FAQs about eTAX Technical Problems

  • Q1.
    What are the system requirements for using eTAX?
    Ans

    You should be able to access eTAX services provided on GovHK by using popular operating systems (OS) and browsers on the market.   To ensure smooth operations of the eTAX system and high security of the transactions, you are recommended to use one of the combinations of OS and browsers as listed in the System Requirements for GovHK Online Services webpage that have been fully tested for compatibility with eTAX.

    Installation of Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is not necessary except for:-
       (a) eTAX users selecting to use digital certificate for authentication or signing; and
       (b) e-filing of employer's return by uploading IR56B data records.

  • Q2.
    When I try to login, why does the system always direct me back to the Landing Page?
    Ans

    Please check the settings of your browser to ensure Cookies have been enabled.

  • Q3.
    Why do I encounter error when clicking the "Refresh", "Back" button or other hot keys of the browser?
    Ans

    Under normal operation, the buttons, address bar and the hot keys of the browser are disabled by eTAX. However, by some external means, these buttons, address bar and hot keys may be enabled again. Anyhow, you should never use these buttons, address bar and hot keys, as this will affect the normal flow of the application.

  • Q5.
    Why can't some Chinese characters be displayed, even though I have installed the HKSCS on Mac OS?
    Ans

    It is known that the HKSCS from Apple does not support the full set of Chinese HKSCS characters.  You may consult Apple for more details.

  • Q6.
    Why can't some Chinese characters be displayed when I reopen a page that was saved on my hard disk?
    Ans

    There are 2 possibilities leading to this situation: 

    • When saving a page, “Unicode” or “Unicode (UTF-8)” must be chosen as the encoding scheme (Not applicable for Firefox) and HTML format should be selected in order to save the Chinese characters properly.
    • There are some HKSCS characters that are out of the standard character set.  In this connection, eTAX will display these characters as image files.  However, there are some technical problems in saving these image files via a browser. In such case, you may consider printing the page instead of saving it.
  • Q7.
    Why can’t I install the HKSCS downloaded from Digital 21 website on my Linux computer?
    Ans

    It is known that some Linux distributions will encounter problem in installing the HKSCS modules.  You may consult your dealer to see if there is any alternative.

  • Q8.
    Why is the number of Chinese characters that can be inputted in some fields less than expected?
    Ans

    Under the character-encoding standard adopted by the Operating Systems, some Chinese characters may occupy 4 bytes instead of 2 bytes.  When these Chinese characters are inputted, some browsers will interpret a 4-byte character as two 2-byte characters. Hence, the number of characters that can be inputted is less than expected.

  • Q9.
    How should I print the e-notice (in PDF format)?
    Ans

    To help protect our environment, please consider retaining the relevant information by saving the e-notice.  If printing is really necessary, you should select "Fit to Printer Margins" for "Page Scaling" under the "Page Handling" of Adobe Reader’s "Print" dialogue box so that the document can be printed in full.  The "Fit to Printer Margins" option, once selected, will remain the default option until further change.

  • Q10.
    Why can’t I log into eTAX using e-Cert when I use Linux with JRE 1.4.2?
    Ans

    Under Linux with JRE 1.4.2 environment, you are required to download the root and intermediate CA certificate from Hong Kong Post and import them to the JRE environment. You may also consider upgrading the JRE to 5.0 or later.

  • Q11.
    I encountered the following problems when running FireFox under Linux: The content could not be fully displayed or printed even though the screen size has been set to 1024 x 768. A thick underline appeared in some texts.
    Ans

    It is known that such a display problem may occur with Firefox on Linux. Please consider using other platform.

  • Q12.
    What is the required system setup in order to use Smart ID card?
    Ans

    You need to download the Smart Card Manager from Hong Kong Post and have it installed on your workstation before you can use your Smart ID card.  Besides, you need to install the proper driver for your card reader.  In many cases, you need to restart your workstation. 

    Under Windows Vista, the Hong Kong Post Smart Card Manager requires administrative right to run.  Until Hong Kong Post announces their support on Windows Vista, please use the administrator account or ask your administrator to grant you the administrative rights. 

  • Q13.
    Why do I sometimes get a blank page or a "Error 500" message?
    Ans

    This might happen occasionally when the Internet traffic is too busy. Please try again. If this happens frequently, please consider waiting for an hour or two before retrying.

    You may also encounter "Error 500" message if you access eTAX via bookmark stored in the browser . Please access eTAX from the link: http://www.gov.hk/etax

  • Q14.
    Why does the browser hangs up at the login screen when I use Firefox with Java Runtime Environment (JRE) Version 6 Update 4?
    Ans

    It is known that JRE 6U4 does not work on Firefox 2.  Please consider installing a newer version of Java.

    Please refer to the following link for more information:

    System Requirements for GovHK Online Services

  • Q16.
    Why do I get the following errors when I open PDF documents of eTAX such as an Electronic Extract of Information on the Business Register: “Bad Encrypt Dictionary” and “Cannot extract the embedded font"?
    Ans

    Some old versions of the Adobe Reader could not manipulate the PDF documents provided on eTAX, such as the Electronic Extract of Information on the Business Register.

