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Leaving HK - Immigration, Tax and MPF questions

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  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Leaving HK - Immigration, Tax and MPF questions

    Hello

    My family and I plan to leave HK at the end of this month. Im a British Expat and have been employed in HK for the last 3 years. I recently resigned my position ahead of our move. I have a few questions and would greatly appreciate if anyone can enlighten me.

    Immigration / Visa: My employment Visa was recently extended to the middle of 2014. My wife and two sons are here as my dependents

    Question one: Do we have to inform immigration ahead of the move? If so, what's the procedure. Is there any way in which we can retain our current Visas. If possible, id like to keep the Visas as a back-up contingency option in case we ever decide to come back. Is this possible?

    Tax: I know that I have to settle up with the tax man, which is fine, as i think i'm due a small refund.

    Question two: Are there any implications from my first question on immigration. ie, Will the tax authorities need any evidence that my Visa is going to be cancelled in order, before they refund? Or do they not care about this?

    MPF: I understand from earlier posts that I can get some of my MPF paid out to me if I declare i'm leaving. However, I also understand this will mean that I cannot get a refund a second time in the event that I were to return to HK and leave again in the future.

    Question three: Is the above correct ad would I lose the new MPF contributions forever? I've also read that in the new scenario (return to HK and leave again for a 2nd time) that I could get a pay-out, but not until im 65. Is this correct?

    My preference is to 1) leave now and keep out visas current as a back-up option; 2) get my tax refunded; 3) get the MPF refunded. Can I do this? Or am i trying to have my cake and eat it?

    My priority is to get the tax back. If this means losing the Visa, then so be it, though id rather not if i can help it. The MPF is a lower priority and Im easy either way.

    I hope all this made sense. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help shed some light!


  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Immigration: No need to do anything. Your employer will inform them. Your visa remains valid until expiry.
    Tax: Settle it otherwise your final month's salary will be withheld by your employer.
    MPF: If you take it now, second time you have to wait until 65.

    Your preferred outcome is fine.

    fatherjack likes this.

  3. #3

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    Thanks very much for the quick reply. All very clear.

    One question on the tax. So you mean the tax man will just take your word for it when you tell them you are leaving? Also, I assume that means we can keep our HKID cards?

    cheers


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Yes, they will take your word for it. You can keep your hkids, but they will stop working in egates and you will have to use visitors' immigration after your visas expire.

    fatherjack likes this.

  5. #5

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    Thanks very much. All very clear. Thanks to both of you.


  6. #6

    Hi Fatherjack, I have a question for you (or anyone else who can help),
    Some employers make mandatory contributions as well voluntary contributions to an employee's MPF. If an employee departs HK permanently, can the employee withdraw the VOLUNTARY contributions made by the EMPLOYER? Some websites say that it depends on the company, because voluntary MPF contributions are not managed by the MPF ordinance. Seems the official MPF website is not very clear about this, it only talks about "accrued" benefits, but this can be both EMPLOYER voluntary and mandatory.

    Hope someone can help.


  7. #7

    Join Date
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    @jameschue: I would assume that the minimum 5% company contribution would be yours to keep. Some companies may contribute more than 5% and say that you can only keep it provided you were employed for a certain period of time. But I believe you should get at least your 5% and the employers 5%, of course subject to the 1000 (prior) 1250 (current) monthly maximum.

    @fatherjack: That's all right above, you can just leave and keep your HKID cards. Your employer will notify the immigration department. I would keep a copy of your separation letter from your employer, if you decide to come back, then you may need this for immigration purposes. Also, it seems that you want to keep your visa status, is this for reason of PR? If you ask for your MPF money back, then you would be stating that HK is no longer your home. However, if you keep it and decide to come back, you might be able to keep the clock ticking for your PR. Someone else can probably add to this as well.


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    @jameschue, once the money is in your MPF fund I believe that the only way your employer can claw it back is to offset any long-service or severance pay that they give you at the end of your employment. If there isn't any of that then what's in your MPF after everything to do with you leaving the company is sorted out is yours. And everything that's yours can be withdrawn (once in your life only) if you declare that you are leaving HK for good.


  9. #9

    Thanks Gruntfuttock and booth. I'll post here if i find out more from official sources of MPF.


  10. #10

    Hi Grunfuttock and booth.... just called MPF Association. They said whether you can get back the VOLUNTARY contributions made by the EMPLOYER depends on your employer's guidelines, and the MPF ordinance does not control that component. Looks like botth is right.

    FYI , the other three parts of the MPF: (1) EMPLOYER's MANDATORY contribution, (2) EMPLOYEES MANDATORY contirbution, (3) EMPLOYEES VOLUNTARY contribution, all belong to the employee. Thanks for your help, hope that clears it up for everyone also.


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