According to the “Final Report to the Financial Secretary” prepared by the Advisory Committee on New Broad-based Taxes set up the Hong Kong Government in 2001, the definitions of three major taxation principles, efficient, effective, and equitable are explained in below. Efficient means a taxation system “must be operationally efficient to minimize compliance cost for taxpayers and administration cost for government”. Effective is defined as a system that is “revenue productive. They should produce the amount of tax revenue required in a timely manner. Revenue yield should be sustainable over time and be insulated as far as reasonably possible from adverse economic cycles”. Equitable means “taxing in proportion to taxpayers’ abilities to pay”. There are two types of equity a tax system should achieve: vertical equity and horizontal equity. While vertical equity concerns with the ability to pay, horizontal equity is about economic neutrality. It means a tax system should have a minimal impact on economic decisions and resource allocation in the private sector. In the following, the merits of the three most common taxation mechanisms, income tax, property tax, and sales tax are analysed in terms of their efficiency, effectiveness, and equitability in application to the local situation of Hong Kong. Income Tax The Hong Kong Government is heavily relied on income tax as the main revenue source. According to Inland Revenue Department, income tax and profit tax account for 69% of the total tax revenue in the fiscal year of 2009-10. Total income tax is composed of salary tax derived from employment domestically, personal assessment, and profit arises from business profit.
Kitman Mok 2 Urban Economics Efficiency Hong Kong is well- known for the simple tax system. With a population close to seven millions, only 1.4 million people in Hong Kong are liable to pay tax. Most taxpayers can prepare their tax returns on their own, because income... [continues]
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