1. Osome Blog Hong Kong
  2. Deadlines To Keep In Mind To Stay a Compliant Company in Hong Kong

Author Osome Content TeamOsome Content Team

6 min read
Secretary

Deadlines To Keep In Mind To Stay a Compliant Company in Hong Kong

Deadlines To Keep In Mind To Stay a Compliant Company in Hong Kong

Tax and filing deadlines are the bane for many company directors, but we can be fairly certain they’re here to stay.

Whether you’re a Type A (“Deadlines are easy!”) or Type B (“When is my next deadline?!”) entrepreneur, we’ve put together this handy guide for you. It summarises the various filings and their respective deadlines that Hong Kong registered companies must follow to avoid paying penalties. Some deadlines are across the board for all companies - such as tax deadlines in April every year - and some are variable depending on your financial year end or whenever changes or developments happen in your company.

Grab your calendars, and be sure to take notes! If you’d rather focus on growing your business rather than get your brain scrambling to remember the deadlines, you can trust our experienced corporate secretaries with these important tasks. A compliant company is important to continue operating and growing.

Quick Summary of All the Key Filings To Be Done

Apart from taxes, there are also other key filings and obligations that Hong Kong companies must submit or perform on time. Otherwise, higher filing fees or late penalties may be imposed by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) or the Companies Registry.

Here’s a list of them:

  1. Profits tax return (i.e. corporate taxes).
  2. Employer’s return, even if your company has no employees.
  3. Annual return.
  4. Annual general meeting. It’s not a filing per se, but an obligation that must be carried out unless exempted by your shareholders.
  5. Business renewal.
  6. Updates on all changes to your company’s information.

As there are 2 main authorities you’ll need to file with, we’ve divided this guide into deadlines with the IRD and deadlines with the Companies Registry.

Deadlines With the Inland Revenue Department

Every April, there are 2 major Hong Kong tax filing deadlines to take note of: profits tax return, and employer’s return. These deadlines apply to all companies in Hong Kong.

Other than the once a year filing for the above, you’re also required to submit employer’s return forms to IRD whenever employees join or leave your company. We’ll explain more below.

  1. Profits Tax Return

Deadline for filing

IRD will release the annual tax return on the first working day of April every year. You must submit your company’s profits tax return within 1 month of receiving the notice, for the year of assessment ended 31 March.

For newly formed companies, the profits tax return must be filed at least 18 months after the incorporation date, and then within 12 months after the first tax return is filed.

Profits return form to fill up on eTAX BIR52 for corporations. (See sample from IRD’s website.)
Supplementary forms to fill up on eTAX, where applicable
  • S1 - Person electi
  • S2 - Transfer pricing.
  • S3 - Expenditure on research & development.
  • S4 - Expenditure on energy efficient building installation.
  • S5 - Ship-owner.
  • S6 - Professional reinsurer.
  • S7 - Authorized captive insurer.
  • S8 - Qualifying corporate treasury centre.
  • S9 - Qualifying aircraft lessor.
  • S10 - Qualifying aircraft leasing manager.
  • S11 - Qualifying ship lessor.
  • S12 - Qualifying ship leasing manager.
  • S13 - Specified insurer.
  • S14 - Licensed insurance broker company.
  • You can download the supplementary forms from IRD’s website. If you’re unsure which forms apply to your company, it’s best to consult your tax accountant.

Documents to be submitted, unless your company is either small or dormant
  • Audited financial statements, including auditor’s report and the balance sheet.
  • Profit and loss accounts for the year of assessment ended 31 March.
  • A tax computation showing how your company has calculated its

Small companies must prepare audited financial statements even though they’re not required to submit them to IRD, unless specifically requested.

Find out more about profits tax returns in Hong Kong.

  1. Employer’s Return (once a year filing)

Deadline for filing Similar to profits tax return, IRD will issue the employer’s return on the first working day of April. You must submit your company’s employer’s return within 1 month of receiving the notice, for the year of assessment ended 31 March.
Employer’s return form to fill up on eTAX BIR56A for corporations. (See BIR56A sample from IRD’s website.)
Supplementary forms to fill up on eTAX, where applicable
  • IR56B per employee under employment as of 31 March, who earned at least HK$132,000 during the year of assessment.
  • IR56M per person not on your payroll (e.g. freelancer, consultant, specialist) that your company paid more than HK$25,000 during the year of assessment. (See IR56M sample from IRD’s website.)
  • IR6036B per sub-contractor that your company paid more than HK$200,000 during the year of assessment. (See IR6036B sample from IRD’s website.)
  1. Employer’s Return (ad-hoc filing)

For new employees, you must submit the IR56E to the IRD within 3 months of employment. (See IR56E sample from IRD’s website.)

For employees who leave your company, you must submit the IR56F within 1 month of their departure. (See IR56F sample from IRD’s website.)

For employees who will be leaving Hong Kong, you must submit the IR56G 1 month prior to the expected departure date. (See IR56G sample from IRD’s website.)

Deadlines with the Companies Registry

Every year, all Hong Kong companies must conduct an annual general meeting and submit their annual return to the Companies Registry. There’s also a separate business renewal that must be completed, although the government has provided a 3-year renewal option to reduce the hassle.

Lastly, whenever there are changes in your company related to your registered office address, company secretary, or company directors, you must report these to the Companies Registry promptly so that your records with them are kept up to date.

Let’s look into each of the filing obligations.

  1. Annual Return

Your company’s annual return is due within 42 days of your incorporation anniversary every year. The cost of filing your company’s annual return, called the “registration fee”, is HK$105.

The 42-day period includes Sundays and public holidays. If the 42nd day falls on a Sunday or a public holiday, the due date will be extended to the next working day. However, if the 42nd day falls on a Saturday, there will be no adjustments to the due date. Submissions of the annual return via post must reach the registry by Friday. Otherwise, even if your submission reaches them the following Monday, the higher registration fee of $870 will apply.  

