Relocating to a new accounting job in Hong Kong...
Every year thousands of expat accountant decide to relocate to Honk Kong. The region offers a high-standard of living, low taxes, a competitive jobs market and a highly-developed infrastructure. Before you leave home, Hong-Kong-Accounting-Jobs provides some basic information to help your relocation.
Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) is on of the busiest international airports in the world, with almost 50 million passengers passing through each year. As a consequence it is a long-haul destination of many major international airlines. It operates both as a destination and a stopover airport or longer flights. Air fares are most expensive during August, Christmas and the New Year.
If you are relocating to Hong Kong you may also need to arrange shipping for your personal items. Many employers will offer a relocation allowance and you should start the process early as it can take a while for sea-shipping to reach Honk Kong.
If you are looking for a relocation or shipping agent, try Santa Ferelo.
Honk Kong is one of the most expensive cities in the world, consistently ranking in the top 10. One major reason for the high prices is the cost of leasing and buying property - very expensive because of the shortage of land - but vehicles and consumables are also significantly more than back home. However public transport is excellent and cheap.
Most expat accountants taking up employment in Hong Kong can expect help from their employers when it comes to work permit applications. Fully qualified and experienced accountants should have few issues in gaining a permit.
However there are no strict written guidelines to the issuing of permits and the immigration department will consider the following areas when they make their decision:
- Educational background
- Relevant experience.
- Reasonable salary level
- How beneficial the individual is to Hong Kong’s economy, trade and industry.
- That a local or resident worker could not fill the position.
- How the expatriate can benefit the locals (e.g. training, impartation of knowledge).
If you are successful with your work permit application then your spouse and children (up to the age of 18) will be issued with dependents' visas.
If you find a job before you arrive in Hong Kong then your new employer should help with your work permit application and will sponsor your application for a work permit.The company must prove that it cannot find a qualified candidate for the position within Hong Kong.
Work permits are valid for two years and must be renewed every two years.
If you are considering a visit to Honk Kong to get a better idea of the city before moving, then many nationals can visit for up to three months with no need for a visa. These countries are:
Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, Brazil, Britain (180 Days), British Indian Ocean Territory, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montserrat, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, St. Helena, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent And The Grenadines, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turks And Caicos Islands Tuvalu, Uruguay, U.S.A. and Vatican City.
All residents of Hong Kong are expected to carry their Hong Kong ID card at all times. You can visit the government's ID Card website for more information.
The official currency is the Hong Kong dollar (HK$), which is the ninth most traded currency in the world.
Although Hong Kong is seen as an offshore jurisdiction is does levy taxes on its residents, although the highest rate of tax is just 17%. Net Chargeable Income is assessable income after deductions and allowances and is charged at progressive rates as shown in the table below:
Here are the tax rates for the 2007/2008 tax year:
|Net Chargeable Income (HK$)||Rate||Tax (HK$)|
|On the first||
|On the next||
|Total (example 1)||
|On the next||
|Total (example 2)||
Honk Kong's healthcare system is reliable and of a high standard, but healthcare policies can be very expensive (although they are usually provided by your employer). Most expats use private GPs for most of their healthcare needs, but for more serious needs there are public and private hospitals, both of which are of a high standard. Being treated by an expat doctor can be much more expensive than a local doctor.
You should contact your tax office to inform them that you will be becoming a resident in Hong Kong (and thus liable for taxes in Hong Kong) and arrange for your mail to be redirected.
Once you’ve ticked all the boxes and are ready to go, get ready to kick back and enjoy living in the heartbeat of Asia!!