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Tax revenue up 33.8% in Q1 amid slower economy
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China's tax revenue rose 33.8 percent year on year to 1.51 trillion yuan (215.71 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of the year, the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) said on Wednesday.

It was 8.3 percentage points higher than that of last year as the economy slowed to 10.6 percent between January and March, 1.1 percentage points lower than the same period for 2007.

The record quarterly tax revenue reflected the country's steady and rapid economic development despite the severe winter weather and global economic slowdown, and thanks to the timely macro-control measures, the administration said.

Domestic value-added tax, along with consumption and business tax, surged 25.2 percent to 754.1 billion yuan, accounting for 39.7 percent of the total.

Corporate and individual income tax rose 34.5 percent to 381.4 billion yuan, taking up 25.6 percent of the total.

The stamp tax on security transactions soared 387.8 percent from a year ago, to 59.7 billion yuan after it was raised by the government on May 30 as a resolute measure to cool down the feverish market.

The eastern regions, with a 35.1 percent rise in tax revenue, ranked the fastest followed by the central and western areas.

China's tax revenue has grown steadily as the quarterly figures increased by more than 25 percent last year.

An Tifu, a professor with the school of finance at the Beijing-based China Renmin University, said the price rise, which drives corporate sales revenue, partly explained the sharp taxation increase.

Sound corporate earnings also contributed to the rise. This reason, however, could not fully explain the hefty increase, he added.

The current tax rates was fixed at a time when tax dodging was much more pervasive, as the efficiency of tax collection improves, the rates should be cut, he said.

Cutting the tax rates is a controversial topic during China's annual parliamentary session in March.

(Xinhua News Agency April 18, 2008)

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