    Please download and install the Adobe Reader version 7.0.9 or later from Adobe website according to your Windows / OS setup. The minimum system requirement for Adobe Reader 7.0.9 is Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 2.

    Adobe website

  • Q17.
    Why can’t I retrieve the Stamp Certificates?
    Ans

    Please ensure you have allowed popup windows from “*.ird.gov.hk”.

  • Q18.
    When I try to view a PDF document under eTAX, nothing is shown except a blank window pops up.
    Ans

    (For e-filing of Employer's Return service, please click here for information.)

    A PDF document may not be displayed within a compatible web browser if the web browser is not configured correctly with the Adobe PDF browser plug-in. Please try one, more or all of the following to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.

    • Reset Internet Explorer (for IE 7 or above)
      1. Open Internet Explorer.
      2. Click "Tools" and then select "Internet Options".
      3. Click the "Advanced tab". Click "Reset" under "Reset Internet Explorer" option.
      4. Click "Reset" again to confirm.

    5. Close all IE browsers and then start IE again. 

    • Save the document in Firefox
      1.  Open Firefox.
      2. Select "Tools" and then select "Options".
      3. Select "Applications". Find "Adobe Acrobat Document" and change the action to "Save File".
      4. Close all Firefox browsers and then start Firefox again.
    • Deselect and then reselect the Display PDF in browser preference.
      1. In Adobe Reader, choose Edit > Preferences.
      2. Select Internet.
      3. Deselect Display PDF in browser, and then click OK.
      4. Choose again the Edit > Preferences > Internet, select Display PDF in browser, and then click OK.

    • Delete temporary Internet files.

    If you use Internet Explorer, delete the temporary files that Internet Explorer creates:

    1. In Internet Explorer, select Tools > Internet Options.
    2. Click Delete Files in the General tab, and then click OK when prompted.

    If you use Firefox, delete the temporary files that Firefox creates:

    1. In Firefox, select Tool > Options.
    2. Select Privacy > Private Data > Clear Now.
    3. Tick “Cache” > Clean privacy Data now.

     

    • Install the latest version of Adobe Reader.

    Download and install the latest version of Adobe Reader from http://www.adobe.com. 

    • More...

    If you still cannot solve your problem, you may try the suggestions from the Knowledge Base of Adobe at the link below:

    http://www.adobe.com

    However, some suggestions require a skilled technical person to do it.

  • Q19.
    Why is an error message of “Java Virtual Machine (JVM) Unknown” displayed when I try to log into eTAX by e-Cert using Mac OS X platform. How can I enable the Java on my computer?
    Ans

    Mac OS X 10.7 to 10.9
    Mac OS X 10.6 and below

      


    Mac OS X 10.7 to 10.9

    We are aware that the recent software update disabled the Java plug-in under Safari and the inline link to activate it was never being displayed. Please try the following solution to enable the Java.

    Step 1: Uninstall the plug-in. (http://www.java.com/en/download/help/mac_uninstall_java.xml)
     
    Step 2: Reset all website notification warnings. Reset Safari (http://support.apple.com/kb/ph17186)
     
    Step 3: Reinstall Java (http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp#mac)
     
    Step 4: Visit Oracle's Java test site to test whether Java is working on your computer.  ( http://www.java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp )
     
    Step 5: After activating Java plug-in, please reboot your computer and log into eTAX online services.
     
    Step 6: Loading screen ( with a link "Inactive Plug-in" displayed )
    -   Please click the link "Inactive Plug-in" to proceed.
     

             

               


    For Mac OS X 10.6 and below

    The Java update (Mac OS X 2012-003) released by Apple on 12 April 2012 for Mac OS X 10.6 or below will by default disable applets plug-in. After the Java update is applied and when you access eTAX online services, an error message reporting that JVM status as "Unknown" might be shown.    

    In order to access the eTAX online services, please re-enable the execution of Java applet using Java Preferences application by following the steps below.
     

    Step 1: Please update your software.
     

    Mac OS X: Updating your software
     


     
     

    Step 2: After completion, please reboot your computer and log into eTAX online services.
     
    Step 3: Loading screen ( with a link "Inactive Plug-in" displayed )
    -   Please click the link "Inactive Plug-in" to proceed.
     

     

  • Q20.
    I am using Windows PC but an error message of Java Virtual Machine (JVM) not enabled or unknown is displayed when I try to log into eTAX by e-Cert. How can I enable the Java on my computer?
    Ans

    Please try the following solution to enable the Java.

    Step 1: Reinstall Java Machine
     

    Step 1.1)

    - In "Control Panel", select "Programs and Features", then select "Uninstall" All "JAVA(TM) xxxxxx" or "J2SE xxxxxxx" (for Windows 8, 7 and Vista) or

    - In "Control Panel", select "Add / Remove Programs", then select "Remove" All "JAVA(TM) xxxxxx" or "J2SE xxxxxxx" (for Windows XP)
     

    Step 1.2) Download the JAVA software through the following link:
    http://www.java.com.
     
