A Guide To Hong Kong’s Taxation System

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

Hong Kong has proved itself to be an emerging and thriving business hub with Hong Kong’s realigned taxation system. Taxes are imposed based on a “territorial principle”. This means that if your business income source is outside of Hong Kong, your Hong Kong-based business will be exempted from Hong Kong’s taxes. Additionally, taxes are not imposed on profits that are remitted to Hong Kong from abroad. Therefore, all in all, it is highly attractive to conduct business through Hong Kong, because of its taxation system.

On the individual level, the same “territorial principle” applies as well. Therefore, the residential address of an employee is not the determinant for whether he will be taxed according to Hong Kong’s taxation system. The tax imposed is determined on the origin of the employee’s income. If it is arising from in or derived from Hong Kong, then it will be taxed according to Hong Kong taxes.

The taxation calendar starts 1st April and ends 31st March the following year. Hong Kong adopts the Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) framework that builds upon the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).

The overall statute governing the taxation system in Hong Kong is the Inland Revenue Ordinance and within this structure, there is its subsidiary legislation, the Inland Revenue Rules that covers the different aspects of taxes. All these are overseen by the Inland Revenue Department which upholds the highest level of integrity and bureaucracy in its management of taxes.

Individual Taxes*

Income Level (in Hong Kong Dollars) / Tax Rate

1 to 50,000 / 2%

50,001 to 100,000 / 6%

100,001 to 150,000 / 10%

150,001 to 200,000 / 14%

Above 200,000 / 17%

* There is a flat 0% tax rate imposed on personal capital gains, income derived from overseas as well as dividends from a Hong Kong-based company.

Company Taxes*

Income Level (in Hong Kong Dollars) / Tax Rate

For Corporations

First $2 million / 8.25%

Over $2 million / 16.5%

For Unincorporated Businesses

First $2 million / 7.5%

Over $2 million / 15%

* There is also a flat 0% tax rate on all corporate capital gains, shareholder dividends as well as foreign-sourced income.

Other Taxes

Type of Tax / Tax Rate

Property Tax / 15%

Estate Tax (Inheritance/ Death Tax) / 0%

Stamp Duty Tax / Dependent on the type of documents. Can be fixed duties or ad valorem duties

Hotel Accommodation Tax / 0%

By Celestine Loh.

Founded in 2013, Zegal is the fastest growing LegalTech company operating across Asia Pacific and Europe. Today, business users and lawyers across the globe trust Zegal’s software to solve legal problems in an affordable and efficient way.

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