FAQs about filing of Profits Tax Return through the Internet

  • Q1.
    What services relating to the Internet filing of Profits Tax Return are available under eTAX?
    Ans

    eTAX provides the following four services relating to the Internet filing of Profits Tax Returns:

    • Uploading of Data Files for Supplementary Form to Profits Tax Return (for attaching supplementary forms S1, S2, S3 and S4 to the return to be submitted through the Internet)
    • Completion of Profits Tax Return (for filling in return information)
    • Submission of Profits Tax Return (for signing and submission of a return)
    • Viewing of Profits Tax Return (for viewing returns submitted through the Internet)

     

  • Q2.
    Is filing of Profits Tax Return through the Internet secure?
    Ans

    Yes.  Please refer to our eTAX Security Statement.

  • Q3.
    Can I file Profits Tax Return for any year of assessment through the Internet?
    Ans

    No.  Only Profits Tax Return for any year of assessment from 2015/16 to 2020/21 issued to a corporation/partnership can be filed through the Internet.  In addition, the corporation/partnership must satisfy the conditions specified by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue.

  • Q4.
    What conditions should a corporation satisfy in order to use the Internet filing service?
    Ans

    A corporation must satisfy all the following conditions in the relevant year:

    • Its gross income for the basis period does not exceed HK$2,000,000;
    • It has not paid or accrued to a non-resident person any sum for the use of intellectual property specified in section 15(1)(a), (b) or (ba) of the IRO or for the assignment of performer's right in section 15(1)(bb) of the IRO;
    • It does not have any deemed assessable profits pursuant to section 20AE, 20AF, 20AX and/or 20AY of the Inland Revenue Ordinance ("IRO");
    • It is not a ship-owner;
    • Its Assessable Profits / Adjusted Loss do not include any interest, profits/loss arising from "short / medium term debt instruments" (issued before 1 April 2018) as defined in section 14A(4) of the IRO, any profits / loss of a professional reinsurer, an authorized captive insurer, a specified insurer or a licensed insurance broker company as defined in section 14AB of the IRO, any qualifying profits / loss of a qualifying corporate treasury centre as defined in section 14C of the IRO, any qualifying profits / loss of a qualifying aircraft lessor or a qualifying aircraft leasing manager as defined in section 14G of the IRO, or any qualifying profits / loss of a qualifying ship lessor or a qualifying ship leasing manager as defined in section 14O of the IRO;
    • It does not claim any tax relief pursuant to an arrangement for avoidance of double taxation specified under section 49(1) or 49(1A) of the IRO;
    • It has not obtained an advance ruling on any of its tax matter in relation to that year of assessment;
    • It does not claim debt treatment for an arrangement as "an originator" or "a bond-issuer" of a specified alternative bond scheme under section 40AB of and Schedule 17A to the IRO;
    • It does not claim deduction for distribution arising from a regulatory capital security; and
    • It is not a permanent establishment in Hong Kong of a non-Hong Kong resident person.
  • Q5.
    What conditions should a partnership satisfy in order to use the Internet filing service?
    Ans

    A partnership must satisfy all the following conditions in the relevant year:

    • Its gross income for the basis period does not exceed HK$2,000,000;
    • It has not paid or accrued to a non-resident person any sum for the use of intellectual property specified in section 15(1)(a), (b) or (ba) of the IRO or for the assignment of performer's right in section 15(1)(bb) of the IRO;
    • It does not have any deemed assessable profits pursuant to section 20AE, 20AF, 20AX and/or 20AY of the Inland Revenue Ordinance ("IRO");
    • It is not a ship-owner;
    • Its Assessable Profits/Adjusted Loss does not include any interest, profits/loss arising from "short / medium term debt instruments" (issued before 1 April 2018) as defined in section 14A(4) of the IRO;
    • It does not claim any tax relief pursuant to an arrangement for avoidance of double taxation specified under section 49(1) or 49(1A) of the IRO;
    • It has not obtained an advance ruling on any of its tax matter in relation to that year of assessment;
    • It does not claim debt treatment for an arrangement as "an originator" or "a bond-issuer" of a specified alternative bond scheme under section 40AB of and Schedule 17A to the IRO;
    • There are not more than 6 partners during the basis period for that year of assessment (including those partners who have retired from the partnership) and that all of its partners are individuals; and
    • It is not a permanent establishment in Hong Kong of a non-Hong Kong resident person.
  • Q6.
    Who can use the “Uploading of Data Files for Supplementary Form to Profits Tax Return” service to upload required supplementary forms and the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service to complete the return? If I do not have an eTAX Account, can I use the service?
    Ans

    Any person appointed by the corporation/business can use the “Uploading of Data Files for Supplementary Form to Profits Tax Return” service and the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service, irrespective of whether he has an eTAX Account or not.

