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The Taxation System in China and the United States: Comparison and Policy Options (No.88, 2018)


By Jin Jun, Office of Assets Management & Ni Hongri, General Office, DRC

Research Report, No.88, 2018 (Total 5363) 2018-5-21

Abstract: At present, about 170 countries and regions in the world have implemented the VAT (Value-Added Tax) system. Since May 1, 2016, after the transition from “BT (Business Tax) to VAT” in China, VAT has become the largest tax in China’s taxation system. This paper compares the taxation system between China and the United States from the macro, micro and political economics perspectives, and finds significant differences. The tax system of China is basically the prevailing practice in most countries and regions in the world. By calculating and comparing with the same caliber of the five major taxonomy of the international tax system, it is shown that the current taxation system structure of China is not indirect tax based, but the double-system of indirect tax and direct tax; while the current tax system in the United States shows that it is one of the few countries in the world that does not implement VAT system, using the personal income tax as the first largest tax category, and obviously taking direct tax as the subject. By comparing the influence of different tax structure characteristics of the two countries on the competitiveness of enterprises, and considering the need to take into account the function of collecting fiscal revenue from tax revenue, it is suggested that the double-subject tax system structure should still be maintained at the present stage, while it is also necessary to adjust the proportion of direct and indirect taxes and to further adjust and reform the value-added taxation, as well as to expand the taxation of natural persons by improving the personal income tax and real estate tax system.

Key words: research on the tax system between China and the United State, comparison, policy options