ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Stamp duty amendment bill to be introduced to LegCo

If approved, the new stamp duty rate will take effect in August 2021.

The government has officially published its proposal increasing the rate of Stamp Duty on Stock Transfers to 0.13% as proposed under the 2021/22 budget.

The Revenue (Stamp Duty) Bill 2021 will be introduced to the Legislative Council on 17 March.

The bill will amend Stamp Duty Ordinance (Cap. 117), which imposes a 0.1% rate of stamp duty payable on contract notes for sale or purchase of Hong Kong Stock.

“The proposal has struck a balance between the need for increasing government revenue and sustaining financial market development," the government spokesperson said. “The government will continue to spare no efforts in introducing measures to facilitate the development of the securities market, so as to take our financial services sector to the next level."

The bill will also raise the stamp duty rate to 0.26% chargeable on transfer operating as a voluntary disposition inter vivos from the current 0.2%.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced the measure during his 24 February budget statement as a way to increase revenues. He made no other proposal to introduce new taxes as he deemed it is not the appropriate time.

The government has also published the Revenue (Tax Concessions) Bill 2021. It will amend the Inland Revenue Ordinance to reduce by 100% salaries tax, profits tax and tax under personal assessment, subject to a $10,000 ceiling. This will be applied to the year assessment 2020/21.

The proposal is also a part of the budget statement, intended to relieve individuals who have been affected by the crisis.

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