  • Q7.
    Is a tax representative required to open an eTAX account for uploading of data files for supplementary form and completion of profits tax returns for its clients through the Internet ?
    Ans

    A tax representative can use the “Uploading of Data Files for Supplementary Form to Profits Tax Return” service to upload required supplementary forms and the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service to complete returns for its clients through the Internet irrespective of whether he has an eTAX Account or not.

  • Q8.
    Where can I find the “Return Identification Number (RIN)”? If no “Return Identification Number (RIN)” is printed on the return, can I use the Internet filing service?
    Ans

    “Return Identification Number (RIN)” is printed on the top right hand corner of the front page of the Profits Tax Return.  If no “Return Identification Number (RIN)” is printed on the return, both the return and all required supplementary forms cannot be filed through the Internet and have to be filed in paper form.

  • Q9.
    Is a company allotted the same “Return Identification Number (RIN)” for its return every year?
    Ans

    No.  A company will have a different “Return Identification Number (RIN)” for the return of each year of assessment.  Therefore, you must use the “Return Identification Number (RIN)” printed on the return of the relevant year of assessment when using the Internet filing service.

  • Q10.
    What are the supplementary forms that can be uploaded via the “Uploading of Data Files for Supplementary Form to Profits Tax Return” service?
    Ans

    Supplementary forms S1, S2, S3 and S4 are accepted.  If you need to attach other supplementary forms to the return, you must file both the return and all required supplementary forms in paper form.  DO NOT upload some supplementary forms (e.g. S1) through the Internet while the others (e.g. S5) in paper form.

  • Q11.
    Can I upload supplementary forms through the Internet while submit Profits Tax Return in paper form, or vice versa?
    Ans

    No.  You must either submit both the return and all required supplementary forms through the Internet or in paper form.

  • Q12.
    Can I zip supplementary forms in XML format using my own approach but not via the “Uploading of Data Files for Supplementary Form to Profits Tax Return” service?
    Ans

    No.  File to be uploaded must be zipped by the zip function of the “Uploading of Data Files for Supplementary Form to Profits Tax Return” service.  Besides, the default filename of the Zip file allotted by the system which contains {8-digit Business Registration Number}-{4-digit Assessment Year}-{S}-{12-digit Timestamp} should not be changed.

  • Q13.
    Should I upload the required supplementary forms before or after completing the Profits Tax Return?
    Ans

    You are advised to upload the required supplementary forms through the “Uploading of Data Files for Supplementary Form to Profits Tax Return” service first.

    If you upload the required supplementary forms after completing and saving a draft return, you have to open the draft return and refresh the “Supplementary Forms” screen of the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service and save the draft return again for submission.

    Uploading of supplementary forms would not be allowed once the Profits Tax Return is submitted.

  • Q14.
    Can I add new supplementary forms, amend the contents of or delete the supplementary forms that have already been uploaded through the Internet?
    Ans

    You can add, amend the contents of or delete the supplementary forms previously uploaded only if the Profits Tax Return is yet to be submitted electronically through the Internet.  Follow the below procedures:

    Adding new supplementary forms

    • Complete the fillable PDF of the additional supplementary forms (e.g. S2) to be submitted and export them to XML files.
    • Zip all exported XML files (i.e. S2 in the above case) together with the valid XML files previously uploaded (e.g. S1 and S3) by the zip function of the “Uploading of Data Files for Supplementary Form to Profits Tax Return” service and then upload this Zip file to replace the previous one.

     

    Amending the contents of the supplementary forms

    • Make amendments in the fillable PDF supplementary forms (e.g. S2) and export them to fresh XML files.
    • Zip all exported XML files (i.e. S2 in the above case) together with the valid XML files previously uploaded (e.g. S1 and S3) by the zip function of the “Uploading of Data Files for Supplementary Form to Profits Tax Return” service and then upload this Zip file to replace the previous one.

     

    Deleting the supplementary forms

    • If you wish to delete all uploaded supplementary forms, use the delete function of the “Uploading of Data Files for Supplementary Form to Profits Tax Return” service. 
    • If you just wish to delete some of the uploaded supplementary forms (e.g. S2), zip the remaining valid supplementary forms (e.g. S1 and S3) by the zip function of the “Uploading of Data Files for Supplementary Form to Profits Tax Return” service and then replace the previous uploaded Zip file.

