Setting the record straight
I refer to the report headlined, 'Huge tax bill awaits opera singer's estate' which appeared in the South China Morning Post, on April 23, and wish to clear up some misunderstandings.
Whereas estate duty at the rate of 18 per cent is currently payable for estates with a value exceeding $10 million, interest on the amount of estate duty payable but not yet paid will accrue at the rates stipulated in section 12 (6) of the Estate Duty Ordinance, Cap 111, that is, (a) four per cent per annum for a period of six months from the date of death and (b) eight per cent per annum thereafter on the amount of the unpaid duty.
It is therefore incorrect to say that a total of 22 per cent of the estate value is to be paid as estate duty, as indicated in your report.
Within 12 months from the date of death, the executor or any person entitled to the right of administration will need to file An Affidavit for The Commissioner, to make a full disclosure of the particulars of the estate valued at the date of the deceased's death and pay the duty accordingly.
Otherwise the estate may be subject to a penalty rate of duty.
Finally, I would like to make it clear that it is not our departmental practice to pass comment on individual cases and this was made clear to your reporter.
AGNES SIN LAW YUK-LIN Deputy Commissioner of Inland Revenue