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2023-04-03 | Start-up Tips
What to Do If You Make Mistakes on Your Tax Return? How to Object to the Assessment?

Omission of income or profits, and making incorrect statements during tax return can cause criminal liabilities, taxpayers and companies hence should be cautious. Though, do not panic if mistakes are made on tax filling forms, the IRD allows various ways for correction, including filing an objection against the notice of assessment. The time of tax return has come, let’s read below to see how you can make amendments to tax filing forms!


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Mistakes Found Before Issue of Notice of Assessment


If you have already submitted tax return online, and wish to amend or make supplement to the information filled in a tax return, you may login your eTAX account, select “Contact Us” Section on the left menu, check the box “Return Supplement for the Year of Assessment xxxx/xx”, and then state clearly in “Details of Enquiry” the amendments or supplements you wish to make to the return before clicking “send” upon completion.


If you plan to submit the amendment to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) via written mail, you are required to state the profit tax file number, the name of taxpayer or company name, the year of assessment, and the amendment you hope to make.


Besides, taxpayers can download and submit relevant application forms from IRD’s website according to individual misstatements/omission of information, such as that of income, and “election for personal assessment and claim for deductions & allowances”, “claim for dependent parent and dependent grandparent allowance and/or deduction for elderly residential care expenses”, “claim for child allowance and/or dependent siblings’ allowance”, “change of postal address”.


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Amend Information or File an Objection After Issue of Notice of Assessment


If you wish to correct the content you filled in tax return or dispute the assessment, you may complete the relevant parts of Form IR831 for objection and mail it to ”Commissioner of Inland Revenue, P.O. Box 28777, Concorde Road Post Office, Kowloon, Hong Kong” within 1 month from the issue of the note of assessment. In general, the IRD replies within 18 working days. If the objection is accepted, the IRD will refund the overcharged tax; if the tax has not been completely paid off yet, the taxpayer will receive a revised note of assessment.


In addition, those registered with ”eTAX” can also lodge a notice of objection against various assessments through their accounts, such as Salaries Tax, Property Tax for solely owned properties and/or Profits Tax for sole proprietorship businesses.


If no agreement is reached regarding the objection case, the assessor will refer the case to the Commissioner of IRD, and transmit the determination together with reasons in writing to the taxpayer. If the taxpayer objects to the decision of the Commissioner of IRD, they can still appeal the assessment of additional tax by writing to the Clerk to the Board of Review (Inland Revenue Ordinance) within 1 month after the notice of assessment is given. The notice of appeal must include 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.


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Error in Tax Return Found after Payment


Is it possible to make amendments after tax payment? According to the IRD, taxpayers can still do so for errors or omissions in tax return after payment. The application should be made within 6 years from the end of the relevant tax year, or within 6 months from the issuing of the notice of assessment (whichever is later).


The ”errors” mentioned above are arithmetic errors in calculations on tax returns or schedules, arithmetic errors by assessors during adjustments of tax assessment, and error of law. And ”omission” refers to: omitted to claim for tax allowance and/or deduction, and the omission of certain factual factors during tax assessment.


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Consequences of tax evasion and late filing


The IRD has strict measures to counter fraudulent activities such as tax evasion or assisting others in tax evasion. Once a taxpayer is found to have any omissions or false statements in the tax return, the IRD can investigate it in accordance with Articles 80 and 82 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. Once convicted, a taxpayer is liable to a fine of HK$50,000 and an additional fine equal to three times the amount of tax underpaid, and to imprisonment for 3 years. Besides, late submission of tax returns can be punished with a fine of HK$10,000 and an additional penalty of up to 3 times the tax underpaid.


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To sum up, if a taxpayer wants to amend the personal information in tax return, they can conduct the application in various ways in 3 different stages that are “before the issue of tax return”, “after receiving the tax return”, and “after tax payment”. The procedures can be done via eTAX to save mail time. But at the end, filling the relevant forms in advance is the best way to go. For limited companies, it is suggested to conduct audit with an accountant in advance. If you need an accountant or have questions about accounting, OneStart Business Centre is happy to show you the most fitting solution, feel free to call 3575 6888, or Whatsapp OneStart Business Consultants to know more!