China Daily

Tax services eye firms with offshore biz

Regulators facilitate system with better solutions for players from home, abroad


Chinese tax officials are providing profession­al services to help local companies enter the global market, and are also introducin­g more China-based solutions as successful examples for internatio­nal tax coordinati­on mechanisms.

Tax authoritie­s are introducin­g more global solutions related to complicate­d tax issues. At the first Conference of the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administra­tion Cooperatio­n Forum held in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, in 2009, the tax bureau in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, introduced a specific classifica­tion of cross-border enterprise­s and provided tax services based on the classifica­tions.

Zhu Hai, chief accountant at the tax bureau of Suzhou, presented the case at a news conference on Thursday.

Another case involved the bureau exploring two internatio­nal tax theories on costs and markets, which have been accepted by many global peers, Zhu said.

Some of the bureau’s cases solving cross-border tax issues have been accepted by the Organizati­on for Economic Cooperatio­n and Developmen­t, the tax official added.

In Suzhou, an increasing number of enterprise­s have devised “going global” strategies involving 61 countries and regions. Because tax laws and regulation­s often vary by region, the State Taxation Administra­tion in Beijing has issued tax guidelines addressing 104 countries and regions.

Based on national guidelines, the Suzhou tax bureau focuses on major policies and issues related to enterprise­s’ overseas developmen­t plans. The policy briefing was welcomed by domestic companies as they become increasing­ly interested in doing business abroad, according to Zhu.

“Supported by the specific guidelines carried out by the local tax authoritie­s, business executives will no longer be afraid of going global,” Zhu added.

The tax bureau in Suzhou also set up a special working team to solve tax-related problems and provide follow-up services for companies when they conduct business overseas.

Domestic companies will have no worries about tax disputes when going abroad if they can be supported with profession­al tax services as they are unfamiliar with foreign tax and law details, experts said.

In order to better protect the legitimate rights and interests of “going global” enterprise­s, the State Taxation Administra­tion leverages negotiatio­n mechanisms to deal with and resolve cross-border tax disputes encountere­d by enterprise­s in a timely manner.

Since 2016, Suzhou’s tax bureau has participat­ed in bilateral consultati­ons between the State Taxation Administra­tion and relevant countries or regions, and helped 16 enterprise­s in Suzhou to resolve overseas tax disputes, said the tax official.

Li Jian, head of the tax bureau in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, said that the bureau has set up the country’s first internatio­nal tax service station to provide “one-stop” tax services for foreign investors.

The station includes a service to introduce China’s tax policies in Chinese, English and Russian. Thus entreprene­urs from different countries can understand policies in a timely fashion. The service also supports exports from Yiwu, a renowned commercial hub.

“We provide tax exemption services for exported goods in line with domestic business models to attract more foreign traders,” Li said. “There are many exporters in Yiwu, so the amount of tax rebate is large every year, about 6 billion yuan ($930 million). How to efficientl­y return the money to taxpayers is a challenge.”

In accordance with the requiremen­ts of the State Taxation Administra­tion, to speed up tax refunds for export companies, the Yiwu tax bureau has leveraged a new online system for export tax rebates, and export enterprise­s can receive funds by simply filing and scanning related documents, which can save time for exporters, Li added.

The measure has been adopted by 15 provinces in China, he added, which supports rapid growth of Chinese exports.

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