Maintenance of Books and Records-Hong Kong- Rules and Notifications A Brief Summary:
Every person carrying on a trade, profession or business in Hong Kong shall have to keep proper records, either in English or Chinese language, recording therein sufficient details of income and expenditure to enable the tax authorities to assess the income and / or profits of such trade, profession or business.
Some of the key points are as under:
1. IRO (Inland Revenue Ordinance-HK) –Applies to every person-section 51C of IRO.
2. Section 51C of the IRO requires that all business owners should keep records and prepare annual accounts for their business. Even if their business is small, they are required to prepare accounts and retain them for at least 7 years.
3. The requirements are :
For Gross Income-exceeding $500,000- to be prepared and annexed and / or submitted with tax return; and
For Gross Income less than or equal to $500,000- No need to annex them with tax return but must be retained for 7 years.
4. Books and records must be maintained by every person-either in English or Chinese.
5. Time limit for retaining records: 7 years from the date of transaction.
6. It is an offence under IRO , if you are not keeping records and retaining it for 7 years, which carries a fine of $100,000 (a court fine of up to $ 100,000)
7. In case of set off against profit (of prior year losses) in later years, the limit of 7 years shall be counted from the end of the year in which losses have been fully set off.
8. In case of ceased business, the obligation applies even after 7 years.
9. For computerized records, you must still keep the source documents, such as cheque butts, invoice, Bank Statements to substantiate your claim or alternatively you can keep these source documents (keeping images of these documents) by scanning and storing them in CD ROMS or DVD ROMs.
10. Log books must be maintained by the sole proprietor and partnership firms to appropriate private and business use (i.e. kilometres travelled –business and private and purpose of travel).
11. Market valuation report for assets disposed of otherwise than by way of sale must also be maintained.
12. If the person provides service, the records of services provided to enable the tax authorities to readily verify the entries appearing in and / or on bank statements, invoices, receipts, and such other documents as necessary to cross check the entries in the books of account
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