Tip

Registration fees for annual returns due between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2022 are waived under the Companies (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 2020, provided you file them on time.

  1. Annual General Meeting

Under traditional regulations, companies must hold annual general meetings (AGM) to seek shareholders’ approval on the audited financial statements. Once the financial statements have been approved, companies would then submit a copy to the Companies Registry as part of their annual return.  

However, in recent years, the Hong Kong government has allowed for companies to do away with AGMs if the shareholders agree to do so, or if the shareholders prefer to make decisions through written resolutions instead.

Single shareholder companies need not hold AGMs.

If you plan to organise an AGM, you’ll need to work backwards from when your annual returns are due. You must also factor in the mandatory 21-day notice period to shareholders to determine the latest date you can hold your AGM and remain in compliance with the regulations.

  1. Business Registration Renewal

You must renew your business registration at least 1 month before expiry every year, or once every 3 years if you had previously chosen the 3-year renewal option.

  1. Changes to Business Information

Whenever there are the following changes in your company, you must update the Companies Registry within 15 days of the effective date to avoid late filing penalties:

  • Changes to the registered office address.
  • Changes of company secretary.
  • Changes of company directors.
  • Changes in particulars of the company secretary and company directors.

Key Takeaways on Hong Kong Filing Deadlines

  1. There are 2 main authorities that Hong Kong companies must file promptly with: the Inland Revenue Department and the Companies Registry.
  2. For each authority, there are the fixed deadlines and ad-hoc deadlines. You must comply with all of them.
  3. To avoid paying higher registration fees (we’re talking about a 7X increase for late annual returns) or late filing penalties, make sure you’re highly organised around your paperwork and have a systematic approach to them.
  4. Note down the deadlines we’ve shared, work backwards to give yourself enough time to prepare, and set plenty of reminders!

Alternatively, if you’d rather not worry about the complex forms, their confusing code names, and the various filing deadlines, schedule a free call with us to find out about our company secretary and accounting services in Hong Kong. Our Osome chartered accountants and highly experienced company secretaries strive to make compliance as pain-free as possible for you.

Share this post:
Subscribe

Tips to run your business smarter. Delivered to you monthly.

By clicking, you agree to our Terms & Conditions , Privacy and Data Protection Policy

You might like it

What Are the Penalties for Late Filing of Documents?
Secretary

What Are the Penalties for Late Filing of Documents?

You will usually need to file your documents by a fixed time however, business owners are often so busy with business engagement that they forget about the deadlines.

·5 min read
What To Do If I Want To Change My Company Name And Information?
Secretary

What To Do If I Want To Change My Company Name And Information?

If you want to change your company name, it’s relatively easy to do so in Hong Kong. And if there are other changes happening in your company - such as change in registered office address, new company director or secretary - you have 15 days to report these changes to the Companies Registry.

·6 min read
How To Hold Annual General Meeting
Secretary

How To Hold Annual General Meeting

The phrase “annual general meeting” (AGM) may conjure in your head an image of a hall filled with agitated shareholders grilling a row of executives seated on stage with difficult questions about the business, thanks to media coverage of AGMs in listed companies.

·6 min read
Annual Return Filing Dates To Take Note of for New Business Owners
Incorporation

Annual Return Filing Dates To Take Note of for New Business Owners

New business owners or even company officers may not be familiar with the necessary paperwork to deliver to local authorities for annual requirements. Everything is new. Starting a business in Hong Kong is already so tough and now there is paperwork to deliver to be compliant?

·6 min read
What New Founders in Hong Kong Need To Know About Annual Financial Reporting Obligations
Accounting

What New Founders in Hong Kong Need To Know About Annual Financial Reporting Obligations

Companies must prepare financial statements and have them audited every year, with those financial statements being included with their annual tax filing. Find out more.

·6 min read
A Guide to Articles of Association in Hong Kong
Secretary

A Guide to Articles of Association in Hong Kong

An Articles of Association (AA) must be submitted if you wish to be registered as an entity in Hong Kong, regardless of entity type. Here’s how to prepare it.

·3 min read
What New Business Owners Need To Know About Companies Ordinance
Secretary

What New Business Owners Need To Know About Companies Ordinance

In Hong Kong, the Companies Ordinance creates a legal framework for companies to be incorporated and operate. As your company would need to adhere to it, find out what it’s about.

·5 min read
Things To Note When Issuing Shares in Hong Kong
Secretary

Things To Note When Issuing Shares in Hong Kong

If you plan to increase your company’s capital by selling part of your company through the issue of shares, there is some administrative work you need to do for existing and potential shareholders.

·5 min read
How to Change My Hong Kong Company’s Registry Address
Secretary

How to Change My Hong Kong Company’s Registry Address

You may have started your business in Hong Kong for a few years or you’re considering moving to another location due to a high rental cost of your current registered address.So, maybe now it’s time for you to change your company registered address.

·5 min read
Why You Need a Company Secretary for Your Hong Kong Business
Secretary

Why You Need a Company Secretary for Your Hong Kong Business

Since a company secretary is a must, find out why you need one, what their roles are and how best to choose one.

·5 min read
Changing My Company’s Financial Year End
Running My Business

Changing My Company’s Financial Year End

If your current financial year end date was not chosen by you, or you want to streamline the date with your parent company, you may want to read this.

·4 min read
Selecting a Financial Year End for Your New Company
Entrepreneur's Bootcamp

Selecting a Financial Year End for Your New Company

Your financial year end affects how you do your accounting and tax submissions. So how do you decide? Read on.

·4 min read

Tips to run your business smarter. Delivered to you monthly.

We’re using cookies! What does it mean?