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Tax Express - China VAT

From 1 July 2017, the following new rules on VAT become effective to further streamline the tax reform

The structure of the VAT rates has been simplified into three brackets

The original 4-tier VAT rates will be reduced to three, with tax rates of 17%, 11% and 6%. The VAT rate for livelihood products will be reduced from 13% to 11%.

  • The affected items include agricultural products (including foodstuff) , water, heating, liquefied petroleum gas, natural gas, edible vegetable oil, air condition, hot water, gas, domestic coal products, edible salt, agricultural machinery, feed, pesticide, agricultural film, chemical fertiliser, biogas, dimethyl ether, books, newspapers, magazines, audio-visual products and electronic publications.
  • It should be noted that there will be no change to the input tax credit rate deduction (at 13%) by taxpayers who purchase agricultural products for further processing at the present pilot scheme stage until VAT legislation has been completed.

Administration on general VAT invoice issuance has been strengthened

From 1 July 2017, businesses in the issuance of general VAT invoices shall have the buyer’s tax identification number or unified social credit code on the invoices in addition to the buyer’s name and details of services and goods.

Authentication period on special VAT invoices has been prolonged

With effect from 1 July 2017, special VAT invoices, unified invoices for sale of motor vehicles and import VAT payment demand notes obtained by general VAT taxpayers issued on or after 1 July 2017 shall be authenticated within 360 days upon their issuance instead of the previous requirement of 180 days.

GT insights

With the progression of the VAT reform, the China tax authority will no doubt issue further measures to streamline the tax reporting and levying process yet strengthen its tax collection administration and management. In view of the complexity of “assets management products” business, circular 56 apparently is not the final answer. More tax circulars and clarifications are expected in the coming months.