China Offers Preferential Tax Treatment to Exports by E-Commerce Retail Enterprises

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Jan. 13 – China’s Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation jointly released the “Circular on Tax Policies for Cross-Border E-Commerce Retail Exports (caishui [2013] No.89, hereinafter referred to as ‘Circular’)” on December 30, 2013, which offers value-added tax (VAT) and consumption tax (CT) refund and exemption to exports by e-commerce retail enterprises. For the purpose of the Circular, e-commerce retail export enterprises refer to enterprises that utilize their own or a third-party platform to engage in e-commerce export business.

For the tax refund and exemption to apply, the e-commerce export enterprise should satisfy the following requirements:

  • Be a VAT general taxpayer and obtained the export tax relief qualification by the competent tax authority;
  • Obtained an export declaration form (for export tax refund purposes only) for the goods to be exported. The information on the form should be consistent with the corresponding electronic information;
  • Received the foreign currency for exported goods before the deadline for tax refund (exemption) declaration; and
  • If it is a foreign trade enterprise, obtained the corresponding VAT special invoice and the special CT payment receipt for the exported goods purchased (or the special customs VAT and CT payment receipts for imports). The particulars in these vouchers should match the relevant information in the export declaration form.

For e-commerce export enterprises that fail to satisfy the above requirements, they can enjoy tax exemption if they meet the following conditions:

    • They have completed tax registration;
    • They have obtained the export declaration form issued by the customs; and
    • They have obtained the legal and valid vouchers for its purchase of exported goods.

The Circular came into effect on January 1, 2014.

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