Hong Kong’s Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has begun recognising same-sex couples. A Hong Kong tax assessor told Gay Star News, the LGBT news and editorial provider, that since mid-July, individuals have been able to list a same-sex spouse when filing tax returns. However, she also said, it was not yet clear exactly how the cases will be processed.
This change comes after Hong Kong’s top court last month ruled in favour of a gay senior civil servant. Angus Leung, an immigration officer who married his husband Scott Adams in New Zealand five years ago, had sued the government in 2015 for refusing to recognise his marital status and grant his husband benefits such as medical insurance and tax reductions for couples.
In the eventual verdict, the judges ruled that Hong Kong’s civil service and Inland Revenue Department must recognise the pair as a married couple. Hong Kong’s only openly gay lawmaker, Ray Chan, on Thursday said the tax department had opened the registration for same-sex couples registered overseas. Couples would have to provide marriage certificates at a later time.
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