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Structural tax cuts boost economic vitality

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-07-31 17:13

BEIJING - China's latest efforts to implement structural tax cuts will benefit its economic restructuring and promote steady growth, analysts have said.

Starting from Aug 1, value-added tax (VAT) reforms, which replace the turnover tax with a value-added duty in transport and some service sectors, will expand nationwide from the current 12 provinces and municipalities to further reduce tax burdens on businesses.

Also effective on Aug 1, China will suspend the VAT and turnover tax for small businesses with monthly sales of less than 20,000 yuan ($3,236), which will benefit more than six million small companies and boost employment and income for tens of millions of people.

VAT refers to a tax levied on the difference between a commodity's price before taxes and its cost of production, while turnover tax refers to a levy on a business's gross revenues.

Bai Jingming, deputy head of the Fiscal Science Research Institute under the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said that expanding the pilot VAT reform is an important step in the reform of the fiscal and taxation systems.

"It calls for an improvement in the VAT system, as well as the adjustment of tax revenue distribution between the central and local governments," Bai said.

The VAT reform was first introduced in Shanghai in January last year and was later expanded to another 11 regions, including the cities of Beijing, Tianjin and Shenzhen.

"The structural tax cuts will help alleviate tax burdens for businesses and individuals, boost business vitality and increase employment and incomes," said Zhang Bin, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank.

In the first five months of the year, the reform eased tax burdens by 40.6 billion yuan for 1.29 million businesses in the regions that first piloted the program, according to the State Administration of Taxation (SAT).

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