General issue on Employer’s Return Filing Services Q&A
1. We close our accounts on 31 December. Can we file form IR56Bs in accordance with our accounting date?
No. The basis period for Salaries Tax runs from 1 April of the current year to 31 March of the succeeding year. Hence, form IR56Bs must be completed for the relevant year ended 31 March.
2. We have reported our new business address in the box provided in form BIR56A. Is it necessary for us to notify the Business Registration Office of our new business address as well?
If you have provided a new business address in form BIR56A, there is no need to file a separate notice with the Business Registration Office. However, you should notify the Business Registration Office of any subsequent changes of address in accordance with the Business Registration Ordinance.
3. Is it necessary to report the income paid to shareholders/directors of a limited company? How about the income paid to proprietor or partners of an unincorporated business?
You need not report dividends paid to shareholders of a limited company because dividends are not taxable. On the other hand, salaries and directors’ fees received by directors are chargeable to Salaries Tax and should therefore be reported by means of form IR56B.
It is not necessary to file form IR56B for the proprietor /any partner of an unincorporated business or his spouse. The remunerations paid to such person are not allowable deductions under the Inland Revenue Ordinance and have to be adjusted in computing the profits chargeable to Profits Tax.
4. Can I print my own form IR56B, the format of which is the same as those issued by the Inland Revenue Department to the employers?
No, you cannot print your own paper form IR56B. If you wish to submit paper form IR56B, you must use the form IR56B provided by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). You can also download the form on the IRD’s website.
5. An employee resigned on 30 April 2022 without giving notice. My company has not yet filed any IR56B in respect of his remuneration. Which form should be used, should I file IR56B, or IR56F?
In the circumstance described by you, you should file the following forms in respect of this employee, namely:
- an IR56B for a year of assessment 2021/22 covering the period up to and including 31 March 2022; and
- an IR56F covering the period from 1 April 2022 to 30 April 2022.
Source: Inland Revenue Department – https://www.ird.gov.hk/eng/faq/cer.htm
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