Shanghai sets property tax rates

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The Shanghai municipal government has announced details of property tax rates on Tuesday.

The decision to impose the property tax was announced on Jan 27, in an effort to cool property prices in the Chinese economic hub.

The rates have two slabs. The properties priced at or below 28,426 yuan ($4,323) per square meter (sq m) will attract a tax of 0.4 percent of its total value annually, while those priced higher than that will have a tax rate of 0.6 percent of the housing price, according to a Xinhua News Agency report.

The taxation standard has been worked out in accordance with the latest statistics collected by the Shanghai Municipal Statistics Bureau, which showed that the city's average housing price for newly built properties was 14,213 yuan for each sq m in 2010.

The announcement said if the property trading price is lower than twice the city's average price of newly built commercial or residential properties in previous years, the tax rate will be 0.4 percent.

All the related tax divisions have been sent the new taxation standard and they will start collecting the property tax accordingly, the local official media Shanghai Morning Post reported on Wednesday.

A notice will be mailed to individuals who are required to pay the tax and the deadline for payment is Dec 31. According to the notice, in case a family fails to pay the full tax in time, an extra 0.05 percent late fee will be imposed on a daily basis from Jan 1, 2012.

According to the January announcement, Shanghai hukou (residence identity) holders who buy a second home or more, while at the same time the family's total property gross floor area exceeds 60 square meter for each person, will be liable to pay the tax.

The tax will be based on the area that exceeds the standard (60 sq m per head), and it will be 70 percent of the total housing price.

The standard also applies for people holding certificates of residence and have paid tax in Shanghai for more than three years. Those who are not Shanghai locals and buy new properties will be charged the full tax, or 70 percent of the property's current trading price.

For example, if a person buys a 100 sq m apartment at 30,000 yuan for each sq m and the buyer's family already owns a total housing space exceeding the average 60 sq m, that person should pay an annual housing tax of 12,600 yuan, said Lu Qilin, deputy director of Uwin Real Estate Research Center.

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