31 May 2017
China Liberalises Tax-related Professional Services Market
In a move aimed at liberalising China’s tax-related professional services market, the current approval requirements for the establishment of tax firms are to be scrapped. Instead, as of 1 September 2017, a new system for the registration of tax-related professional services and related oversight is to be introduced.
Under this new system providers of tax-related professional services will be deemed to include tax firms as well as accountancy firms, law firms, bookkeeping agencies, tax agent firms and tax and financial consultancy companies that provide tax-related professional services.
Their authorised services are to include:
- Acting as a declaration agency
- Providing general tax counselling
- Offering professional tax advice
- Assistance with tax planning
- The assurance of tax-related matters
- Reviewing tax payments
- Acting as an agency for other tax matters
- Consulting with regard to other tax-related services
Items (3) to (6) as listed above can only be supplied by providers of tax-related professional services holding the appropriate tax firm, accounting firm and law firm qualifications. The government guidelines clearly state that the services of a “tax declaration agency” (item 1) and an “agency for other tax matters” (item 7) relate to all 192 tax matters across the six categories listed in the manual of tax payment services, which is applicable to all of the country’s tax authorities (version 2.3). The tax matters of taxpayers and withholding agents can also be handled by providers of tax-related professional services on their behalf, including all providers of tax-related professional services.
The move is in line with a resolution passed at the 91st executive meeting of the State Council, as promulgated by the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) in the recently-published Measures for the Regulation of Tax-related Professional Services (for Trial Implementation).
For further details (in Chinese), please refer to the following websites: