Moves afoot to bolster cooperation in taxation

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China is stepping up international cooperation in taxation, including with countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, and is striving to advance global taxation services for higher-standard opening up of the country's economy, officials from the State Taxation Administration said on Friday.

China's tax authorities have helped businesses, including foreign-funded companies, save more than 14 trillion yuan ($1.9 trillion) through tax refunds, as well as tax and fee cuts and deferrals over the past decade, said Rong Hailou, a spokesman for the STA.

"It is also part of the country's broader effort to facilitate tax services and optimize the taxation and business environment for taxpayers globally. More efforts will be made to strengthen international tax cooperation and governance," he added.

The remarks came as China unveiled the latest version of its investment and taxation guide that spans 105 countries and regions.

The guide aims to help companies with overseas investments understand the local investment environment and taxation system, and prevent risks.

As this year marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of the BRI, the administration has been working to promote global taxation services under TaxExpress, a long-term mechanism for cross-border investment tax services, said Meng Yuying, director of the international taxation department of the STA.

TaxExpress mainly leverages professionals to help companies better understand taxation policies and related information while investing overseas, and smoothen service channels.

"Further efforts will also be made to promote the Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Mechanism, or the BRITACOM, to smoothen trade and improve tax governance capabilities so as to build a multilateral taxation cooperation platform with international influence," Meng said.

Initiated by China in 2019, BRITACOM is a nonprofit mechanism for tax administration cooperation among BRI countries and regions, and seeks to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation in member countries by strengthening cooperation in tax administration.

As of now, the mechanism has attracted 36 council members and 30 observers spanning Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania and South America.

To get on board the digitalization of taxation, China has been working to promote the application of new technologies, Meng said.

She also called for more international exchanges, training courses and global cooperation in taxation in future to improve the global taxation environment.

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