Oct 22, 2018 06:09 PM

Chart of the Day: How Will New Income Tax Rules Affect Expats?

China will likely retain its “five-year tax rule” for expatriates, according to the latest draft implementation guidelines of the country’s revised personal income tax code, which were published on Saturday for public comment.


Under the draft guidelines (link in Chinese), expats will need to pay Chinese taxes on their global income, including income earned outside of China, only if they have lived in the country for five consecutive years, which remains unchanged from the original tax code. If they leave the country at least once every five years for more than 30 consecutive days, only income they earn in China or which they are paid by China-based entities will be subject to local taxes.

The draft guidelines will be open for public feedback until Nov. 4, according to the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation.

China passed a revised personal income tax code in August, which will take effect starting 2019. China will shorten the length of residence used to separate resident taxpayers and nonresident taxpayers to 183 days, the same period used by countries such as the U.S. and the U.K., from the current 365 days.

Contact reporter Charlotte Yang (

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