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March 18, 2019

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Tax relief for earnings from abroad

China announced specific rules concerning tax exemption to reduce the amount of individual income tax paid on incomes earned overseas.

According to the rules jointly unveiled by the Ministry of Finance and the State Taxation Administration on Saturday, individuals who have lived on the Chinese mainland for six consecutive years and have stayed there for 183 days or more each year will need to pay individual income tax on their overseas-sourced incomes. Otherwise, their incomes earned overseas will be tax exempt.

The clock for the six-year period will be reset if the individual leaves the mainland for more than 30 consecutive days in a year, according to the rules.

The rules, coming into effect on January 1, 2019, also stipulated that a stay of less than 24 hours on the mainland will not be counted as a day, and the count started from January 1.

The adjustment marked more generous tax exemptions on overseas-sourced incomes of foreigners and non-mainland citizens working on the mainland.

The move will attract more foreign investment and overseas talent to work on the mainland, the taxation administration said on its website.


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