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Hong Kong Individual - Significant developments

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2018/19 Budget measures

The Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No.4) Ordinance 2018, which was enacted in May 2018, gave effect to the following individual tax measures proposed in the 2018/19 Budget:

  • Increase the number of salaries tax bands from four to five with adjusted marginal rates at 2%, 6%, 10%, 14%, and 17% from year of assessment 2018/19 onwards.
  • Widen the marginal tax bands to 50,000 Hong Kong dollars (HKD) from year of assessment 2018/19 onwards.
  • Increase both the basic and additional child allowances to HKD 120,000 for each eligible child from year of assessment 2018/19 onwards.
  • Increase the dependent parent/grandparent allowances for each eligible parent/grandparent as follows from year of assessment 2018/19 onwards:
    • HKD 50,000 (aged 60 or above and not residing with the taxpayer throughout the year).
    • HKD 100,000 (aged 60 or above and residing with the taxpayer throughout the year).
    • HKD 25,000 (aged 55 to 59 and not residing with the taxpayer throughout the year).
    • HKD 50,000 (aged 55 to 59 and residing with the taxpayer throughout the year).
  • Introduce a new personal disability allowance of HKD 75,000 from year of assessment 2018/19 onwards.
  • Increase the deduction ceiling for elderly residential care expenses to HKD 100,000 from year of assessment 2018/19 onwards.
  • Waive 75% of salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for 2017/18, subject to a ceiling of HKD 30,000, to be deducted from the taxpayer’s final tax payable for the year.

Stamp duty rates on residential properties

The Stamp Duty (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 was gazetted on 19 January 2018. It increases the stamp duty rate on transfer of Hong Kong residential properties to a flat rate of 15%, with certain exemptions. One common exemption is the acquisition of residential property by a Hong Kong permanent resident who does not own any residential property at the time of acquisition. In this case, the applicable stamp duty ranges from a fixed amount of HKD 100 (for property consideration of up to HKD 2 million) to 4.25% of the consideration (for property consideration exceeding HKD 20 million). The 15% flat rate applies retrospectively from 5 November 2016, unless specifically exempted or provided otherwise.

Furthermore, the Stamp Duty (Amendment) (No. 2) Ordinance 2018 was gazetted on 20 April 2018. It tightens the situation where a flat rate of 15% is not applicable. Pursuant to the Ordinance, unless specifically exempted or otherwise provided, any instrument executed on or after 12 April 2017 for acquisition of more than one residential property under that instrument will be subject to stamp duty at a flat rate of 15%, even if the acquirer is a Hong Kong permanent resident who does not own any residential property in Hong Kong at the time of acquiring the multiple residential properties.


Last Reviewed - 27 June 2018

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