the rude question- salary in hkg

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  1. #1

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    the rude question- salary in hkg

    so. i'm looking at a role in hkg- relocating from nyc.

    from what i understand i'm getting my current base+ 20%-- basically what i'd look for if i were switching jobs....the only add'l 'perk' is 2 mo's housing and shipping expenses (miniscule since i'm a 20 something single bachelor).

    now, without getting too specific, what's the range for a backoffice/finance role in an international bank

    also- in nyc, the general rule of thumb is to use 28% of gross salary for housing- i assume due to less taxes in hkg, one can generally spend more than that rule of thumb?

    looking at my relatively uninformed math- while the housing in hkg is more expensive, everything else is generally cheaper- so me getting a 20% jump should keep me in line with my current lifestyle out in hkg?? (going out thur-saturday, usually spending a decent amt of coin at the nyc clubs)

    havent' gotten the offer yet, but expect it on paper sometime soon- would like some ammo to negotiate for more =)

    so far all i have is - higher housing, world tax (US)...


  2. #2

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    US Tax

    I too, am an American considering to take up residency in HK. Do you know if we're still required
    to pay US taxes even tho we work in HK? Have you looked into the US tax laws for expats?
    That may be another point to consider.


  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasjpak:
    I too, am an American considering to take up residency in HK. Do you know if we're still required
    to pay US taxes even tho we work in HK? Have you looked into the US tax laws for expats?
    That may be another point to consider.

    not sure of all the specifics- but here's the general idea.

    make 85kusd/annum= you're fine- you can claim an exemption (and just pay the applicable HK income tax- (maxes at 15%- not sure if it's flat or whathave you).

    anything about the 85K= taxed at (this part is somewhat rough) the applicable rate (don't recall what current brackets are but example:

    you make 95K/annum usd. you get an exemption on the 85k (or, rather, pay the 15% to hk, claim credit on irs). on the 10k over, you have to pay taxes on the 10k over at the 28% bracket (if that does indeed fall under the right bracket) to the IRS

    IIRC this wasn't always the case- i.e. the 10k would be taxed at the lowest rate - essentially making the 85K mark 0, and then taxing accordingly after that.

    i'm sure the vets around here know the ins and outs....i just know the jist of it (am trusting my accountant to take care of this crap!!!)
    Last edited by campas12; 06-05-2008 at 05:22 AM.

  4. #4

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    I will be living on my US (county) government retirement pension which amounts to about $3000 USD/mo., so it will be way below the $85,000 annual exemption. In other words, I don't have to worry about paying US taxes at all. Am I correct?

    Are you located in HK? If so, do I understand you said you had an accountant in HK who does both your HK and US taxes for you? Someone like that must be harder to find than a hen's tooth.(g)

    If you don't mind, I'd love to have your accountant's name and phone number, because he/she may become handy when I move to HK in the future. TX for your info anyway.


  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasjpak:
    Do you know if we're still required to pay US taxes even tho we work in HK?
    YES. we just went through this and let me tell you, it's painful writing that check.

    Quote Originally Posted by thomasjpak:
    Are you located in HK? If so, do I understand you said you had an accountant in HK who does both your HK and US taxes for you? Someone like that must be harder to find than a hen's tooth.(g)
    any of the "big four" accounting firms should be able to to handle this.

    good luck with your move!

  6. #6

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    >> any of the "big four" accounting firms should be able to to handle this.

    There are also a number of small boutique accountants who'll do the prep / filing for you, if a big four is out of your budget.

    You really don't need an accountant for HK taxes.


  7. #7

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    well, my current accountant has only had to deal with US taxes. while i considered using him after the move, i've been informed by my company that i'll be given an accountant in hkg to use for the first year. unfortunately since i'm not actually there yet, they haven't provided this info.

    as far as retirement pension- not sure how it works, but how are you able to reside in hkg- unless of course you have hkid?? if that's the case, theoretically you aren't getting any hk income therefore aren't taxed any hk tax....not sure that you can claim exemption...it'd be like you're living in usa...

    but again i'm no tax professional...hopefully others can chime in...

    Quote Originally Posted by thomasjpak:
    I will be living on my US (county) government retirement pension which amounts to about $3000 USD/mo., so it will be way below the $85,000 annual exemption. In other words, I don't have to worry about paying US taxes at all. Am I correct?

    Are you located in HK? If so, do I understand you said you had an accountant in HK who does both your HK and US taxes for you? Someone like that must be harder to find than a hen's tooth.(g)

    If you don't mind, I'd love to have your accountant's name and phone number, because he/she may become handy when I move to HK in the future. TX for your info anyway.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by KnowItAll:
    >> any of the "big four" accounting firms should be able to to handle this.

    There are also a number of small boutique accountants who'll do the prep / filing for you, if a big four is out of your budget.

    You really don't need an accountant for HK taxes.

    i've heard hk taxes are easy, but US taxes are a bitch. i currently have relatively basic tax returns for IRS, but i still use an accountant (i have a brokerage account/property/etcetc...)...i'd imagine for us US expats we need to find someone to be able to take care of IRS stuff not to mention the ins and outs of deductions/exemptions...

  9. #9

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    In the other "thread", I did explain that I was born in HK during 1950s and am in possession of a HK birth certificate, so taking up residency in HK shouldn't be a problem. After all these years living in the USA, I plan to scale down by selling both my houses, my 6 vehicles to purchase a condo on HK Island. As you know, maintaining a house, let alone two, is expensive and requires a lot of labor. I can still do it but I am looking down the road ten years, fifteen years from now. What then? I hope and pray that my $3000 USD/mo. ($24,000 HKD) pension is suffice for me to living on (SINCE MY CONDO WILL BE PAID OFF FREE AND CLEAR). However, by NOT owning any vehicles, I will probably save $1000 USD/mo. right there. HK public transportation is relatively inexpensive and convenient, unlike that in the USA>

    All these are just in a planning stage and they may or may not materialize at all. But I must first put all the pros and cons together to find out which way to go.


  10. #10

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    Smile Will keep in mind......

    Quote Originally Posted by KnowItAll:
    >> any of the "big four" accounting firms should be able to to handle this.

    There are also a number of small boutique accountants who'll do the prep / filing for you, if a big four is out of your budget.

    You really don't need an accountant for HK taxes.

    **************************************
    Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. For my taxes, they shouldn't be too complicated cos I don't have any investment income, rental income or other special deductions. My taxes will be as straight forward as they can be.