Hong Kong: Same-sex couples now entitled to joint tax assessment, as government changes regulations

The Hong Kong government has amended its rule book to allow same-sex couples to file joint tax returns, the Post has learned, a month after a historic victory for the LGBT community in a case over spousal rights handed down by the city’s top court.

In a written reply to the Post’s inquiry on Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Inland Revenue Department confirmed the latest change, and said same-sex married couples could now submit joint tax assessment through the electronic filing system or in paper form.

In a landmark decision in June, the Court of Final Appeal ruled in favour of senior immigration officer Angus Leung Chun-kwong, who had taken the government to court after being treated inequitably by the taxman.

Leung, who is married to his British husband Scott Adams, also won the case against the Civil Service Bureau which denied spousal benefits available to heterosexual couples, including medical and dental ones, to gay partners.

Jerome Yau, the co-founder of Hong Kong marriage equality, a local LGBT rights group, welcomed the move by the government, but said much remained to be done. “This is a step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough because it is not extended to gay couples in civil partnerships,” he said. Read more via SCMP