New draft law indicates foreign providers will face digital services VAT responsibilities
In January, Chinese draft VAT law was issued. Aside from consolidating many existing laws, it includes a shift towards imposing VAT compliance obligations on non-resident providers of digital services.
It talks of VAT “for the sale of services and intangible assets, where the services and intangible assets are consumed within China, or the sellers are domestic entities or individuals”.
The bill is likely to pass into law in 2023.
Foreign digital digital service providers escape Chinese VAT net
Mainland China places the Value Added Tax responsibilities for non-resident sourced digital or electronic onto the Chinese resident customer. This applies to both B2C and B2B. There is no facility for non-residents to register for VAT. Non-resident providers of digital services should consider the likelihood that their customer will impose Withholding VAT on the payment, and may wish to charge a VAT inclusive price even though they are not VAT registered.
The current VAT rate in China is 13%. However, there is extensive use of the reduced rates: 9%; 6%; 3%. Follow VAT Calc’s global VAT and GST on digital services tracker for live updates on worldwide reforms.
VAT on foreign goods is therefore collected as import VAT – rather than it being assessed by the provider at the point-of-sale. Chinese recipients for such services must self-assess the VAT due via declarations to the XXXX. In reality, this does not happen often.
Chinese Withholding VAT
Chinese marketplaces and intermediaries will typically act as a VAT withholding agent. There is no reverse charge / zero-rating operation on foreign digital services to businesses or consumers.
China does impose a range of Withholding VAT requirements on resident purchasers for foreign supplies. Non-residents should therefore be wary of losing part of their revenues as irrecoverable tax since they cannot VAT register in China.
Asia Pacific VAT on digital services
|Comments (click for details)||Rate||Date||Threshold||Comments|
|Australia||10%||Jul 2017||AUD $75,000|
|Armenia||20%||Jan 2022||AMD 115million|
|Bangladesh||5% - 15%||Jul 2019||–||B2B and B2C|
|Bhutan||7%||Jul 2021||Nu 5million|
|Cambodia||10%||Mar 2022||KHR 250m|
|China||6%-13%||N/a||Nil||Withholding VAT; B2B and B2C|
|Indonesia||11%||Aug 2020||IDR600m or 12k customers|
|Japan||10%||Oct 2015||JPY 10 million|
|Laos||7%||Feb 2022||LAK 400m|
|Nepal||13%||Jul 2022||Rupees 2m||Also 2% DST|
|New Zealand||15%||Oct 2016||NZD 60,000|
|Pakistan||2%||Sep 2021||Nil||Marketplace Withholding VAT|
|Philippines||12%||Jan 2024 ?||P 3million|
|Singapore||7%||Jan 2020||S$ 100,000|
|South Korea||10%||Jul 2015||Nil|
|Taiwan||5%||May 2017||NTD 480,000|
|Thailand||7%||Sep 2021||1.8m Baht|