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Upon receipt of the notice of assessment, you are advised to check the amount of income assessed, profits assessed, allowances and deductions allowed, and the Assessor’s Note (if any) to understand the basis of the assessment and the reasons of disallowing your claim for allowances or deductions. If you disagree with an assessment, you may lodge an objection and appeal. Here you can learn more about lodging an objection to, or appeal against the assessment.

Objections

Filing an Objection

If you wish to dispute the assessment, you must lodge a notice of objection in writing stating precisely the grounds of the objection within the prescribed time limit. You may complete the relevant parts of the Form IR831 for objection, sign it and return it to the Inland Revenue Department:

Postal address:

Commissioner of Inland Revenue
P.O. Box 28777,
Gloucester Road Post Office,
Hong Kong

Fax Number: 2877 1232

If it is against an estimated assessment issued because of the failure to lodge a return, a properly completed tax return together with the accounts, where applicable, must also be submitted with the notice of objection.

Time Limit

The notice of objection must be received by the Inland Revenue Department within one month after the date of issue of the notice of assessment. If you have elected for personal assessment, the subsequent issue of a notice of assessment will not extend the time limit for objection to assessments of property tax, profits tax or salaries tax already issued.

Late objections will only be considered if the Commissioner of Inland Revenue (Commissioner) is satisfied that owing to absence from Hong Kong, sickness or other reasonable causes, you have been prevented from lodging the objection within the specified time. You should provide the reasons preventing you from lodging an objection within the specified time in your notice of objection or Form IR831.

E-Objection

If you have opened your eTAX account, you can lodge a notice of objection against the assessment under Salaries Tax, Property Tax for solely owned properties and/or Profits Tax for sole proprietorship businesses via the eTAX account.

Submission of Notice Electronically

Submission of notice of objection by electronic means is acceptable. You should use the Electronic Government Forms (in the form of a software) to generate electronic records and, if required, to make digital signatures when submitting electronic forms to the Government. The format of individual supporting document, if any, attached in an electronic record should comply with all the relevant requirements as specified in this document. Information on the prescribed format, manner and procedure on electronic submission is available through the following link:

Payment of Tax or Standover of Tax

Notwithstanding any notice of objection or appeal lodged by you, you must pay the tax on or before the date(s) specified in the notice of assessment, unless the Commissioner orders that the payment of tax or any part of it be held over pending the result of such objection or appeal.

Processing of Objection Cases

In many cases an assessor may require further information or facts. After consideration of the fresh and further information, a revision of the assessment or a proposed basis to revise the assessment may be issued to you. In cases where no agreement is possible, the objection will be referred to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue for determination. The Commissioner will consider the objection and within a reasonable time may confirm, reduce, increase or annul the assessment. The Commissioner will transmit the determination together with reasons in writing to you.

Appeals to the Board of Review (Inland Revenue Ordinance)

The Board of Review (Inland Revenue Ordinance) (the Board) is an independent statutory body. The law provides that the Board shall consist of a chairman and 10 deputy chairmen, who shall be persons with legal training and experience, and not more than 150 other members, all of whom shall be appointed by the Chief Executive.

Appeal against the Determination of the Commissioner

If you wish to appeal against the determination of the Commissioner, you should do so in writing to the Clerk to the Board of Review (Clerk to the Board) within 1 month after the transmission of the Commissioner’s written determination. The notice of appeal must be accompanied by:

  • a copy of the Commissioner’s written determination (including the reasons therefor and the statement of facts with all appendices); and
  • a statement of the grounds of appeal.

The Commissioner must at the same time be served with a copy of the notice of appeal and the statement of the grounds of appeal.

The Board may extend the 1 month appeal period if it is satisfied there was reasonable cause, such as illness or absence from Hong Kong, which prevented the appellant from giving the appeal within the specified period.

Appeal against the Assessment of Additional Tax

If you appeal against the assessment of additional tax, i.e. monetary penalties under section 82A of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (the Ordinance), please write to the Clerk to the Board within 1 month after the notice of assessment is given. The notice of appeal must be accompanied by:

  • a copy of the notice of assessment;
  • a statement of the grounds of appeal;
  • a copy, if any, of the notice of intention to assess additional tax given under section 82A(4) of the Ordinance; and
  • a copy of any written representations made under section 82A(4) of the Ordinance.

The Commissioner must at the same time be served with a copy of the notice of appeal and the statement of the grounds of appeal.

The Board may extend the 1 month appeal period if it is satisfied there was reasonable cause, such as illness or absence from Hong Kong, which prevented the appellant from giving the appeal within the specified period.

Appeal Hearing and Results

All appeals are heard in camera, but official publication of the hearings may be made in such a manner that the identity of the appellant is not disclosed. The onus of proving that the assessment appealed against is excessive or incorrect is on the appellant. Failure to discharge this onus can be fatal to the appeal.

After hearing the appeal, the Board may confirm, reduce, increase or annul the assessment appealed against or may remit the case to the Commissioner with the opinion of the Board. Where the Board does not reduce or annul the assessment, the appellant may be ordered to pay a sum not exceeding $5,000 as costs to the Board.

Appeals to the Courts

If either the appellant or the Commissioner is dissatisfied with a decision of the Board, he may make an application requiring the Board to state a case on a question of law for the opinion of the Court of First Instance. Such applications must be made in writing and delivered to the Clerk to the Board within 1 month of the date of the Board’s decision together with a fee of $770.

With the leave of the Court of Appeal, the appellant or the Commissioner may appeal against the decision of the Board directly to the Court of Appeal instead of the Court of First Instance. The Court may make such orders including costs.

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Last review date: May 2014

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