Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang urged the country to expand its pilot program for value-added tax (VAT) reforms to sectors including post and telecommunications, railway transportation and construction where appropriate, state media reported. The scheme, which aims to reduce overlapping taxes by replacing business taxes with a VAT, will be gradually expanded nationwide, Li said. He stressed the scheme’s importance in upgrading the manufacturing and service sectors and in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises. The trial program helped reduce taxes for small enterprises by 40% on average, data from the meeting showed. Regulators first started the tax trial for transportation and specific service industries in Shanghai, before expanding it to 12 provinces and cities including Beijing, Guangdong and Zhejiang in August. Li is widely expected to replace Wen Jiabao as China’s next premier.
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