Hong Kong gazettes stamp duty relief amendment for attracting talent

The Hong Kong government gazetted Stamp Duty (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2023, on 6 April, which provides for the implementation of the stamp duty relief that was announced in the 2022 Policy Address to attract and keep talent in Hong Kong.

The Bill introduces a proposed refund mechanism under the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) and New Residential Stamp Duty (NRSD) regimes for non-Hong Kong permanent residents who have entered Hong Kong under designated talent admission schemes, have purchased a residential property in Hong Kong on or after 19 October 2022, and who have subsequently become Hong Kong permanent residents (HKPRs).

Eligible HKPRs can apply for a refund of the BSD and the NRSD paid for the residential property which, at the time it was purchased, was their only residential property (save for replacing property) and which they still hold on the date of the application for refund.

The Ad Valorem Stamp Duty at Scale 2 rates (the rates applicable to first-time home buyers who are HKPRs) will still be payable such that the overall stamp duty charged will be on par with that charged on first-time home buyers who are HKPRs.

“The Proposed Refund Mechanism can attract incoming talents to stay in Hong Kong for long-term development by substantially reducing their cost of property purchase, as talents who have a residential property in Hong Kong would have a higher propensity of staying here for good,” said a government spokesman.

The Bill wase introduced into the Legislative Council on 19 April for First Reading and Second Reading debate. The Inland Revenue Department will start accepting refund applications after the approval and gazettal of the new legislation.

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