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Fiscal Federalism in Chinese Taxation

Wei Cui

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Faculty of Law

June 1, 2011

World Tax Journal 2011(3), pp 455-80

The recent policy literature on fiscal federalism in China has concentrated on the large “vertical fiscal gap” resulting in inadequate local provision of public goods and services. Thus there is an evident interest in giving local governments more taxing powers. After a brief historical survey, the article discusses a 1993 State Council directive that centralized taxing power. This has led local governments to make use of their control over tax administration to alter effective tax rates, and to the practice of “refund after collection”, whereby local governments disguise tax cuts as expenditures, following a logic opposite to tax expenditures. This study concludes, firstly, that the allocation of taxing power is still done outside the framework of the law, and secondly, that the government has not been able to settle on a stable allocation. Skirmishes over the control of local tax reductions and preferences remain a continuous affair.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 26

Keywords: fiscal federalism, tax legislation, centralization, local tax preferences, Chinese taxation

JEL Classification: H20, H70, H77, K34

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Date posted: April 23, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Cui, Wei, Fiscal Federalism in Chinese Taxation (June 1, 2011). World Tax Journal 2011(3), pp 455-80. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2043709

Contact Information

Wei Cui (Contact Author)
University of British Columbia (UBC) - Faculty of Law ( email )
1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
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