Leaving Hong Kong without paying taxes / detailed by Immigration

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  1. #11

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    The status of your US taxes is absolutely irrelevant. You have broken the law of Hong Kong. You will be subject to the legal process in Hong Kong. You can expect a very hefty fine and, possibly, jail.

    At the very least you will be prevented from leaving Hong Kong until l you can satisfy a court that you will pay the taxes due (including overdue fines) upon such terms as the court agrees. At some point you would have to look at selling property or whatever assets you have in order to pay, otherwise you could be a guest of the government here for quite a long time.

    If you attempt to leave surreptitiously and are caught you will, of course, be jailed immediately for, if I read Cap112 s.77 correctly, 6 months.

    And if you haven't already contacted the US Consulate you should probably do so - they can help you with a list of lawyers, and keep anyone you wish to be informed in the US up to date once you are in jail.
    Emergencies - Consulate General of the United States Hong Kong and Macau
    Legal Services Providers in Hong Kong and Macau - Consulate General of the United States Hong Kong and Macau

    Last edited by PDLM; 15-03-2008 at 08:39 PM.

  2. #12

    OK. Try not to panic. When you worked here 6 years ago you should have been paying your US taxes. If as you say, you are up to date with your US tax payments and you have a decent accountant then you should have been receiving a tax credit for taxes that were due to the HK government. Now, if you can prove that you paid your taxes in the US for the duration of your stay here in HK you will need to request from your accountant proof that you are requesting all tax credits to be sent to the HK Government. If you did receive your tax credits years ago and you spent it all then you're 'shit outa luck', and you are gonna have to beg and borrow money from family and max out your credit cards.

    The HK Gov. are more than aware that US citizens have to pay Uncle Sam at all costs and that they get their money from your credit from Uncle Sam.

    Last edited by saphireruby; 15-03-2008 at 09:17 PM.

  3. #13

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    what i was saying was... in america, if you don't pay your taxes, you will be jailed, right? i would expect similar here.

    forget "i don't have it" they won't want to hear it, just as uncle sam wouldn't care if it was your US taxes that were unpaid.
    you might be able to work out a deal... pay a lump sum and then try to make arrangements to pay the rest. but i have a feeling that after 6 years, you're going to be doing just as someone above said, begging & borrowing from family & friends.

    i'd get started making calls today so that you at least have an idea of what you could pay immediately.


  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by saphireruby:
    OK. Try not to panic. When you worked here 6 years ago you should have been paying your US taxes. If as you say, you are up to date with your US tax payments and you have a decent accountant then you should have been receiving a tax credit for taxes that were due to the HK government. Now, if you can prove that you paid your taxes in the US for the duration of your stay here in HK you will need to request from your accountant proof that you are requesting all tax credits to be sent to the HK Government. If you did receive your tax credits years ago and you spent it all then you're 'shit outa luck', and you are gonna have to beg and borrow money from family and max out your credit cards.

    The HK Gov. are more than aware that US citizens have to pay Uncle Sam at all costs and that they get their money from your credit from Uncle Sam.
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm no tax expert (obviously). I am current for all my tax years to date.

    I don't recall ever using any tax credit. How does that work exactly? Is it as simple as the amount I paid tax to Uncle Sam for the year that HK is claiming I can deduct that entire amount?

    Thanks again to everyone who replied. I have been a nervous wreck for the past few hours but listening to all of the responses has helped me calm down considerably.

    Thank you all and please keep the replies coming.

  5. #15

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    They should be able to work out a payment plan of sorts for you to allow you to pay back your loan (if they're not going to lock you up, which I doubt). If you do not pay up (they should let you go home to work off your debt), they could issue a warrant for you here, and due to the way the US and HK cooperate, you might well be extradited from the US on HK charges. If you run from HK and they convict you of tax evasion here in your absence, they can have a US warrant issued for you and have you arrested by local law enforcement in the US, who will hold you until HK decides to fly you back here to serve a jail sentence. My advice to you? Don't run.

    Whether they would actually go to the trouble of having US law enforcement pick you up is debatable, but it's a possibility. I don't know how you'd get out of HK now anyway. You can't go to China or Macau without your passport. I guess you could always try swimming to China...lol

    Last edited by jayinhongkong; 15-03-2008 at 10:42 PM.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jayinhongkong:
    They should be able to work out a payment plan of sorts for you to allow you to pay back your loan (if they're not going to lock you up, which I doubt). If you do not pay up (they should let you go home to work off your debt), they could issue a warrant for you here, and due to the way the US and HK cooperate, you might well be extradited from the US on HK charges. If you run from HK and they convict you of tax evasion here in your absence, they can have a US warrant issued for you and have you arrested by local law enforcement in the US, who will hold you until HK decides to fly you back here to serve a jail sentence. My advice to you? Don't run.

    Whether they would actually go to the trouble of having US law enforcement pick you up is debatable, but it's a possibility. I don't know how you'd get out of HK now anyway. You can't go to China or Macau without your passport. I guess you could always try swimming to China...lol
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm crossing my fingers that they will agree to some kind of payment plan and let me get back home to work out a way to get those payments accelerated. The reality is there is just no way I'm going to be able to do that all sitting here in HK. I hope that they are reasonable enough to understand that.

    It's been a bad year all around for me I'm afraid and this is just another lump on the head. When it rains it pours.

  7. #17

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    Life always has its ups and downs. Ride through these. Believe me, no matter how bad you think you've got it, someone else has it worse. I'm sure they'll work with you. Explain what your situation was like when you left and I'm sure they'll be understanding.


  8. #18

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    Feb 2008
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    if you dont have nothing to pay no body can do anything with you go to court and declear bankrupt .


  9. #19

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    Yeah, another option is to declare bankruptcy. That won't affect your US assets at all.


  10. #20

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    but then he will not be allowed to leave hk until he is cleared of bankruptcy. its just delaying of the problem


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