The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) issued 48 recovery notices to police officers during the first half of this year, up by a third from the same period a year ago, Apple Daily reported Friday.
As much as HK$770,000 of unpaid taxes was involved, the highest amount outstanding in three years.
Meanwhile, Security Bureau records show 46 police officers were unable to repay their debts during the first six months of the year, down by 17.9 percent from last year’s 56.
Among the 46 officers, over 70 percent of them were responsible for debts that were owed by their family members or relatives to others, while 7 percent had gambling debts.
Two-fifths of them have been in debt for over five years, one officer’s debts dating back almost a decade.
The force did not offer any explanation for why more officers are not paying their taxes on time.
However, it stressed that there are comprehensive systems in place to monitor and handle officers who might have financial problems.
Legislators James To Kun-sun and Charles Mok Nai-kwong said the rising number of police with tax outstanding could be a symptom of financial problems faced by many officers.
They called for the force to look into the reasons behind the increase and to say what measures will be taken to help these officers, so as not to undermine public confidence in the police.
The force investigates officers who receive a recovery notice from the IRD, the report quoted an unnamed source as saying.
Police officers who have conducted such investigations said most of the colleagues involved simply forgot to pay their taxes on time, and only a very small number of them had financial problems.
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