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- Public Subscription Permit

Public Subscription Permit

According to Section 4(17)(i) of Summary Offences Ordinance, Cap. 228, Laws of Hong Kong, any person organises, provides equipment for, or participates in any collection of money or sale or exchange for donation of badges, tokens or similar articles in a public place for charitable purpose, should apply for a permit from the Director of Social Welfare.  

The permit as referred above is the Public Subscription Permit which covers two types of charitable fund-raising activities in public places, namely flag days and general charitable fund-raising activities.

Practice Note 850 (PN 850) - Reporting on Flag Days and General Charitable Fund-raising Activities Covered by Public Subscription Permits issued by the Social Welfare Department

In accordance with the conditions of the public subscription permit issued by the Social Welfare Department, Permittees of both flag days and general charitable fund-raising activities are required to submit an audited report of the income and expenditure account of the fund-raising events concerned to the Director of Social Welfare within 90 days of the last event day approved in the permit.

In August 1999, the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) issued PN 850 “Review of Flag Day Accounts” to provide guidance on the review procedures and reporting requirements in connection with flag day accounts. In November 2007, HKICPA also issued the “Circular on Reporting on General Charitable Fund-raising Activities Covered by Public Subscription Permits issued by the Social Welfare Department (Other than Flag Days)” to provide guidance on the reporting requirements in respect of accounts for general charitable fund-raising activities.

HKICPA has recently revised the PN 850 to combine the guidance for reporting on both flag days and general charitable fund-raising activities to achieve greater degree of uniformity.  The revised PN850 'Reporting on Flag days and General Charitable Fund-raising Activities Covered by Public Subscription Permits issued by the Social Welfare Department' has become effective from 12 March 2014 to replace the PN 850 and the Circular on Reporting on General Charitable Fund-raising Activities Covered by Public Subscription Permits issued by the Social Welfare Department (Other than Flag Days) issued in 1999 and 2007 respectively.  Permittees are advised to liaise with their auditors in respect of the corresponding changes and the updated reporting requirement.

For the key revisions to PN 850 and full version of the revised PN 850, please refer to the following links of the HKICPA:

http://app1.hkicpa.org.hk/hksaebk/HKSA_Members_Handbook_Master/updates/update142.pdf

http://app1.hkicpa.org.hk/ebook/HKSA_Members_Handbook_Master/volumeIII/pn850.pdf