The phenomenon of personal income tax evasion is serious, and income tax is weak in regulating income differences, according to a survey conducted by China Prosperity Supervision Center and CCTV China Economy Report, covering more than 700 citizens in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Among them, 23 percent said they were not taxpayers; 24.7 percent said they paid their personal income tax fully and on time; 33.4 percent acknowledged they only paid part of the tax and 18.2 admitted they didnít pay at all. On top of that, 36.9 percent complained that the taxation process is too complicated and time consuming; 26.9 percent said their rights didnít match their obligation, though they are good taxpayers; 20 percent believed the tax was a bit high and, therefore, refused to pay, while more than 10 percent had no idea about tax affairs.
Three problems are exposed according to the survey:  Tax is high and its process is complicated,  unclear identification between rights and responsibility;  many citizens have no idea of tax affairs and lack awareness of the reasons for taxation.
When asked whether personal income tax plays a role in regulating the income gap between rich and poor, 82 percent of citizens said no and that they believed Chinaís taxation mechanism was flawed. On the question of whether taxation might increase revenue, they were equally divided.
(china.org.cn by Li Liangdu, June 25, 2002)