The Financial Secretary announces further relief measures to support enterprises and employment

To further support enterprises and employment under the unprecedented challenges Hong Kong is facing in the current social and economic environment, the Financial Secretary (“FS”), Hon Paul Chan, announced another wave of relief measures in early December worth about HK$4 billion, including installment tax payment and subsidies for small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”).

Details are as follows:  

  • Waive 75 per cent of water and sewage charges for non-domestic households from December 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020, subject to a monthly cap of $20,000 and $12,500 respectively per household per month (Note 1). Government revenue will be reduced by about $340 million and around 250 000 households will benefit; 
  • Provide an electricity subsidy to each eligible non-residential electricity account holder to cover 75 per cent of their monthly billed electricity charges, subject to a cap of $5,000 per account per month for four months, i.e. $20,000 in total per account. This involves about $2.3 billion and the number of beneficiaries will be about 430 000; 
  • Provide an enhanced rates concession in the fourth quarter of 2019-20 (i.e. January 1 to March 31, 2020) to all non-domestic properties. The exemption ceiling for each non-domestic property chargeable to rates will be increased from $1,500 to $5,000 for that quarter. Government revenue will be further reduced by about $600 million and around 260 000 non-domestic properties will benefit; 
  • Waive the surcharge on tax outstanding for up to one year for taxpayers in need who applied and obtained approval for payment of tax by instalments. The waiver is applicable for the 2018/19 year of assessment, and covers profits tax, salaries tax, and personal assessment

Source: HKSAR Press Release



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