Changning striving to serve expats, foreign firms on tax

It is a real challenge to provide accurate, convenient and efficient tax services to each expat or foreign enterprise in Changning, but the district is achieving that.

Changning is home to 27 foreign consular offices and more than 7,000 foreign companies. The district is also where thousands of expats live.

So, it is a real challenge to provide accurate, convenient and efficient tax services to each expat or foreign enterprise in Changning to encourage them to participate in regional economic and social development.

Changning's tax bureau has achieved this by using a team of bilingual tax officials to break down language barriers to help foreign taxpayers learn about Chinese policies as well as pay their taxes correctly.

Twenty-one officials who are proficient in English, Japanese, French, German or Russian work at the counters on the second floor of the bureau.

Their average age is 33. Many of them achieved high scores in IELTS or TOEFL certificates, or the GRE, CPA or CAT exams.

During a recent seminar at the Gubei Civic Hall, or the “city hall” of the Gubei international community, more than 80 expats who are working in Shanghai enjoyed multilingual tax services from the young officials.

An expat who gave his name as Daniel highly praised the seminar.

“I finally understand the policy of housing subsidy on personal income," he said. "I just came to Shanghai and don't understand China’s individual tax policy. Thanks for their professional services. Thanks for the 'one-on-one' private education from the Changning tax bureau.”

Meanwhile, at the multi-language services counter on the second floor of the bureau, foreign individuals or enterprises can access services such as tax record inquiries and updates on the latest policies.

Officials will also help them install an app for the declaration of income tax and print tax records for them.

Wu Qianwen, who heads a panel of six Chinese officials who speak Japanese, told Shanghai Daily: “Our precision bilingual service is accurate, proficient and offered with a good attitude."

Chen Ying, director of the bureau, defined the bilingual tax services as a way to reflect Changning’s resolution to optimize its business environment.

From the beginning of the year, the central government has intensively cut taxes and fees. Hence, the Changning bureau has launched innovative measures to fulfill the preferential policies.

Apart from the multilingual services, it also works with other government agencies, taxation professionals and online platforms to expand its services to benefit more taxpayers.

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