     

    In case you have already prepared a draft return which contained information of the previous uploaded file, you have to open it and refresh the “Supplementary Forms” screen of the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service.

    For situation where the Profits Tax Return has already been submitted together with the supplementary forms through the Internet, please refer to Q38.

  • Q15.
    I have uploaded a Zip file with embedded supplementary forms but not yet submitted the Profits Tax Return. How long will the Inland Revenue Department keep this file?
    Ans

    Uploaded Zip file not submitted with Profits Tax return would be purged by mid of the nearest March following the uploading.  If you wish to submit the Profits Tax return through the Internet after the purge date, you must prepare the XML files again using the latest version of supplementary forms, zip them and upload the Zip file, and submit together with the latest version of Profits Tax Return.

  • Q16.
    Are the accounts of a “small corporation” with gross income not exceeding $2,000,000 not required to be audited?
    Ans

    No.  A “small corporation” does not need to submit supporting documents which include the audited financial statements when filing its profits tax return.  However, its accounts are not exempted from being audited if they are so required by law.  You have to state the name of the auditor who prepared your auditor’s report and the date of the auditor’s report in Item 7.1 of your return if your accounts are required to be audited by law.

  • Q17.
    Is the company required to submit the audited financial statements and supporting documents after filing the Profits Tax Return through the Internet?
    Ans

    At present, only small corporations/businesses can use Internet filing.  As stated in the notice on the front page of the return form sent to you, a small corporation/business only needs to submit the profits tax return form.  However, the supporting documents including audited financial statements must be retained as they may be requested for audit purposes later.

  • Q18.
    Can I save a partially completed Profits Tax Return for further completion and submission later?
    Ans

    Yes.  You can download and save the input data in your computer or other storage device by clicking on the [Save] button during the completion of Profits Tax Return process.  To retrieve the information saved and continue to complete the return later, please return to the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service to open the encrypted file.  After you have checked that the information shown on the draft return in “Step 5 – Save Draft Return for Submission” is in order, please click on the [Save for Submission] button at the bottom to store the draft return in your computer or other storage device for submission later.

  • Q19.
    Can a company retain the draft return file and use it for completion of its tax return for the next year ?
    Ans

    No.  A company will have a different ‘Return Identification Number (RIN)’ for the return of each year of assessment.  The system cannot open the draft return file of last year if you use it to file the return for this year for reason of unmatched RIN.

  • Q20.
    Is it secure to save the draft return in my computer or other storage device?
    Ans

    Yes.  The draft return file is encrypted and can only be opened through the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service or “Submission of Profits Tax Return” service.

  • Q21.
    Can I save the draft return in a diskette or CD-ROM and submit it to Inland Revenue Department with the printed copy of the draft return?
    Ans

    No.  The printed copy of the draft return is not a valid return even if it is duly certified.

  • Q22.
    I have used the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service to prepare a draft return. Does the Inland Revenue Department know or retain the content of the draft return?
    Ans

    No.

  • Q23.
    Can I print the simulated Profits Tax Return and sign on its declaration part, and then submit the printed copy ?
    Ans

    No.  The printed copy of the simulated return is not a valid return even if it is duly signed. It can only be filed through the Internet under eTAX system.

  • Q24.
    I have used the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service to prepare the draft return. How should I submit the Profits Tax Return?
    Ans

    The person who is responsible for submitting the Profits Tax Return will need to log on to his eTAX Account to use the “Submission of Profits Tax Return” service to retrieve the draft return file.  He will be required to input his designation before he signs and submits the return electronically.

  • Q25.
    Who can use the “Submission of Profits Tax Return” service to sign and submit Profits Tax Return through the Internet?
    Ans

    Only an eTAX Account holder in the following capacity can sign and submit Profits Tax Return that meets the criteria for Internet filing through the Internet:

    • the Director, Secretary, Manager or Investment Manager (only applicable to a corporation that is an open-ended fund company) of the corporation;
    • the precedent partner of the partnership; or
    • the sole proprietor of the business (only if it was changed from a partnership to a sole proprietorship during the basis period for the year of assessment).

    If you do not have an eTAX Account, please go to www.gov.hk/etax and complete a simple registration process to open one.

  • Q26.
    How can I sign the Profits Tax Return during the Internet filing process?
    Ans

    To submit Profits Tax Return on the Internet, the filer who is the Director, Secretary, Manager or Investment Manager (only applicable to a corporation that is an open-ended fund company) of the corporation or the precedent partner of the partnership will need to use his eTAX Password, MyGovHK Password, recognized personal digital certificate or "iAM Smart" account with digital signing function to sign the return.

