China’s income tax cuts ‘important stimulus’ in push to stabilise economic growth
- The series of measures will reduce annual personal income tax by 110 billion yuan (US$17.3 billion), according to China’s State Council
- Preferential taxes on year-end bonuses will stay in place until the end of 2023, while lower taxation on equity incentives will continue through next year
China will extend some personal income tax breaks, with certain measures to benefit high earners more, as the government seeks to encourage household spending as part of efforts to stimulate economic growth.
Preferential taxes on year-end bonuses will stay in place until the end of 2023, lower taxation on equity incentives will continue through next year and exemptions on some tax payments will be given to low income earners, according to a State Council statement released on Wednesday.
The measures will reduce annual personal income tax by 110 billion yuan (US$17.3 billion), the statement said.
For a high-end earner with a year-end extra payment of 500,000 yuan, the extended tax break on bonuses could help save around 77,000 yuan, according to a Bloomberg calculation.
The announcement of the extended tax relief measures comes in the lead-up to the Lunar New Year, China’s busiest shopping season.
Various ministries have vowed more proactive measures to reverse the slowdown of the economy. The central bank earlier this month trimmed the amount of cash banks must keep in reserve as a stimulus measure.
The latest tax break extensions are also likely intended to improve the morale of high-end talents as the government encourages the growth of hi-tech firms, given that the groups with access to equity incentives or hefty year-end bonus are usually people mastering core technology, according to Jiao.
China currently levies tax on salary progressively through seven brackets from 3 to 45 per cent and collects tax on other incomes such as royalties and dividends at different rates.
Under the preferential treatment, the tax on year-end bonuses is calculated separately from salary and wages received in the month and is applied based on the bonus amount divided by 12, resulting in lower payments than if the levy is based on total earnings.
The bar on tax exemptions for low earners will be set at annual income of 120,000 yuan (US$18,833) or less, the statement said.