China alert - Issue 4, March 2012
In recent years, the focus of taxpayer services from the Chinese tax authorities has gradually shifted. Traditionally, the Chinese tax authorities tend to stress tax administration at a relatively basic level, such as improving the attitude of the tax officials as service providers, enhancing tax compliance and reducing tax collection costs. Now the Chinese tax authorities are setting their sights higher and are aiming to provide more enhanced taxpayer services e.g. guiding taxpayers to comply with tax regulations on their own, helping taxpayers to manage tax risks, and providing taxpayers with more customised assistance. Among the types of enhanced taxpayer services, an Advance Tax ruling (or Private Tax ruling) system has been accepted by many countries as a key element. In China, that need is more acute given the considerable scope for uncertainties under China’s tax laws.