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'Fake divorces' a worrying trend

Updated: 2013-11-05 09:39
( China Daily)

In order to avoid paying the sales tax on second properties a growing number of couples are getting divorced, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

Although the young couples nowadays may be less respectful towards marriage than in the old days, some experts believe that the higher divorce rate is also related to the housing policies in Beijing.

'Fake divorces' a worrying trend
A Shanghai marriage registration office displays a sign warning about risks in the property market and telling buyers to think twice before getting divorced. Divorce rates in some major cities have risen dramatically in the first three quarters, with experts saying many couples are divorcing to avoid paying property taxes. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Since February, a 20 percent sales tax has been levied on housing transaction if the property is not the only real estate property self-used for more than five years. Divorce has become a way to avoid the tax. Such "fake divorces" have pushed up the divorce figures.

Divorces to avoid paying tax show the complicated relations between marriage and economic interests and it is undoubtedly a realistic choice for some individuals to maintain their interests. However, if a government policy has such an unwanted effect on society, it clearly needs to be adjusted.

The real estate control policy should not be aimed at breaking up families. If more "fake marriages" happen in our society and people value their economic interests more than a stable family, it will have extremely bad social effects in the near future.

(China Daily 11/05/2013 page9)