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April 17, 2019

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Fiscal revenue up, growth in taxes slowing

China’s fiscal revenue rose 6.2 percent year on year to over 5.36 trillion yuan (US$800 billion) in the first quarter, new data showed yesterday.

The central government collected about 2.53 trillion yuan in fiscal revenue during the period, up 5.4 percent year on year, while local governments saw fiscal revenue rise 6.8 percent to around 2.83 trillion yuan, according to statistics from the Ministry of Finance.

Tax revenue climbed 5.4 percent to 4.67 trillion yuan, but growth continued to slow, dropping 11.9 percentage points year on year. The slide was attributed to newly revised tax exemption and deduction policies.

Revenue from individual income tax plunged 29.7 percent year on year to 323.9 billion yuan.

Revenue from stock trading stamp duty dipped 4.2 percent over the same period last year to 39.7 billion yuan, while that from tariffs dropped 4.8 percent.

China’s fiscal spending expanded 15 percent year on year to more than 5.86 trillion yuan in Q1, the ministry said.

Social security, employment and education took the lion’s share of fiscal spending, while expenditure on transport, energy conservation and environmental protection maintained a fast-growing pace.

China will implement an employment-first policy this year, aiming to create more than 11 million new urban jobs, according to the government work report delivered to the annual session of China’s top legislature on March 5.

The country will maintain a proactive fiscal policy stance in 2019, with a higher deficit-to-GDP ratio to leave policy space to address potential risks.

From April 1, China started to slash value-added taxes in multiple industries, including manufacturing, transportation and construction, which will affect revenue growth.

But the reforms will ease the burden on business, stimulate market vitality and strengthen the stability of the macro-economic growth, said the MOF, adding China will meet its annual revenue growth target.

In 2018, taxes and fees levied on enterprises and individuals were reduced by around 1.3 trillion yuan as a result of multiple tax-reduction policies.


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