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FS paves way to green, digital future

A number of initiatives and measures aimed at accelerating high-quality development were announced in today’s 2024-25 Budget, with the Government emphasising a move towards a green future and digitalisation.   Explaining that high-quality development spurs ongoing economic innovation and growth whilst conserving the natural environment, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said Hong Kong must pursue opportunities through leveraging its advantages under “one country, two systems”, namely those of enjoying strong support at a national level and being closely connected to other parts of the world.   He stressed that green development involves huge business opportunities and financing needs, as governments and businesses around the world pursue carbon neutrality and green transformation. In addition, he said digitalisation has become a new driving force for economic development, empowering enterprises to enhance efficiency, boost their competitiveness and achieve new growth.   Introdu

Stamp duty bill gazetted

The Stamp Duty (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2023 was gazetted today to implement a measure to trawl for talent as announced in the 2022 Policy Address.   It proposes a refund mechanism under the Buyer's Stamp Duty (BSD) and New Residential Stamp Duty (NRSD) regimes for non-Hong Kong permanent residents who have entered Hong Kong under designated talent admission schemes.   Eligible incoming talent who acquired a residential property in Hong Kong on or after October 19, 2022 and subsequently become a Hong Kong permanent resident, can apply for a refund of the BSD and NRSD paid for that property which was his/her only residential property (save for replacing property) at the time of purchase and he/she still holds on the date of the refund application.   The Ad Valorem Stamp Duty at Scale 2 rates will still be payable such that the overall stamp duty charged will be on par with that levied on first-time home buyers who are permanent residents.   The aforesaid bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on April 19 for first and second readings. The Inland Revenue Department will accept refund applications after the approval and gazettal of the new legislation.   The Government said the proposed refund mechanism can attract incoming talent to stay in Hong Kong for long-term development by substantially reducing their cost of property purchase.
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