Stamp duty bill passage welcomed

The Government welcomed the passage of the Stamp Duty (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2023 by the Legislative Council today.   The amended law introduces a refund mechanism under the Buyer's Stamp Duty and the New Residential Stamp Duty regimes to attract talent from around the world to stay in Hong Kong for long-term development.      For an eligible talent who has entered Hong Kong under a designated talent admission scheme, acquired a residential property in Hong Kong on or after October 19, 2022 and subsequently becomes a Hong Kong permanent resident, he/she can apply for refund of the aforesaid duties paid for that property which at the time it was purchased, was the applicant's only residential property and the applicant still holds on the date of the refund application.   The Ad Valorem Stamp Duty at Scale 2 rates, ie the rates applicable to first-time home buyers who are Hong Kong permanent residents, will still be payable.   Deputy Chief Secretary Cheuk Wing-hing said the refund mechanism will bring the overall stamp duty charged on eligible incoming talent on par with that levied on first-time home buyers who are Hong Kong permanent residents, thereby reducing the cost of home purchase for incoming talent who can and wish to buy residential properties in Hong Kong.   “We believe this measure will incentivise incoming talent to purchase homes and reside in Hong Kong in the long run, which would inject impetus to the growth of the city."   The Inland Revenue Department will accept refund applications from incoming talent following the gazettal of the amended ordinance on June 30.
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