Tax Representative, Tax Agent & Tax Accountant
The roles and duties of a tax representative and a tax agent vary in different countries and different terms are used. Generally, a tax representative operates as the client’s company and the tax agent operates representing its own name, Nevertheless, both operate on behalf of the client’s company and can discharge the assigned legal duties.
Tax Representatives & Tax Agents
In Mainland China, there are also certified tax agents under the “Tax Agency Scheme” who act within the scope prescribed by the taxpayer or withholding agent’s commission to handle various acts of professional tax services in general such as tax verification, compliance and advisory. Tax agents are necessary a partner to set-up a business in China and make sure your business is save from irregularities and legal risks.
In certain European countries, non-EU companies providing goods and services are required to organise the appointment of a VAT fiscal representative or tax agent for handling the registration, filing and payment obligations for VAT purposes. This role is also called fiscal representative and it has become a great demand for new companies that engage in the new digital economy overseas.
What Can a Tax Representative Do for You in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong, on the other hand, a tax representative is statutorily defined in Cap 112 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance as a person authorised in writing by any other person to act on his behalf in respect of various tax matters, including tax filings. A tax representative assists clients to meet their tax filing requirements and provide tax planning and advice to manage the tax affairs of their business. We provide a full range of tax services, including but not limited to:
- Acting as one’s tax representative and liaising with the IRD on your behalf
- Preparing tax returns and filing them with the IRD
- Responding to any correspondence, letters, and enquiries from the IRD on your behalf
- Handling field audits and investigations from the IRD
- Applying for advance tax rulings from the IRD
- Applying for time extensions for filing tax returns and enquiries from the IRD
- Lodging objections against tax assessments / estimated tax assessments with the IRD
- Answering questions regarding one’s tax compliance status and tax position
- Formulating tailor-made tax strategy for reducing one’s tax liability and achieving tax efficiency
- Preparing balance sheets, profit and loss accounts and profits tax computation for one’s sole proprietorship and partnership businesses
Tax Accountant Role
In addition, a tax representative and a tax agent share a common characteristic and that is they are mostly tax accountants. Unlike a regular accountant who tends to take care of the clients’ overall financial positions, a tax accountant is an accountant who specialises in taxation and focus only on the clients’ tax matters.
A tax accountant can be said to have possess specific tax knowledge to assist the clients with their tax compliance (i.e. tax returns filing) and to offer tax planning advice to the clients.
Why Appointing One ?
As a business owner, you may prefer to spend your time on growing your business instead of consolidating accounting entries and preparing tax returns which an experienced and professional firm is likely to carry out more efficiently and accurately. In addition, a tax representative can help you to formulate a well-thought tax advisory plan to reduce your tax liabilities and/or achieve tax efficiency.
In addition, under the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department’s (“IRD”) Block Extension Scheme, individual and corporate taxpayers who are represented by an authorised representative will be allowed additional time for filing their tax returns.
The extension dates may vary slightly from year to year and the specified due dates are announced by the IRD annually.
Upon appointing a tax representative, one one benefits from around 7.5 months after the end of the accounting period for filing of a the profit tax returns and additional one / four months for the filing of a individual tax returns depending on whether or not a sole proprietorship business is involved.
To save your time in managing your business accounting and tax obligations, you can appoint HKWJ Tax Law & Partner as your tax representative in Hong Kong to handle your business’s tax administration and to ensure that your business meets all legal and tax requirements and deadlines. More importantly, we may be able to formulate a tailor-made tax strategy for you to legally minimise your tax liabilities.