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Personal Income Tax Threshold Likely to Get Raised
2005-8-5 10:59:30      CRIENGLISH.com
The personal income threshold issue has long been discussed in society. Now the country is seeking to amend the existing personal income tax law. It's expected that the personal income tax is to be raised from the present 800 yuan (US$99) to 1,200 yuan (US$ 148) or higher.
As our reporter Dan Dan finds out, people from various circles give different feedbacks.

"I don't think it will affect me much. Raising the threshold up 400 yuan will only save me less than 100 yuan. It's not a large amount of money to me."

This is Liao Jingjun. As a senior researcher working for Proctor and Gamble, he has a monthly salary exceeding 18,000 yuan, around 2,250 US dollars. He is no doubt among the white-collared workers in China's wealthy circle.

They say they don't mind handing in taxes a little more or less, because they don't care about hundreds of yuan. What they really care about is what the government levies taxes for.

Here's Liao again.

"How much tax the government levies is not a problem. The way money is portioned out among sectors of society is the key. The government should publicize their arrangements and strengthen its supervision over the process."

It seems that the high-income earners' attitude is neutral, since the new amendment doesn't concern them a lot.

The current personal income tax policy was introduced in 1980 and updated in 1994. But, the threshold remains unchanged in the past 25 years, despite the continuous growth of the economy and subsequent rise in living standards of Chinese citizens.

In 1980, the average income of Chinese people was less than 100 yuan. At that time, the 800 yuan threshold was aimed at the very few high-income earners. But today, the same threshold has included ordinary salary earners.

An earlier report said that salary earners rank first among China's taxpayers. Collecting taxes from them is far easier than from others, as employers debit tax straight from salaries. The appeal to raise the threshold mainly comes from salary earners.

Zhangdong, a public servant, is one of them.

"The draft amendment shows a positive tendency initiated by the government. The society has developed a lot. Surely the threshold should be elevated as well. The amendment deserves credit, but should be further strengthened. The threshold should be even higher."

Zhangdong works in the Ministry of Commerce with a monthly salary of 2,000 yuan. As a single, he can make ends meet easily, but barely can he have any savings for his future.

"take myself as an example. With 2,000 yuan monthly salary, I still belong to middle- and low-income earners. The government's setting the threshold at 1,200 yuan is not enough, and can't really acheive the aim of redistributing wealth and resources, neither can it show the government's concern for middle- and low-income earners."

According to China Daily's report, an executive meeting of the State Council, China's cabinet, approved in principle the draft amendment to the law last Tuesday.

Ministers agreed to submit the draft to China's top legislature for deliberation after further revisions.

For Realtime Beijng, this is Dan Dan.

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