Tax figures show surge in salaries

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 July, 2006, 12:00am

Guangdong's top 100 individual taxpayers paid 229 million yuan tax on their earnings last year, accounting for 1.1 per cent of the total collected from the province's roughly 10 million contributors, media reported yesterday.

The Guangdong Taxation Bureau said the top 100 contributors paid 135 million yuan in tax on wages and 94 million yuan on other payments such as dividends and bonuses, the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis News said.

One Guangdong executive paid 5.3 million yuan in tax on his salary alone in 2005, the newspaper said. The top individual tax rate on the mainland is 45 per cent, suggesting the executive was paid more than 10 million yuan.

When dividends and bonuses were taken into account, two paid more than 10 million yuan; two paid between 5 million and 10 million yuan; and nine people paid between 3 million and 5 million yuan. The last person on the list paid nearly 1 million yuan.

The bureau said that about two-thirds of the people on the list worked for foreign-funded businesses and the remainder for state-owned enterprises and private companies. Seven headed company boards, two were board members, eight were general managers and 47 were senior management.

The report said five of the top 10 were from the property industry, while a third of the 100 made their money in the chemicals industry. Six people were in computing and telecommunications and 17 were in food processing.

Gu Liang, a partner in the Realize Investment Consulting Company, said more people were expected to join the ranks of the province's highly paid.

'It's not the first time we've heard such news,' Mr Gu said. 'Salaries are determined by the market and no boss would pay them a cent more than they were worth.'

Liu Jun, a human resources analyst at Shenzhen University, said the public could react adversely to news of further pay increases for executives.

'The gap between the rich and the poor is widening and the results of this survey could make some people feel the payments were unfair,' Professor Liu said.

'We should encourage this trend [of higher wages], but the government could impose higher taxes on the rich to balance and benefit society.'