Cabinet to issue list of approved business charges
China is moving to ease companies’ fee burdens as the economy cools.
The State Council, the nation’s cabinet, onThursday issued a document covering the fees imposed on enterprises. It is the first document covering this topic since 1997.
The government said it will draw up a list of approved fees so companies can avoid paying ones illegally charged by individuals contending they are collecting official charges.
The work should be completed by the central and local governments before the end of this year, Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei said on Thursday in a videoconference.
Chinese companies, especially microsized and small enterprises, often find themselves paying onerous and irregular fees. These fees, along with various taxes, have imposed a heavy financial burden on smaller companies.
The government will also be “prudent” about introducing newfees or other charges. It will also regulate fees that cover services related to pre-entry administrative approvals.
“Our survey showed that irregular fees and fines collected from enterprises have declined in recent years. But a new trend is that many intermediary agencies charge service fees to firms using their administrative resources,” Miao said.
Liu Xiaobin, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission, said enterprises have complained that government-affiliated industry associations impose compulsory “service fees” claiming that these charges cover the cost of providing technical and pricing advice. He said these charges will be dropped by the government.
Officials have made it clear that these efforts are intended to counterbalance the slowing economy and reform the role of the government.
In July 2013, China scrapped taxes for small companies as part of a drive to boost the slowing economy.
As of April this year, companies with annual taxable revenue of less than 100,000 yuan have been able to have their corporate income tax halved. The threshold was previously 60,000 yuan.