Business / Economy

VAT reform exemption exceeds 220 billion yuan

( Updated: 2014-04-23 10:53

BEIJING -- Chinese businesses saved 220.3 billion yuan ($35.5 billion) as of the end of March, due to a pilot plan to replace turnover tax with value-added tax (VAT), an official said on Tuesday.

Yang Yimin, a department director of the State Administration of Taxation (SAT), said the VAT reform had covered nearly 3 million businesses so far.

VAT is levied on the margin between production cost and commodity price on the market. It is favored partly because it can reduce double taxation and lift burdens for Chinese firms, especially smaller ones.

Following regional experiments since the beginning of 2012, China began piloting the VAT reform in transportation and some modern service sectors throughout the country on Aug 1.

The scope of the reform was then expanded to railway transportation and the postal service from Jan 1.

From January to March, 18,648 businesses in the two sectors benefited from the preferential policy with tax exemption near 2.5 billion yuan, according to Yang.

Yang said the SAT is working with other authorities on plans to expand VAT reform to more sectors, including telecommunications, construction, real estate and living services.

Living services refer to services that meet people's daily needs, such as catering, accommodation, hairdressing and photography.

"China will strive to complete VAT reform covering all merchandise and services by 2015," said Yang.

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