File photo: The approach of the Mid-Autumn Festival has reignited debate about China's "mooncake tax."
The approach of the Mid-Autumn Festival has reignited debate about China's "mooncake tax," Shanghai Daily reported.
Tax authorities in Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing recently sent memos to employers that the mooncake – a traditional food for the festival – they offer their employees should be considered part of their monthly allowances, and the mooncake's prices should be included in the calculation of tax to be ducted from the employees' salaries.
However, most taxpayers, especially the middle and low income workers, considers the rule outrageous, and there has been a wave of criticism on the Internet.
Over 96 percent of the participants of an ongoing poll on weibo.com said the tax body should impose no tax on mooncakes.
"Mooncakes are different from other allowances, because they are a symbol of gratitude and encouragement to employees in the Chinese traditional culture, which should not be taxable," said Wang Yi from the Beijing Folk Custom Association.
(China.org.cn September 1, 2011)