For Immediate Release
The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC) welcomes the eight new measures announced today by Chief Executive Carrie Lam to shape the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), just weeks following the release of the Outline Development Plan on 18 February. The new measures will facilitate the flow of people and goods within the GBA.
Key developments among the measures announced are income tax rebates offered to Hong Kong residents, and the relaxation of the counting method in respect of the 183-day rule, which are particularly welcomed. The changes address some of the major concerns of those in Hong Kong wishing to work in all nine cities within the GBA.
Personal income tax is higher in the Mainland with a top rate of 45% compared with 17% in Hong Kong. To attract talent, the Free Trade Zones of Qianhai and Hengqin initiated tax rebates to attract Hong Kong talent to work there. This concession will now be extended to all nine Mainland cities within the GBA – Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Huizhou, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhaoqing, Jiangmen and Zhongshan – and will be applicable to talent in selected high-end industries.
“We are delighted that the Central Government has listened and responded to our suggestions and the worries of the Hong Kong business community to extending the tax provisions to all nine Mainland cities in the GBA. This has been persistently advocated by the business community and we are confident it will create even stronger economic development and facilitate the flow of talent,” said HKGCC Chairman Aron Harilela.
Regarding the 183-day rule, previously, Hong Kong people who live in the Mainland for at least 183 days out of a year would need to pay taxes on all their income earned anywhere in the world. The relaxation stipulates that stays of less than 24 hours within the Mainland will not be counted.
“The income tax issue has been one of the main hurdles for companies wishing to do business or send their talent to the Mainland to develop business,” said HKGCC CEO Shirley Yuen. “These new measures will definitely help ease employers and employees’ worries about the tax burden. The Central Government is expected to continue to roll out measures to further facilitate the flow of people, capital, goods within the GBA to unlock the GBA’s true potential.”
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