Thursday 18 August 2022

Leaving Hong Kong


  • Pay your final tax bill - this will get you a Letter of Release

Go to Revenue Tower, head to the first floor enquiry desk and ask about paying final tax bill. They will send you to 24th floor, with a slip that says which desk to go to. When you get there they will give you a tax return to fill in. You should take your IR56G from your employer. They will take all your details, then take a day or two to calculate what you owe and ask you to return in a few days.

Hard to believe I know, but if you require your Letter of Release the same day as your second visit (I did) then you need to pay your remaining tax bill that day BY CASH or EPS. You can pay at the Post Office that is on the 2/f of Revenue Tower. However, not many of us walk around with tens of thousands of dollars in our bags. I found out that a) the max limit for HSBC EPS is $50,000. This may be changeable if you speak to the bank, not sure. b) You can pay with a combo of cash and EPS c) The nearest HSBC / Hang Seng ATM is in Immigration Tower, just next door. After you've paid your tax bill and got a receipt from the post office, you go to 7/f to get your Letter of Release. You have to sit and wait for 10 mins or so for this. Remember that if you are ever looking for a bit of extra moolah, you can spot cashed up, nervous-looking gweilos heading from Immigration Tower to Revenue Tower.

If you do not need your Letter of Release on the same day, I think there are other payment options, such as at an ATM, bank transfer etc. 

  • Swear an oath that you are leaving and will never come back! This is necessary for closing your MPF(s)

Our nearest office for this is, hilariously, next to the methadone clinic in Wan Chai. It's the Home Affairs Department. You can find info about opening hours here. You cannot make an appointment, the services are available every hour on the half hour, with exceptions for lunch. The first one is 9.30am, we arrived at about 9.10 with our forms to get everything checked. The form for this particular oath is here. You need to go along with your forms, and then stand up and PROMISE that it's all true. NB: you need one copy of the oath for each of your MPFs - I have 3 MPFs from different employers, and each MPF needs an original copy of the oath. 

  • Close your MPF account(s) - for which you need your Letter of Release and oath

Each MPF provider has a slightly different form, but basically they all need your form, your oath and letter of release. They will not process your final pay out until after your final pay. It takes about 4 weeks from that date. NB: you  must specify a PERSONAL bank account for it to be paid into, not a joint account. 


  • Close Water account - you can email them or call.

  • Close Gas account - they will come to your home and disconnect. Deposit / refund usually paid by cheque so if you are not going to be in HK you can go to a Customer Service Centre (at least 2 hours after the disconnection) to get cash instead. They can come within a couple of days so you can call them the week before you want it done.

  • Close Electricity account - they can pay any refund and deposit to a HK bank account. They can disconnect your supply and read the meter without you being present, so we arranged for this to happen after we had handed over the apartment.

  • Close broadband and return router to iCable or whoever

  • Dispose of any unwanted appliances - 2676 8888. You can call this number to get the government to come and pick up stuff like fridges and washing machines. They need about 10 days' lead time, so make sure you call in advance of your last date. They will even collect from a walk up.

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