China’s Preferential Tax Policies Become More Favorable to Foreign Businesses

etter cope with potential difficulties.The novel coronavirus epidemic (“COVID-19”) affects all parts of the economy, including the operation and investment activities of foreign-invested enterprises (“FIE”) in China. In such context, the Chinese government has issued a series of preferential policies in order to help businesses to better cope with potential difficulties. The following is a summary of the key preferential policies that companies may be interested in and should pay attention to. On May 29, 2020, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the State Taxation Administration (STA) released the Announcement on Extending the Deadline for Preferential Tax and Fee Policies to Support Epidemic Prevention and Control and to Ensure Medical Supply.

The three documents introduce new deductions, tax exemptions, and subsidies to stimulate action in three critical areas related to fighting the coronavirus outbreak. These are:

>> Supporting the production capacity of businesses;

>> Encouraging cash or material donations to fight the epidemic; and

>> Supporting the medical staff and anti-epidemic workers.

Exemption on The Social Security

Circular of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Finance and the State Taxation Administration on Provisionally Reducing and Exempting the Social Insurance Contributions Borne by Enterprises (Ren She Bu Fa [2020] No.11), entering into force on February 20, 2020.

Beginning from February 2020 medium enterprises, small enterprises and mini enterprises in provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities (except Hubei Province) and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (collectively referred to as the provinces below) can be exempted from the payment of three social insurance borne by enterprises according to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and fund affordability, the exemption period shall not exceed 5 months; the payment of three social insurance for large enterprises and other units (excluding government agencies and institutions) can be halved, and the reduction period shall not exceed 3 months.

Corporate Income Tax

The income tax on enterprises with foreign investment is levied at the rate of 33 percent. The income tax on enterprises with foreign investment located in special economic zones, state new- and hi-tech industrial zones, or economic and technological development zones is levied at the rate of 15 percent. Already, the State Taxation Administration has extended the period of tax declaration in February and the General Administration of Customs has temporarily extended the deadline for tax payments. Further, regional tax measures have also been released in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hunan, and Shandong, among others, that complement the newly released national measures. Foreign investors are advised to contact their local professional adviser to determine the exact tax preferential policies that may apply to them and their business. Tax exemption for imported equipment: Equipment imported for foreign-invested or domestic-invested projects that are encouraged and supported by the state shall enjoy tariff and import-stage value-added tax exemption.

Labor Policy

The finance ministry cut social insurance payments by RMB 1 trillion to incentivize companies to retain employees. In late January the ministry announced that workers ‘compensation would be subsidized for infected medical workers, and local finance departments rolled out daily stipends for them.

Deferring the payment of social security contributions (and in some cases refunding contributions already made).

The novel coronavirus epidemic (“COVID-19”) affects all parts of the economy, including the operation and investment activities of foreign-invested enterprises (“FIE”) in China. In such context, the Chinese government has issued a series of preferential policies in order to help businesses to better cope with potential difficulties.

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