Filing of Employer's Return / Notification

Data Preparation

A data file containing the Employer's Return / Notification can be prepared through the following means:

For details of the methods for data preparation, you can refer to respective user guides or requirement specifications by clicking the above links.


There are two modes of submission of the data file under the Employer's Return e-Filing Services ("ER e-Filing Services"):

(1) Online Mode

It allows the Authorized Signer to complete the submission process online using his/her eTAX Password, MyGovHK Password, recognized personal digital certificate or "iAM Smart+" Account (with digital signing function) through the ER e-Filing Services.

It accepts data file prepared by the following means:-

  • Direct Keying (all types of Employer's Return and Notifications)
  • IR56 Forms Preparation Tool (Forms IR56B and IR56F)
  • Pre-approved Self-developed Software (Forms IR56B and IR56F)

An Authorized Signer refers to the person who is in one of the following capacities:

  • Proprietor for a sole proprietorship
  • Precedent Partner for a partnership business
  • Director, Company Secretary, Manager, Investment Manager (only applicable to a corporation that is an open-ended fund company), Provisional Liquidator or Liquidator for a corporation
  • Principal Officer for a body of persons
  • Agent for a non-resident person

If you are an Authorized Signer but do not have an eTAX Account, you may open an eTAX Account so that you can submit the data file via "Online Mode", or you may upload the data file via "Mixed Mode" and then sign and submit the paper Control List (with Transaction Reference Number and QR code) to complete the submission process.

(2) Mixed Mode

This is a new submission mode which is introduced in November 2018 to suit the operational need of some employers. It allows employers to submit IR56B or IR56F data file without the need to use the Authorized Signer's personal eTAX / "iAM Smart" Account.

Any person appointed by the employer can upload the IR56B/IR56F data file containing up to 5,000 sets of IR56 records through the ER e-Filing Services prepared by the following means:-

  • IR56 Forms Preparation Tool (Forms IR56B and IR56F)
    Note: Each data file contains up to 2,000 sets of IR56 records
  • Pre-approved Self-developed Software (Forms IR56B and IR56F)

After successful uploading of the data file, 1-page (i.e. Cover Page) paper Control List (with Transaction Reference Number and QR code) will be generated from the system. The Authorized Signer needs to sign and submit the 1-page Control List to the Department to complete the submission process.

For annual submission of the original IR56B records, a duly completed and signed paper BIR56A is required to be submitted with the duly signed Control List. Multiple uploads in a day are acceptable. However, employers should ensure all the 1-page Control Lists are signed and submitted to the Department in order to complete the submission process. The mere uploading of the data file will not be regarded as having complied with the employer's obligations as stipulated in the Inland Revenue Ordinance.

If the uploaded data file is subsequently found to be incorrect and you have not yet signed and submitted the paper Control List, you can complete and submit the Form IR1472 to the Department to cancel the data file. However, if you have already signed and submitted the paper Control List to the Department to complete the whole submission process, you have to file amendment IR56 forms for the relevant employee(s) to rectify the errors.


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Last review date: December 2023
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