Moving To Hong Kong


I have recently been offered for a job in Hong Kong which pays me monthly about HKD50,000. Accomodation portion will be add on on top of the monthly pay. I am wondering with the HKD50,000, after 16% income tax and MPF 5% = HKD39,000 net take home pay, is it enough for me and my wife to have a moderate living standard in Hong Kong? like to dine twice at a nice restaurant, to enrole ourselves into the fitness club?

I do not need to purchase any car in HK as there will be a company car given that come with a parking lot in the office. I shall use the public transport from home to office.

My future office is located at Tsuen Wan, if I were to rent an decent apartment of 2-bedrooms near Tsuen Wan,NT (is it possible to get fully furnished apartment? and how much am I looking at?), can you kindly give us a indicative rent ?

Thank you!

Best regards,


Moving to Hong kong

Yes, you will certainly be able to live comfortably on the salary you mentioned as long as you do not go wild.

I think you have miscalculated your take home pay though. Remember that 16% is the max tax rate of the higher bands, so you will pay less depending also on any allowances you might have to set against tax (e.g. married allowance, children etc), so your take home pay should be more.

Regarding housing allowance, there may be some tax to pay on this as well, depending on how it is paid and if you use it all.

I am not sure of rents in Tseun Wan but HK is a small place, so be prepared to look elsewhere in New Territories especially, depending if you want to live in a built up area or a 'village house'. Others can advise better, but I would budget from a low of $5000 to a more likely figure of $10,000, depending on what you are looking for.

Moving to Hong Kong

Hi Mike,

Thank you so much on your reply. I didn't know that for foreigner who works in Hong Kong gets to enjoy deduction for those allowances you mentioned. By the way, there will only be my mother and myself staying with my husband, can you/anyone advice me what kind of tax deduction that we are looking at?

For the housing allowance, the company is going to factor the amount in his montly salary, say monthly salary is HKD60,000 including of housing allowance, the company said it is up to us how much we want to spend on accomodation. So if we spend HKD10,000 for renting a place, does it mean that we can deduct a total of HKD120,000 from the taxable income?

Besides, we are thinking of renting a service apartment instead, is rental for service apartment gets the same treatment when come to income tax? Is it deductible?

We are really clueless when come to the accomodation, we just need a decent place with 2-bedrooms, about 700-1000 sqft, with security, facilities like swimming pool /gym are optional to us, most importantly is safe. When you says village house, is it those low cost apartment? Is it usually reside by local? Is the environment ok? So, if we want to choose a more built up area at Tsuen Wan near the MTR, can you advice how much we should budget for the accomodation?








Moving to HK, tax, place to live

Hi Wondering;

Just to add a few things to what Mike has so helpfully provided.

First, just to echo his main point: yes, that's enough money to live pretty well in Hong Kong. It's not going to finance a luxurious expat lifestyle, but it's more than most local people live on. From the sounds of your posts, it seems you realize this, too.

With regard to taxes: the Inland Revenue Department website is very good and comprehensive. Its introduction to salaries tax page is here. You might also find especially find its salaries tax calculator helpful. This FAQ on employer-provided residences might also be helpful in your situation.

As for where (and how) to live, the choices are vast. Tsuen Wan is an okay area to live, but since it's easily reached by various forms of transport, you wouldn't necessarily need to live right in that district, either. You also have a range of types of housing available; some people like villages houses very much, but most people in HK live in high rise estates. You can read some articles here at comparing those types of lifestyles here, here and here. You should also read MrB's article on choosing an actual flat. Finally, this article and discussion thread is a good place to start in getting a feel for different parts of HK. We always recommend that you stay in a serviced apartment for a month or two upon your arrival so you have a chance to look around for a more permanent place.

Good luck!

Sham Tseng

I have a friend who lives close to Tsuen Wan, in Sham Tseng, and enjoys it. I believe he pays about 10k per month for a 2 bed place with decent facilties (clubhouse/pool etc).

But Tsuen Wan is really well connected in terms of both the, now extended, West Rail Line and the Tsuen Wan subway line from HK Island. So if you didn't want to live near Tsuen Wan, you really have most of the Kowloon peninsula, western New Territories and northern side of HK Island as potential options.

Best of luck.

The serviced apartment suggestion is recommended. It will let you get a good feel for HK before you commit to sign a 2 year (of which you will need to  do at least 13 months) lease.


Hi Guys, Thank you so much

Hi Guys,

Thank you so much for all your reply, it is really useful for us. Wish us luck in negotiating the package and hope to join you guys in HK soon!