Leaving Hong Kong without paying taxes / detailed by Immigration

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  1. #21

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    it takes 4 years to be discharged from bankruptcy, just in case you were wondering.


  2. #22

    Hey I want to thank everyone who took time out to post and give me advice and encouragement.

    I've been down on my luck for the past few years and have been trying to break out of my rut. I'm generally a pretty upbeat dude but this streak of bad luck has been running far and wide.

    I hope to be able to sit down with the HK tax folks and hammer out a reasonable solution that will let me get back home as soon as possible.

    Lot's of decent folks out there and you've made a huge difference today in helping me inch back from the brink of desperation.

    Thank you.


  3. #23

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    Oh, and by the way, you know all those places you go without a visa? Well now you've been arrested you will need one in future in many of them... Happy travels.


  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by PDLM:
    Oh, and by the way, you know all those places you go without a visa? Well now you've been arrested you will need one in future in many of them... Happy travels.
    I haven't been arrested. I have not been charged with any crimes. I have only been informed that in order to depart Hong Kong I must meet with the Tax authorities to settle this outstanding tax issue from a few years ago.

    I spoke with a representative from the US Consulate on the phone yesterday and hopefully they will be able to help with a negotiated settlement if I cannot work out an agreement with the tax authorities on Monday morning.

    I'll have to wait and see what they say. If anyone knows of a good lawyer they can recommend (via Private Message) that would be extremely helpful.

    Many thanks.
    Last edited by ghost_rider; 16-03-2008 at 08:10 AM.

  5. #25

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    Apr 2003
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    Rather than run up huge lawyer bills, use the resources the consulate might be able to offer you. At the end of the day the govt really does not need or want the publicity of putting some white guy in jail. (Not saying you are screwed if you are black or brown... but you know what I mean.)


  6. #26

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    I disagree with you there. I knew an English guy who overstayed a few years back, went down to Immigration with an airline ticket to 'surrender' and served three months inside.

    A somewhat cavalier attitude towards Hong Kong persisted for several years after the handover among white xpats, and I know many who flouted immigration and tax requirements. The OP may unfortunately have been encouraged to think it was OK not to take this place seriously.

    There was a case when a flight had to make an unscheduled stop here and the passengers were disembarked. One of them was tax defaulter - he was arrested and imprisoned.

    I doubt if repaying the money would in itself suffice - that would imply wealthy guys who break the law and get caught can just pay up and forget about it. Some form of deterrent will be applied.


  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by araucaria:
    I disagree with you there. I knew an English guy who overstayed a few years back, went down to Immigration with an airline ticket to 'surrender' and served three months inside.

    A somewhat cavalier attitude towards Hong Kong persisted for several years after the handover among white xpats, and I know many who flouted immigration and tax requirements. The OP may unfortunately have been encouraged to think it was OK not to take this place seriously.

    There was a case when a flight had to make an unscheduled stop here and the passengers were disembarked. One of them was tax defaulter - he was arrested and imprisoned.

    I doubt if repaying the money would in itself suffice - that would imply wealthy guys who break the law and get caught can just pay up and forget about it. Some form of deterrent will be applied.
    If that was the case, wouldn't they have confiscated my passport and wouldn't I be sitting in jail already?

    I've already scheduled an appointment to meet with the tax authorities Monday morning, but is there a chance they'll put me in jail when I show up?

  8. #28

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    Oct 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost_rider:
    If that was the case, wouldn't they have confiscated my passport and wouldn't I be sitting in jail already?

    I've already scheduled an appointment to meet with the tax authorities Monday morning, but is there a chance they'll put me in jail when I show up?
    well as the amount owed is not actually known yet they wouldn't jail you just yet if they were going to.

    Once the amount is known and your ability/inability to pay thats when the possible jail time comes in.

    And as previously advised, do not do a runner and the cost of skipping hk will probably be more than paying the debt owed anyway.

  9. #29

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    434

    It might depend on the sums involved - if they are paltry, it should make a difference. I knew guys who left here owing hundreds of thousands, especially when the airport was being built. They claimed their company was looking after tax matters for them. I've no idea if they were telling the truth, but it might be a possible argument for you to consider. You'll be given an opportunity to present your defence.

    Immigration matters are much more cut and dried - people who are stopped on the street without documentation can be whisked off to a detention centre without further ado.

    Where exactly are you staying, BTW?


  10. #30

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    This might ease your mind a little. The usual disposition is a conviction and a fine.