Before going back | Hong Kong


If you are an expatriate, your employer (or the agency hired by them) should take care of most of the leaving preparations. For those of us for whom Murphy's Law is a reality rather than a joke, it is always best to check yourself that everything is happening as it should be.

As far as informing the tax office of your impending departure from work goes, the onus is on your employer to file a notice to them, and to help you prepare your tax return. You should then receive tax clearance in addition to cancellation of your work permit. If you do not hear anything about this as your departure date looms closer, get in touch with the HR department of your company and start making noises, and at a push contact the Inland Revenue Department who will then be able to advise you further. Your last month's salary is usually withheld to cover your tax, and in the event that it does not completely cover the full amount of tax that you owe, you will have to pay the difference. On the up side, you may even receive a refund if the amount you owe in tax is less than the month's salary, but don't throw that lavish party to celebrate too soon – make sure that they haven't over-refunded you, in which case they will be wanting some money back!

Also, your landlord, bank, utility provider(s) and whatever other services you have subscribed to will need to be informed Ensure that all standing orders are cancelled after a certain date, and all outstanding debts paid off. Contact your consulate to find out if there is any paperwork you need to fill out before re-entering your home country, and ensure all belongings are carefully listed on the inventory from the removal company. Family pets will have to have all their inoculations up to date, and safe passage and entry arranged. For this, contact your consulate who will be able to give you all the information you will need.

Also, ensure that adequate preparations have been made for a smooth return home (you don't want to get back only to realise that you haven't had the water/gas/electricity in your house turned on, or that your child doesn't have a school to go to!).

Here is a list of international moving companies in Hong Kong:

but again, do check yourself what is available in your country/area.

Related article: Preparing for your move

Update 8/04/2010


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