Ministry denies planned issuance of 'death tax' but says studies are continuing

Updated 2017-11-24 11:02:12 Global Times

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has denied earlier reports that suggested the ministry might introduce an inheritance tax, media reports said on Tuesday.

In a response to an inquiry on its website, the MOF said "China has not started to collect inheritance tax, nor issued relevant laws or proposals regarding inheritance tax," financial news site yicai.com reported.

But the ministry added that China continues to follow global development and trends of inheritance taxation and "will further study relevant issues about inheritance tax." The MOF, along with the State Administration of Taxation, has been conducting studies on the subject since the 1990s.

The MOF's response was released in August, but has been reported this week as talk of China mulling inheritance tax, also known as a "death tax," resurfaced.

The MOF pointed out that an inheritance and gift tax might have some impact on capital flows that could affect the country's ability to attract investment. It also said there has been a trend recently of countries that collected such taxes either suspending or reducing them.

The ministry said that collecting inheritance and gift taxes is a complex process that involves many different areas and government agencies.

There are currently more than 100 countries that collect inheritance and gift taxes, and in some countries the rate is as high as 91 percent, according to the yicai.com report. But some countries are considering ending the tax, including the US, which plans to phase out the tax by 2025.

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