Archive for April 26th, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Statistics: Digital and other Divides

Zhongguowang / Dongbeiwang — An imcome tax law amendment draft currently under discussion plans to improve an existing principle which makes certain basic living costs (居民基本生活费用) deductable, given that citizens’ basic costs of living 基本生活所需的费用), according to a Zhongguowang article (republished by Dongbeiwang).

[Main link:]

[What is referred to as deductible expenses (减除费用) in the article, should basically signify a tax allowance or tax exempt amount.]

Previously, changes in the amount deductible had been made at least twice, from 800 to 1,600 Yuan RMB per month on January 1, 2006, and from 1,600 to 2,000 Yuan RMB on March 1, 2008.

The National Bureau of Statistics material is quoted as stating that in 2010, urban citizens’ (城镇居民) consumption expenses per person and month – including both life necessities and expenses beyond basic costs of living – were at 1,123 Yuan RMB, or, based on the assumption that every urban employee shoulders the expenses for 1.93 persons [this apparently refers to family people – JR], monthly consumption expenses per urban employee would have been at 2,167 Yuan RMB. In 2011, their latter expenses had increased by 10 per cent, to 2,384 Yuan RMB.

All factors considered, the current draft would raise the amount deductible from the existing standard of 2,000, to 3,000 Yuan RMB per month. The percentage of employees (wage- and salary-earners) who would have to pay income tax would be down from 28 to about twelve per cent.

Netizens can make their own suggestions about the draft until May 25, according to the Zhongguowang article, through the National People’s Congress’ website. The idea suggests itself that the costs of internet access should be included in the basic living costs’ category. The article makes no mention of other ways to make suggestions to the NPC’s standing committee.



Maybe Xinwen Lianbo will provide the wider public with a postal address, too. But then, the deductions won’t make a great difference in rural areas anyway. According to a China Daily article of March 2, 2010, the urban per capita net income had stood at 17,175 yuan ($2,525) one year earlier, in contrast to 5,153 yuan in the countryside, with the urban-to-rural income ratio being 3.33:1.

An article published by People’s Daily Online’s English edition on Monday  would suggest that it was mostly urban citizens who called for larger cuts in their tax burden during the first round of suggestions.

Income tax is reportedly no great source of income for the Chinese state. People’s Daily quotes a UBS paper as saying that personal income taxes accounted for only 6.6 per cent of overall tax revenues.


Wen Jiabao’s Endgame: neither Law nor Order, April 21, 2011
German Labor Market to Open to Poles, The Warsaw Voice, March 31, 2011
Chongqing: Steps toward total Urbanization, Chengdu Living, December 9, 2010
Shenzhen: Here to Stay, May 11, 2010
Household Registration Reform, Recent History, March 2, 2010

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