Accounting and tax filings requirements for Hong Kong and Singapore companiesrussonxiao
Hong Kong and Singapore are often recognized and used by international groups as their Asian holding. It is true that both systems use accounting standards similar to Anglo-Saxon ones. However, financial obligations such as audited accounts, annual return or tax filling in these countries are different from Europe or America.
- Hong Kong
- Business registration certificate and Annual return
Business Registration Certificates must be renewed once a year, when the demand note is issued. Your corporate secretarial should notify you in advance of the relevant deadlines.
Annual Returns must be filed annually within 42 days of the business incorporation date.
- Annual audit of accounts
Unless registered as dormant, all Hong Kong companies must complete annual audit of their accounts. There is no exemption for any company.
A record of audited accounts and all supporting documents should be kept by the company for at least 7 years.
The audited accounts are required to be submitted to the Inland Revenue together with your Profits Tax Return when this is due. Any late submission will result in a fine for the company and failing to provide records without reasonable excuse may lead to a maximum fine of $100,000.
The timeline for completing your audited accounts will depend on your year-end date and Profits Tax Return due date. You should aim to provide all accounting documents to your accounting service provider within three months of the year end date in order to allow sufficient time for accounting and audit.
- Profits tax return
In Hong Kong, Profits tax returns are generally issued to companies annually by Inland Revenue Department (IRD). The Profits tax return should be filed within one month of the issue date. It is usually received by the company’s company secretary.
All Profits Tax Returns are technically due by the end of April. However, depending on your financial year-end date, extensions are available. The due date can normally be extended as follows:
|Financial year-end date||Extended Profits tax return submission deadline|
|31 December||15 August|
|31 March||15 November|
|Other Year-end dates||30 April – no extension|
As the process of submitting Profit tax returns takes time, audited accounts should be completed one month before submission deadline. For example, a company with a financial year-end of 31 December should have its audit finished and signed by July 15.
- Business license and Annual Return Filing
All Singapore registered companies (except those which are exempt) are required to file financial statements with ACRA annually. The timeline for preparing financial statements (audited or unaudited as applicable), holding an annual general meeting and filing the annual return depends on your year-end date and whether the company is listed or not. The timeline can be summarized as below:
|Listed Companies||Non-listed companies|
|Preparation of Financial Statements and Annual General Meeting||4 months after year-end||6 months after year-end|
|Filing of Annual Return||5 months after year-end||7 months after year-end|
Unlike Hong Kong, Singapore company does not have a general business license attached.
Singapore companies may need to apply for different type of license depending on its business nature. Therefore, there are different types of licenses to be applied in Singapore to fit the business needs of companies.
- Tax Filing
For Singapore companies, two annual tax filings are required.
The first is the filing of your Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI). ECI is an estimate of the taxable income, after deducting allowable expenses. This filing is due three months after your year-end date. The filing of ECI is required for all companies except those for which annual revenue is below $5m and ECI is zero for the relevant year or assessment.
The second one is the main tax filing of the year. The deadline is the same for all companies and is due on 30 November.
- Annual accounts preparation
Annual accounts should be completed each year. The accounts should be audited each year unless the company qualifies for an audit exemption (for example, as a small company).
The timeline to complete the accounts is partly depending on the deadlines for annual return filings, as detailed above. You should provide all accounting documents to your accounting service provider within two months of the year-end date in order to allow sufficient time for accounting and audit, if applicable.
If you have any further question about your company accounting, audit or tax filings, please do not hesitate to contact us.