICPA recommends an annual tax deduction of up to HK$100,000, equivalent to the home loan interest deduction, for rental payments to benefit taxpayers who cannot afford to buy their own homes and rent accommodation from the private market. An additional deduction of up to HK$60,000 for voluntary contributions to Mandatory Provident Fund accounts should encourage employees to save early for retirement.

The cost of public healthcare is escalating in Hong Kong, in part due to an aging population. HKICPA recommends a deduction of up to HK$12,000 per taxpayer and dependants for private health insurance, to encourage better usage of healthcare resources. Meanwhile, to support the aim of life-long good health and reduce the long-term burden on the healthcare system, parents should be able to claim a deduction of HK$12,000 for enrolling their children on approved sports training courses.

The HKICPA Hong Kong Tax Policy and Budget Proposals 2018-19 are available online at: gov-budget/Budget_Proposals_2018-19_(submission)_180205.pdf 



(香港,二零一八年二月五日)政府將於二零一八年二月二十八日宣佈二零一八至一九年度財政預算案,香港會計師公會今天就財政預算案發表稅務建議。公會的建議題為《促創新 惠民生》,集中討論稅務政策及預算案收入方面的措施。

截至二零一七年三月底,香港的財政儲備為 9,540 億港元。公會估計,二零一七至一八年度財政盈餘於二零一八年三月底達 1,760 億港元,而財政儲備將增至超過 11,000 億港元,增幅是由於政府的賣地收入高於預期及印花稅收入增加所致。政府估計賣地收入為 1,010 億港元,公會則估計達 1,850 億港元,而公會印花稅收入預期較政府的估計高出超過 300 億港元。






蘇先生續稱:「國際稅務的多項重大發展將迫使本港稅制作出改變,當中包括有關轉讓定價及稅務機關交換納稅人財務賬戶資料的新準則。同時,國際投資市場的競爭加劇,導致不少國家降低其主要所得稅稅率,舉例說,美國正將其企業所得稅率由 35%大幅下調至 21%。」




「擴大研究及發展的稅務可扣減費用範圍將可發揮作用。公會大致歡迎於二零一七至一八年施政報告內所公佈,為合資格研發開支提供 300%的超額稅務扣減。然而,初創公司可能在成立初年未有利潤,所以向初創公司提供補貼是激勵投資研發的更有效方法。」伍先生說。









為改善民生,公會建議為未有能力置業而在私人市場租屋的納稅人,提供每年最高 10 萬港元的租金支出稅務扣減,建議的可扣減金額相當於居所貸款利息可扣減金額。政府亦可鼓勵更多市民及早為退休儲蓄,向為強制性公積金戶口作自願性供款的人士提供額外可扣減金額,每年最多 6 萬港元。

香港公共醫療開支日益上升,部份原因是人口老化。公會建議提供私人醫療保險支出的稅務扣減,每名納稅人及其每名受養人每年最多 12,000 港元,鼓勵更有效使用醫療系統資源。此外,為保持市民長遠健康及減輕醫療系統的負擔,公會建議就子女參與核准體育訓練課程的支出為父母提供稅務扣減,每年最多 12,000 港元。

公會的二零一八至一九年度稅務政策及財政預算案建議全文已上載 gov-budget/Budget_Proposals_2018-19_(submission)_180205.pdf,以供參閱。