Re­fund of taxes to lure vis­i­tors

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By MAO WEIHUA in Urumqi and XU WEI in Beijing

Over­seas tourists bound for the Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion can ob­tain a re­fund for val­ueadded taxes paid dur­ing their trip, as lo­cal au­thor­i­ties try to in­crease the lure of the re­gion.

The re­fund pol­icy will be­gin on Jan 1, according to the Xin­jiang re­gional of­fice of the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Tax­a­tion.

Fan Bingwu, head of the ex­port and im­port tax management di­vi­sion at the of­fice, said the new pol­icy will in­crease the pop­u­lar­ity of Xin­jiang as a tourist des­ti­na­tion.

“It will also in­crease tourism con­sump­tion in a pos­i­tive way,” he said, adding that it will im­prove the vi­tal­ity of the ex­port-ori­ented econ­omy in Xin­jiang.

More than a dozen pro­vin­cial ar­eas have en­acted tax re­fund poli­cies for over­seas tourists.

According to the new pol­icy, for­eign­ers and res­i­dents of Hong Kong, Ma­cao and Tai­wan, who have stayed in China for 183 days or less, can en­joy the re­fund.

Tourists must have spent at least 500 yuan ($75) at a tax re­fund shop, and the pur­chase must not have been used or con­sumed. They must leave the coun­try within 90 days af­ter the pur­chase.

El­i­gi­ble items must also be taken from the coun­try, ei­ther through carry-on lug­gage or con­sign­ment, by the tourist.

Over­seas tourists can ap­ply for a re­fund of 11 per­cent of the to­tal of their pur­chases at tax re­fund shops. They can ap­ply at cus­toms be­fore the re­fund is com­pleted by a tax re­fund agency, which may add com­mis­sion.

There are cur­rently eight tax-re­fund shops in six cities or pre­fec­tures in the re­gion, according to the of­fice.

The re­gion’s tourism in­dus­try was hit hard in 2013 and 2014 be­cause of a fear of ran­dom ter­ror­ist at­tacks. It started to slowly bounce back last year, when it wel­comed a 15.7 per­cent in­crease in do­mes­tic tourists.

Col­lege stu­dents carry Nan­jing Mas­sacre-themed posters for public ex­hi­bi­tion at Nan­jing Univer­sity of the Arts in Jiangsu prov­ince on Monday. The posters came from an ex­hi­bi­tion held dur­ing the Na­tional Me­mo­rial Day in 2014. Another 2,000 posters will be col­lected from fa­mous de­sign­ers and pro­fes­sional in­sti­tu­tions at home and abroad over the next year. The Nan­jing Mas­sacre was a six-week episode of mass mur­der and rape com­mit­ted by Ja­panese troops against the peo­ple of Nan­jing in 1937. More than 300,000 peo­ple died.

Con­tact the writ­ers at xuwei@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

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