  • Q27.
    Is a company required to open its own “eTAX Account” for digital signing and submission of Profits Tax Return through the Internet?
    Ans

    At present, only individuals can open eTAX Accounts. To file the profits tax return through the Internet, the return filer must be the director, secretary, manager or investment manager (only applicable to a corporation that is an open-ended fund company) of the company possessing an “eTAX Account” to sign and submit the return through the Internet.  To open an “eTAX Account”, please go to www.gov.hk/etax and complete a simple registration process.

  • Q28.
    Can the tax representative use my Taxpayer Identification Number and Password to submit the Profits Tax Return for me through the Internet?
    Ans

    All tax returns submitted through your eTAX Account will be treated in the same way as tax returns in paper form that have been signed by you.  You are personally accountable for the accuracy of the information furnished.  Hence, to protect your interest, at no time and under no circumstances should you allow other persons to use your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and Password.

  • Q29.
    The supplementary forms are prepared using the English fillable PDF, and the draft return is prepared likewise using the English return form of the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service. Can I change the supplementary forms and return form language to Chinese when submitting the return?
    Ans

    You can use the Chinese version of the “Submission of Profits Tax Return” service to open the draft return.  The simulated return form will be displayed in Chinese for your verification. However, the language of the supplementary forms already uploaded will remain unchanged unless they are prepared using the Chinese fillable PDF again.

  • Q30.
    What should I do if I need to correct the information in the draft return before submission of the Profits Tax Return?
    Ans

    For return information other than supplementary forms, you can use the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service to retrieve the draft return saved and go to the relevant parts to make amendments.  After amendment, please proceed to “Step 5 – Save Draft Return for submission” to verify the information on the draft return.  If all the information is in order, please click on the [Save for Submission] button to download and save the draft return in your computer or other storage device for submission later. 

    If you find the error when you are using the “Submission of Profits Tax Return” service, please click on the [Amend] button at the bottom of the simulated return to go to the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service to correct the return information.

    For amendment of information in the supplementary forms, please refer to Q14.

  • Q31.
    How do I know that I have successfully filed the Profits Tax Return through the Internet?
    Ans

    An acknowledgement bearing a Transaction Reference Number will be shown on your computer screen immediately after you have successfully filed the Profits Tax Return through the Internet. 

    If you require the Inland Revenue Department to inform any other person about the acknowledgement of your submission of the Profits Tax Return, please provide his email address in “Step 5 – Sign and Submit” of the “Submission of Profits Tax Return” service.  Being authorized by you, the Department will send an acknowledgement email to the designated e-mail address under [email protected] simultaneously with the acknowledgement to you.

  • Q32.
    I have filed the Profits Tax Return through the Internet. Can I view, save and print the return?
    Ans

    Yes.  You can use the “Viewing of Profits Tax Return” service to view, save and print the Profits Tax Return as soon as you have submitted it through the Internet within 1 month from the date of submission.  You are advised to print a copy or save it for record purposes.  A return that is saved in computer or other storage device can be viewed after connecting the computer to the Internet.

  • Q33.
    Can an authorized representative use the “Viewing of Profits Tax Return” service to view the Profits Tax Return filed through the Internet?
    Ans

    No, only the return filer can access the “Viewing of Profits Tax Return” service.

  • Q34.
    Is there any time limit for using the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service or “Submission of Profits Tax Return” service to open a draft return file?
    Ans

    You cannot open a draft return file again in the following circumstances:

    • the Profits Tax Return has already been submitted
    • the return template in the "Completion of Profits Tax Return" service has been updated after the draft return file was prepared

    If you wish to keep the draft return for record purposes, please print the page immediately after you have completed "Step 5 - Save Draft Return for Submission".

  • Q35.
    In what circumstances the return template of the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service would be updated?
    Ans

    The return template of the "Completion of Profits Tax Return" service will be updated if the return information required is changed.  Normally, the update will take place on the first working day of April.  Return drafts that were prepared before the update can no longer be used.

  • Q36.
    What are “Check Sums” of a Zip file, each embedded supplementary form and a return? Where can I find them when using the Internet filing service?
    Ans

    “Check Sums” are derived from the information entered in the supplementary form(s) and/or return. 

