Government changes rules to allow same-sex couples to elect joint tax assessment.
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There is this important change for benefiting same sex couples. i.e. The change probably can be hailed as an important victory in the fight for equality for same sex couples living in Hong Kong.
No actual action is required for employers following the change of the rule, as long as employees bear their own liability for tax in Hong Kong.
What employers should do is to notify their employees of the change as part of their equal opportunities agenda, and include this new information in any induction for new employees, especially for those newly transferred from overseas, who may not even be familiar with the Hong Kong tax system at all.
Hong Kong's Inland Revenue Department (a.k.a. IRD) has confirmed that it has now changed its internal rule book - Allowing same sex married couples to apply for joint tax assessment.
Same sex couples who are married are now entitled to have their tax assessed on their joint income. The major benefit is that this may result in tax savings in some cases.
The change applies equally to tax assessments submitted through the electronic filing system or in paper form.
Please note that the change applies only to same sex couples who are married.
The change does not apply to same sex civil partnerships. They are still required to complete separate tax assessments.
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