Hong Kong: Reduction of Business Registration Levy

It was gazetted on 10 June 2022, that the business registration levy will be reduced from HKD250 per annum to HKD150 per annum. Subject to the passing of the Business Registration Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 2) Order 2022 (Order) by the Legislative Council on 15 June 2022, the new levy rate will apply to incorporation applications lodged on or after 17 June 2022. For registration of non-Hong Kong companies, the new levy rate applies to business registration certificates with the date of commencement on or after 17 June 2022 (i.e. the date of commencement of business in Hong Kong is on or after that date). This reduction of the business registration levy comes in addition to the waiving of the business registration fee for 2022/23 as announced for this year’s budget. The IRD’s updated business registration and levy fee table can be viewed here. Marbury clients who have already been billed for their business registration fees for the coming financial year will see a credit item on their October annual invoice (where applicable). Whereas our clients who are incorporating or commencing business from 17 June onwards will be charged according to the new levy of HKD150. For more information, please contact your usual Marbury advisor or info@marburys.com.

Employment Support Scheme 2022 (ESS 2022)

The Hong Kong Government has launched a third round of financial support to aid employers retain their current employees, or even employ more staff, as part of its continued Anti-epidemic Fund measures. Eligible employers can receive subsidies of up to HKD8,000 per employee for three months whilst eligible self-employed applicants can receive a one-off payment. The Employment Support Scheme 2022 eligibility criteria and application process are largely the same as for the initial scheme launched in 2020. The application process opens today, 29 April, and runs until 12 May 2022. Eligibility Employer: must have participated in Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) or set-up Occupational Retirement (ORSO) Schemes on or before 31 December 2021; is not listed in Part 1 of the Exclusion List (including Government organisations, consulates, universities); is not involved in winding up, deregistration or striking-off process, or has not become dormant; and has fully settled all clawback/penalty payments relating to the 2020 ESS by 10 May 2022.  Self-employed person: should apply in an individual capacity as a self-employed person; must have successfully created an MPF ‘self-employed person’ account on or before 31 December 2021, and have not terminated the account at the time of application; and where an eligible self-employed person has more than one MPF ‘self-employed person’ account, only one application can be made. Subsidy structure and calculations Employers can choose the reference month against which the MPF/ORSO wage records are referenced to calculate the subsidies. Where employers successfully applied for ESS 2020 subsidies, the same reference month can be used, or if preferred, a month between October to December 2021 can be chosen if it provides a higher wage subsidy. New applicants must select a reference month … Discover More

Hong Kong Business Registration Fee Waiver 2022/23

Hong Kong Budget Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, outlined his budget for 2022-23 in the Budget Address on 23 February 2022. Included in the measures to support enterprises through the difficult pandemic period was the continuation of the business registration fee waiver. Waiving business registration fees for 2022-23 It is proposed again that the business registration (BR) fees for the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 will be waived, and only the BR Levy will be charged. As such, the total BR fee for a 1-year certificate will be HKD250 (USD32) for this period, instead of HKD2250 (USD287). The IRD will announce the refund arrangement after the relevant legislative amendment is passed by the Legislative Council. Marbury clients who have already been billed for their BR fee the coming financial year will receive a reduced invoice to account for the fee waiver in their next billing cycle. Whereas our clients who are incorporating in the coming financial year will be charged according to the proposed fee waiver. Marbury clients are reminded that the two-year company annual return registration fee waiver, announced in the 2020-21 budget, ends this year. From 1 October 2022, the annual return registration fee of HKD105 (USD14) will be charged. Marbury’s company secretarial and business enterprise solutions teams can help clients keep their companies compliant with statutory filings and audits, even whilst their owners may not be able to return to Hong Kong. Marbury can also help with the full gamut of visa application and extension queries. For more information, please contact your usual Marbury advisor or info@marburys.com.

Hong Kong 2021-22 Budget proposals

Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, Paul Chan, outlined his budget for 2020-21 in the Budget Address on 24 February 2021 outlining measures to support enterprises, revive and stimulate the economy as well as tax policy. Highlights of the measures of particular interest to Hong Kong companies and our clients operating in Hong Kong are set out here.