    Check Sums of supplementary forms and the Zip file are shown:

    • on the acknowledgment displayed in the “Uploading of Data Files for Supplementary Form to Profits Tax Return” service after successful uploading of the Zip file
    • on the “Supplementary Forms” screen of the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service
    • within the part of “Supplementary Form(s) Uploaded” on the draft return in the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service
    • within the part of “Supplementary Form(s) Uploaded” on the simulated return in the “Submission of Profits Tax Return” service
    • within the part of “Supplementary Form(s) Uploaded” on the return shown in the “Viewing of Profits Tax Return” service

     

    Check Sum of the return are shown:

    • below the part of Personal Information Collection Statement on the draft return in the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service
    • below the part of Personal Information Collection Statement on the simulated return in the “Submission of Profits Tax Return” service
    • on the acknowledgement displayed in the “Submission of Profits Tax Return” service immediately after submission of the return
    • below the part of Personal Information Collection Statement on the return shown in the “Viewing of Profits Tax Return” service
  • Q37.
    I have submitted the Profits Tax Return through the Internet. How can the return preparer and I ensure that the return data (including the supplementary forms) submitted are the same as that in the draft return prepared in the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service?
    Ans

    The details of supplementary forms, including

    • file name and Check Sum of the Zip file;
    • Check Sums of each embedded supplementary forms; and
    • the transaction reference number shown on the acknowledgement displayed in the “Uploading of Data Files for Supplementary Form to Profits Tax Return” service after successful uploading of the Zip file

    are listed in the draft return.  You and the return preparer can compare these values to ascertain the accuracy.  If any discrepancy is spotted, you have to check if new Zip file has been uploaded and refresh the “Supplementary Forms” screen through the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service accordingly.

    For return data other than supplementary forms, a Check Sum is shown below the draft return in the “Completion of Profits Tax Return” service, the simulated return in the “Submission of Profits Tax Return” service, the acknowledgement of submission of the return and the return shown in the “Viewing of Profits Tax Return” service.  It is derived from the information entered in the return.  If the content of the draft return is the same as the return submitted, the Check Sums shown on the draft return, simulated return, the acknowledgement and the return should be the same.  Therefore, you and the return preparer can compare the values of the Check Sums to ascertain whether the same return data were submitted.

  • Q38.
    I have filed the Profits Tax Return through the Internet but there are some errors in the return and/or supplementary form(s). How can I rectify the errors or make supplement to the return?
    Ans

    Please give a duly signed written notice to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue with particulars including your name, capacity, name of the corporation/business, file number, the relevant year of assessment and details of the amendment or supplement.  You should not use the Profits Tax return and/or supplementary form(s) in paper form for this purpose.

  • Q39.
    Can I obtain an additional extension of time to submit the Profits Tax Return if I choose to file the return through the Internet?
    Ans

    If you choose to file the Profits Tax Return through the Internet, you can apply for an additional extension of 2 weeks for submission of the return.  For example, the Profits Tax Returns for the year of assessment 2020/21 to be issued on 1 April 2021 would have the Internet filing extended due date upon application as follows:

    Not under the Block Extension Scheme (cases without tax representatives)

     Filing due date

     

    Internet filing extended due date upon application

     3 May 2021

     

    17 May 2021

    Under the Block Extension Scheme (cases with tax representatives)         

    Accounting
    date

     

    Extended
    due date

     

    Internet filing extended 
    due date upon application

     1 Apr 2020 – 30 Nov 2020 (Accounting Date Code “N”)

      31 May 2021   15 Jun 2021
             
     1 Dec 2020 – 31 Dec 2020 (Accounting Date Code “D”)   16 Aug 2021    30 Aug 2021

     

         

     

    1 Jan 2021 – 31 Mar 2021 (Accounting Date Code “M”)

      15 Nov 2021
    (not a loss case)
      29 Nov 2021
        31 Jan 2022
    (loss case)
      31 Jan 2022
  • Q40.
    How can I specify the destination folder/directory name when I save the Draft Return using FireFox and Safari?
    Ans

    The Draft Return is downloaded to the default saving directory of your FireFox and Safari.  You could change the default saving directory by using the following steps:

    • If you are using Firefox, the default saving directory can be set by:
      1. From the menu bar, select “Tool” > “Options”;
      2. Select “General” > “Downloads”;
      3. Turn on the “Save files to” option and click on the “Browse” button to select your preferred destination folder or turn on the “Always ask me where to save files” option.

     

    • If you are using Safari, the default saving directory can be set by:
    1. From the menu bar, select “Preference” > “General”;
    2. Select your preferred destination folder for “Save downloaded files to:” option.

     

     

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Last revision date: April 2021