    Step 1.3) After installation of Java, please reboot your computer and log into eTAX online services.

     

    Step 2:    If Java problem persists after reinstallation of Java, please follow the steps to reset and enable the Java plug-in in the web browser

    For Internet Explorer web browser
    For Firefox web browser
    For Google Chrome web browser 
     


    For Internet Explorer web browser

    Step 2.1:          Reset the Internet Explorer settings with the following steps:
     

    2.1.1) Select "Tools".
     
    2.1.2) Select "Internet Options".
     
    2.1.3) Press the "Reset....." button.
     
     
     
    2.1.4) Press "Reset" button in the newly prompted dialogue box.
     
     
     
    2.1.5)

    Select the "Close" button to close the browser and then reopen it.  And, try to access eTAX.

     

    Step 2.2:  Enabling the Java add-on in the Internet Explorer.
     

    2.2.1) Click "Tools" and Select "Manage add-ons" in the settings of Internet Explorer.
     
     
     
    2.2.2) Select "Java (tm) Plug-In SSV Helper", and click "Enable" button.
     
     
     
    2.2.3) Click "Enable" button in the dialogue box.
     
     
     
    2.2.4) Click "Close" button to close the Manage add-ons page.
     
     
     
    2.2.5) Restart the IE and log into eTAX again.

     


     

    For Firefox web browser

    Step 2.3:  Activate the Java Plug-in in the Firefox web browser
     

    2.3.1) First click "Tools" then "Add-ons".
     
     
     
    2.3.2) Find Java in "Plug-ins" and then click "Enable".
     

     
    2.3.3) After enabling Java, close all Firefox browsers and then open it again.
     

     


     

    For Google Chrome web browser

    Step 2.4:  Activate Java plug-in for Chrome 
     

    2.4.1) Please type "chrome://plugins" in address bar.
     

     
    2.4.2) Find "Java (TM)" and click "Enable".
     
     
     
    2.4.3) After enabling the Java, please tick "Always allowed", then restart Chrome browser.
     
     

     

  • Q21.
    Why can't I log into eTAX by e-Cert using Internet Explorer under the "Start Screen" mode of Windows 8 and an error message "Java Virtual Machine (JVM) Unknown" is shown?
    Ans

    We understand that Internet Explorer of Windows 8 does not support any plug-in, including Java, under the "Start Screen" mode.  To access eTAX under Windows 8, please use web browsers (such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Firefox) under the "Desktop" mode.  The "Start Screen" mode under Windows 8 can be switched to "Desktop" mode by clicking "Desktop" tile (usually at the left-lower corner) or pressing "Windows logo key + D".

  • Q22.
    I have Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed. Why is an error message of "Java Virtual Machine (JVM) unknown" still displayed when I try to log into eTAX by e-Cert using Firefox browser?
    Ans

    Under certain circumstances, Firefox will halt and ask for the permission of running the Java Applet. If such a case happens, please try the following steps to allow the execution of Java applet.

    Step 1:

    Click the "Allow" button.

     

    Step 2 :

    Click the "Allow and Remember" button in the newly prompted dialogue. Close the Firefox browser and then restart again.

    If the above dialogue boxes do not pop up for some reasons, just directly click the icon (as shown below) in order to display the "Allow and Remember" button.

     

  • Q23.
    When I try to view a PDF document under eTAX, why can't the document colours be displayed properly?
    Ans

    We understand that the new version of Firefox web browser has introduced a new built-in PDF viewer by default.  Document colours may not be properly displayed if the PDF document is viewed by this browser built-in PDF viewer.  Please try the following options to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.

    Option 1: Use Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF document in Firefox web browser

    Open Firefox and select "Options".

    Select "Applications".  Find "Adobe Acrobat Document (PDF)" and change the action to "Use Adobe Acrobat (in Firefox)".

    Close Firefox and start Firefox again.

    Option 2: Save the PDF document in Firefox

    Open Firefox and select "Options".

    Select "Applications".  Find "Adobe Acrobat Document (PDF)" and change the action to "Save File".

    Close Firefox and start Firefox again.

     

  • Q24.
    Why is some information of a PDF document under eTAX missing when I open it by a PDF reader?
    Ans

    Some PDF reader software (or a particular version) cannot display some information (for example, Chinese punctuation marks) of a PDF document under eTAX properly. You can try to view the PDF document under eTAX by other PDF reader software (or other versions of the PDF reader software).  You can also request for a paper copy of the document from the Inland Revenue Department if necessary.

     

  • Q25.
    Why do I get an “Error 800” message?
    Ans

    Since the system does not allow users to log into the eTAX service by opening a new window under the same browser at the same time, you will encounter “Error 800” message under the following circumstances:

    1. there is another active eTAX service session in a window under the same browser at the same time; or
    2. there is previous eTAX service session in a window under the same browser that has not been properly logged out.

    Please return to the first window to continue using the eTAX service.

    If you want to log in as another user, please log out the previous eTAX services / sessions or close all the windows under the same browser and try again.

     

Last review date: February 2016