VAT; business tax; Chinese taxation; indirect tax
The Chinese indirect tax system is on the eve of a major overhaul, with the integration of the VAT and business tax (BT) to start in select industries in Shanghai on January 1, 2012. This paper provides an overview of China's idiosyncratic VAT as well as the BT as they stood towards the end of 2010. BT law and practice are discussed only in connection with select conceptual issues such as the exclusion from the VAT/BT base, place of supply, etc. This decision is based on the considerations that many of the legal issues arising under the VAT cannot be properly discussed in connection with a cascading tax like the BT (as the economics of a cascading tax would undermine much of the logic of VAT rules), and that, when planning the integration of the BT into the VAT, it is the existing VAT rules examined here that will have to undergo further review and 'stress tests'.
Wei Cui & Alan Wu, "China" in Thomas Ecker, Michael Lang, Ine Lejeune, eds, The Future of Indirect Taxation: Recent Trends in VAT and GST Systems Around the Worlds (Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer Law International, 2012) 159.