Tax

Taxes provide the most important revenue source for the Government of the People's Republic of China. As the most important source of fiscal revenue, tax is a key economic player of macro-economic regulation, and greatly affects China's economic and social development. With the changes made since the 1994 tax reform, China has preliminarily set up a streamlined tax system geared to the socialist market economy.

China's tax revenue exceeded 4.94 trillion yuan (670 billion U.S. dollars) in 2007, up 31.4 percent on 2006. This was the highest increase of any year since reforms began in 1978.[1]

The government agency in charge of tax policy is the Ministry of Finance. For tax collection, State Administration of Taxation.

As part of US$586 billion economic stimulus package of November 2008, the government plans to reform the VAT which could cut corporation taxes by 120 billion yuan.

Under the current tax system in China, there are 26 types of taxes, which, according to their nature and function, can be divided into the following 8 categories:

  • Turnover taxes. This includes three kinds of taxes, namely, Value-Added Tax, Consumption Tax and Business Tax. The levy of these taxes are normally based on the volume of turnover or sales of the taxpayers in the manufacturing, circulation or service sectors.
  • Income taxes. This includes Enterprise Income Tax (effective prior to 2008, applicable to such domestic enterprises as state-owned enterprises, collectively-owned enterprises, private enterprises, joint operation enterprises and joint equity enterprises), Foreign Investment Enterprise and Foreign Enterprise Income Tax{("FEIT"), and Individual Income Tax. These taxes are levied on the basis of the profits gained by producers or dealers, or the income earned by individuals. Pleaset note that the new Enterprise Income Tax Law of the People's Republic of China has replaced the aboves two enterprises taxes as from 1 January 2008.
  • Resource taxes. This consists of Resource Tax and Urban and Township Land Use Tax. These taxes are applicable to the exploiters engaged in natural resource exploitation or to the users of urban and township land. These taxes reflect the chargeable use of state-owned natural resources, and aim to adjust the different profits derived by taxpayers who have access to different availability of natural resources.
  • Taxes for special purposes. These taxes are City Maintenance and Construction Tax, Farmland Occupation Tax, Fixed Asset Investment Orientation Regulation Tax, Land Appreciation Tax, and Vehicle Acquisition Tax. These taxes are levied on specific items for special regulative purposes.
  • Property taxes. This encompasses House Property Tax, Urban Real Estate Tax, and Inheritance Tax (not yet levied).
  • Behavioural taxes. This includes Vehicle and Vessel Usage Tax, Vehicle and Vessel Usage License Plate Tax, Stamp Tax, Deed Tax, Securities Exchange Tax (not yet levied), Slaughter Tax and Banquet Tax. These taxes are levied on specified behaviour.
  • Agricultural taxes. Taxes belonging to this category are Agriculture Tax (including Agricultural Specialty Tax) and Animal Husbandry Tax which are levied on the enterprises, units and/or individuals receiving income from agriculture and animal husbandry activities.
  • Customs duties. Customs duties are imposed on the goods and articles imported into and exported out of the territory of the People's Republic of China, including Excise Tax

Client Testimonial

One of the best China lawyers based in Shenzhen! I appreciated this Shenzhen lawyer's service because they helped me achieved my goals, though it was a tough mission. They are English speaking lawyers, so there are absolutely no communication barrier you likely encounter elsewhere. What impressed me is these Shenzhen lawyer's quick response and professional service, two characteristics which I treasure most. Although the Shenzhen lawyers are based in south China, they represent clients across the country, so you can also call them China lawyer! - Johnson