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HK's tax revenue jumps more than 10,000 times in 60 years
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Tax revenue collected in Hong Kong for 2006-07 reached 150 billion HK dollars (19.3 billion US dollars), 10,700 times higher than the 14 million HK dollars collected in the 1947-48 fiscal year, official figures released Friday indicated.

"The Inland Revenue Department has become an excellent and efficient tax administration playing an important role in fostering Hong Kong's prosperity," said KC Chan, secretary for Financial Services of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, at a seminar commemorating the department's 60th anniversary.

The department's corresponding staff increase is 28 times, he said, adding that the cost for collecting every 100 HK dollars of revenue was 3.60 HK dollars six decades ago while it was just 69 cents last year.

Despite these changes, he said Hong Kong's five established tax features have been maintained, namely a low tax rate, simple taxation law, scheduler tax system, territorial concept and a fair appeal mechanism.

Chan said the new eTAX portal launched in January has marked a new era in taxpayer services. It is a new online service platform offering taxpayers an easy, secure and environmentally friendly means to comply with the tax law.

Through an eTAX account, taxpayers can view their account profile, check the status of their tax return, assessment and payment, and enjoy other online services for stamping property documents, business registration and payment. (One US dollar = 7. 775 HK dollars)

(Xinhua News Agency March 15, 2008)

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