Note: This article was updated on 7 Feb 2019 to inform our dear readers that Talenox supports 3 more employee tax forms for Hong Kong businesses.
They are: IR56E, IR56F and IR56G.
Tax submission in Hong Kong
Despite being relatively advanced in the digital and technological spheres, Hong Kong’s tax submission procedures are still not yet fully automated. Still common is paper filing and the postage of physical tax forms (from government sites or printed from an HR software).
The good news however, is that the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has been making progress in recent years, allowing electronic filing through GovHK portal, where you can submit some of your tax forms—such as IR56E, IR56F and IR56G—online.
The not-so-great news: main tax forms like IR56B will still require manual filling, and that can be quite time-consuming.
IR-what? The different tax forms
What exactly are the different tax forms and what is the purpose of each? Here’s a brief overview for you (summarised from IRD):
This is a form that you’ll need to submit for new hires. The submission has to be done within 3 months from the commencement of employment or date of hire.
For resignees, you will need to submit this 1 month prior to the cessation of employment or resign date.
If your employee is a foreigner and he/she is leaving Hong Kong after the cessation of employment, you will need to submit this form 1 month before the expected departure date of this employee.
This form must be submitted yearly for IRD to calculate the tax contribution for your employees. This is done every year in April from 1st April to 30th April, in which the taxes will pertain to the salary earned from 1st April of the previous year to 31st March of the current year. (Example: When filling in April 2018, you are filling based on payroll records from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018.)
How an HR platform can help
Since Talenox started operating in Hong Kong, we have been working on developing better automation for companies in the market. As long as you have been running payroll on Talenox for the past financial year, you can easily print out IR56B, IR56E (new employment), IR56F (for termination of service/death), and IR56G (for employees leaving Hong Kong for a substantial period of time) forms from Talenox to mail to IRD.
As IRD opens up for integration with HR applications, we hope to make this process even easier in the future. The goal is to achieve a 1-click submission-type of functionality for Hong Kong the same way we did with Singapore’s IR8A.
More HR automation coming your way
Thanks to IRD And GovHK making more progress in the digital arena in recent years, IRD started allowing a soft copy file upload option for tax filing a few months back. This has created more automation possibilities for HR platforms like Talenox to work closely with IRD to automate tax submission processes.
We’re really looking forward to more exciting integrations coming your way. Have an awesome tax submission period!