Urgent Help needed...one min Syd next HK

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Urgent Help needed...one min Syd next HK

    Hey guys!
    I was hoping to get some help/advice for you guys who have lot more experience/knowledge than me on HK....

    My situation is that I am 26 year old moving to HK after being headhunted from my JOB in Syd, Australia.

    I work in the finance industry and my total comp IN HK will be around $300-350 USD per year or in HK dollar terms around 200,000 HKD per month. Anyway I was just wondering what kinda of lifestyle this gets me as I do not have any housing allowance! However my rent is tax deductible.

    Can you please tell me how much I should be looking to spend with regards to accomodation as I have heard various reports. I would like live close to my office given my early starts but I am not looking to have a huge place...something small, but newish and clean.

    The other problem I have is that I have an addiction...to GOLF and I have heard that it is frightfully/prohibitively expensive in HK.... Are any of the member here golfers? Any advice would be great...I heard it is quite cheap to go and play in China at Mission Hills etc....

    I also had a question on food/quality...I try and eat well with a lot of fish, fruit and veg etc...is this kinda of eating expensive in HK. I love asian food but I wanna eat quite healthy if possible. Are there many take-away, cafe that cater for healthy stlye eating rather than MSG soaked foods etc....

    Thank a lot for your help and advice guys. Appreciate it. Looking forward to getting to HK and making heaps of frds but also sad about leaving home here.


  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Accidental_HK
    I do not have any housing allowance! However my rent is tax deductible.
    Er, not in Hong Kong it isn't.

    There is a complex scheme in HK where if, but only if, certain conditions are met then there can be a favourable tax treatment of your rent. It requires:
    - that your housing allowance be defined as such in your contract, and
    - that your employer "exercises control" to ensure that you do indeed spend the housing allowance on housing (which means they need to keep copies of your lease and your rental receipts).

    In this case then your housing allowance can be excluded from your taxable salary BUT instead your accommodation will have a taxable value of 10% of the remainder of your salary (including bonuses etc).

    Obviously this only saves you anything if your "housing allowance" is more than 10% or so of your package.

    In your case, as a single person you could spend anything from about 15,000 to 100,000 per month or more on accommodation. If you do decide to spend significantly more than 10% of your income on accommodation then it is worth getting your contract defined so that the housing allowance matches (or exceeds) what you actually spend. Any excess of housing allowance over what you actually spend is taxed as normal income, so no harm in having too big an allowance (unless it affects your package in other way, e.g. by reducing the base salary on which your bonus is calculated).

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Accidental_HK
    HK dollar terms around 200,000 HKD per month. Anyway I was just wondering what kinda of lifestyle this gets me as I do not have any housing allowance!
    For a 26 year old that is very good the amount u will be getting per month, 200K is some locals whole years salary. for that amount of money you will live very well in HK. 20-30K should get you a good size apartment in midlevels, i assume u will be working in Central.

    loads of good places to eat in HK, u can even order food by internet from great restaurants if u dont feel like going out and staying in.

    check out these Dial a Dinner
    Home - Food Order / Food Delivery / Restaurant Booking - FoodByWeb
    Last edited by wtbhotia; 02-06-2008 at 02:25 PM.

  4. #4

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    There are certainly all kinds of good restaurants in HK. However, I find eating healthily to be MUCH harder. Not hard if you are prepared to eat in top notch restaurants - and on that salary you could afford to - but anything less is tough.

    It's also hard to find organic products - most of the "normal" markets/supermarkets import from China and the quality is variable. You pay more for NZ/Aus/US imports but they are better and they are available, just takes money.

    You best make sure you get good tax advice because you need to get out of Aussie taxation to be able to live comfortably too. Other posters are assuming the HK tax ( a mere 16% or so) not the nearly 50% you will pay if you get it wrong.....


  5. #5

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    Jan 2008
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    Yup, golf in HK costs a bomb!!!... would highly recommend going to China to play. There is Lakewood golf course in Zhu Hai, Shen Zhen has a number of courses as well as Mission Hills. There is also a fantastic resort called palm island which has 27 holes and is really well maintained.

    Only prob with places like Lake wood and Mission hills is that normally require a member to sign you in. But definitely worth it. On the note of golf though, there are a number of driving ranges which are pretty nice so yeah.. your fettish will be satisfied :P... also, if you wanna buy clubs and all I can recommend a shop in causeway bay.. the guy has many types of clubs for a lot lower price.!!! Enjoy HK man... i know I do!!


  6. #6

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    Jun 2008
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    Thanks for the detailed replies and info

    Hey guys thanks for the quick replies. PDLM.... as for the deductible rent are we talking about the same thing? Apparently I qualify for the Housing Rental Refund Program. I have to submit a copy of my lease to my employer and the rental receipts and they apparently take care of the rest?

    Is this is what you have heard?


  7. #7

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    I think you're referring to paying a much reduced tax rate for that portion of your income that you spend on rent. I think you can spend up to 30 or 35% (Y) and get taxed at 15% or so, provided you provide your employer with the lease. But really, your salary is high and therefore you should be getting tax advice thrown in with your package. We're aussie's and our taxes are done for us by a firm that the bank pays to looks after all its expats. My husband is on a local plus package which sounds like what you are on. Enjoy the reduced tax rate. I know we do!

    Yes, to eat well here costs a bomb. But if you're single you can probably eat out cheaper than you can cook for yourself.

    Last edited by aussiegal; 10-06-2008 at 11:42 AM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Accidental_HK
    PDLM.... as for the deductible rent are we talking about the same thing? Apparently I qualify for the Housing Rental Refund Program. I have to submit a copy of my lease to my employer and the rental receipts and they apparently take care of the rest?

    Is this is what you have heard?
    I've not heard it called that before, but it sounds like the same thing (and it's the only allowance for rental under HK tax law). In any case the result is NOT that your rental is tax-free - the result is that your accommodation will be taxed as if it had a value of 10% of the remainder of you income.
    Details here: http://www.ird.gov.hk/eng/pdf/pam44e.pdf