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Businesses to benefit from value-added tax reform

By Zhang Yue, Xin Zhiming and Yu Ran | China Daily Europe | Updated: 2016-12-04 13:38

The goal for China's ongoing nationwide value-added tax reform is to reduce the tax burden for enterprises by 500 billion yuan ($73 billion; 68.8 billion euros; 58.3 billion) by the end of this year.

The amount was announced on Nov 29 at a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, who heard a report on the progress of the VAT expansion.

The VAT reform, which is designed to reduce the tax burden for service industries and boost industrial upgrading and innovation, has extended China's value-added tax since May to the construction, real estate, finance and consumer services sectors

VAT reform is playing a crucial role in China's effort to ensure steady economic growth and structural adjustment, Li said.

Ministry of Finance figures show that between May and October, taxes continued dropping in the newly-added sectors. During the past six months, the new tax plan has helped enterprises in those sectors to save a total of 96.5 billion yuan in taxes.

The tax burden has been reduced or leveled off for 98.5 percent of business owners, the figures show.

"Our goal through VAT reform is to better invigorate the market and boost the modern service industry," Li said. "The steady progress of tax cuts reduces the burden for enterprises and will help create enormous employment opportunities."

The premier has placed great emphasis on the progress of the reform, requiring departments to develop tailored policies for various sectors to boost innovation and industrial upgrading.

In the past six months, 530,000 taxpayers in the construction, real estate, finance and consumer service industries have benefited from the reform, according to the ministry.

Problems remain, however. Sectors such as finance, technology and tourism might need tailored tax assessment measures. Additionally, some companies have not made full use of the new VAT plan.

Tax assessment measures will be further tailored in the finance and construction sector, as well as for technological transfers.

The government will also provide guidance to business owners on how to understand and best use the new tax policy so they can ease their tax burden. The government will also improve tax collection methods.

Li said: "This is part of our positive fiscal policy, instead of giving policy support to particular industries and returning to the planned economy."

The meeting also decided on Nov 29 that distribution of VAT revenue will be balanced between the country's eastern, central and western regions.

Benny Li, CEO and president of Huaxia Finance Equity Investment Management Co, said: "The full introduction of VAT allows us to plan ahead and manage our accounting risk, which has a direct impact on our profitability and sustainability."

Contact the writers at zhangyue@chinadaily.com.cn

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