Tax Returns

Find out who has to file a tax return in China and when to submit it...

Most employees have their income tax deducted each month from their salary by their employer. Those who are self-employed, or who otherwise receive income without a withholding agent, must submit an individual tax return each month. Monthly individual returns should be submitted by the 15th of the following month to the local tax authority.

For year-round residents, an individual income tax return must be filed if threshold earnings are RMB120,000 per year. A return must be submitted even if income tax has been paid or withheld by an employer every month and there is no additional tax liability. An annual tax return must also be submitted in the following circumstances:

  • When an individual has more than one employer, or source of income, in China
  • If a person also receives income from outside of China
  • When a person receives income without tax being levied on it

China's tax year is the same as the calendar year and returns must be submitted by 31 March of the following year, to the local tax authority of the place of employment. Fines for not filing a tax return on time can be high. Late payment is subject to a daily interest charge of 0.05%. Foreigners leaving China must pay all outstanding taxes before departure and may be required to complete a deregistration form with the local tax authorities.