Guide for foreigners in Guangzhou: Security and tax payment

GZFAO | Updated : May 16, 2023

1. Foreigners staying in hotels or guesthouses shall present their original identity documents to the hotel staff and register for temporary accommodation as required.

2. Foreigners visiting hotels or guesthouses shall register their visits as required.

3. Drug use, prostitution, whoring and fighting are all violations of Chinese law.

Foreigners who are involved in traffic accidents or emergencies shall call the following numbers for help promptly. The police and emergency centers are able to handle calls in English.

Police stations and duty points could be found in all sub-districts and busy roads of Guangzhou. The police stations are on duty and police cars patrolling 24 hours a day to deal with requests for help and perform the tasks assigned by 110 police hotline.

Tax Payment and Exemption

Foreigners who set up enterprises in Guangzhou shall go to the tax authorities for taxpayer identity information confirmation or taxpayer (withholding agent) identity information reporting when engaging in production and operation or when tax-related matters occur.

Foreigners working in Guangzhou, meeting certain circumstances, also need to pay taxes. 

The Guangzhou Municipal Taxation Bureau of the State Administration of Taxation
Tel: 020-12366

Individual Income Tax

The individual income tax shall be paid by the income earner, i.e. the individual who has the direct tax obligation according to the tax law. Taxpayers are divided into resident individuals and non-resident individuals, who bear different tax obligations.

Resident individual:

An individual who is domiciled in China

An individual who is not domiciled in China but has resided in China for an aggregate of 183 days or more within a tax year

Income received by a resident individual from within China or overseas shall be subject to individual income tax.

Non-resident individual

An individual who is not domiciled in China and does not reside in China

An individual who is not domiciled in China but has resided in China for less than an accumulated 183 days within a tax year

Income received by a non-resident individual from within China shall be subject to individual income tax.

However, if an individual who is not domiciled in China resides in China for not more than 90 days in a tax year, the portion of his or her income derived from within China that is paid by an overseas employer and is not borne by this employer's institution or site in China is exempt from individual income tax.

Incomes subject to individual income tax 

Individuals shall calculate and pay individual income tax according to the corresponding requirements when they obtain the following incomes.

Tax benefits for foreigners

1. Tax exemptions for foreign individuals' allowances and subsidies

2. Lump sums paid by foreign employers

3. Tax benefits for dividends

4. Tax exemptions for foreign experts' wage and salary income

5. Tax exemptions for income from stock transfer

Declaration methods of individual income tax

In any of the following circumstances, taxpayers shall make the tax declaration in accordance with the law:

1. Where the taxpayer obtains comprehensive income for which the annual tax reconciliation return is required;

2. Where the taxpayer obtains taxable income but there is no withholding agent;

3. Where the taxpayer obtains taxable income but the withholding agents has failed to withhold and pay the tax;

4. Where the taxpayer obtains income from overseas;

5. Where the taxpayer emigrates to another country and cancels his Chinese household registration;

6. Where a non-resident individual obtains salary and wages from two or more sources within China.

Taxpayers can use the mobile APP for individual income tax or the WEB terminal of the Electronic Tax Bureau for Natural Persons to make the declaration, or use postal declaration, or visit the tax service center to handle the declaration.

Vehicles and Vessels Tax

Within the territory of the People's Republic of China, the owners or managers of vehicles and vessels as prescribed in the Schedule of Vehicle and Vessel Tax Items and Amounts shall be the payers of vehicle and vessel tax, who shall pay vehicle and vessel tax in accordance with the law.

Vehicles & Vessels of the foreign embassies and consulates in China, the representative institutions of international organizations in China and their personnel, shall be exempted from tax in accordance with the relevant provisions of law.

The places for vehicle and vessel tax payment shall be the places where Vehicles & Vessels have been registered or the withholding agents for vehicle and vessel tax are located. With respect to any Vehicles & Vessels that are not required to be registered, the places for vehicle and vessel tax payment shall be the places where the owners or managers of such Vehicles & Vessels are located.

The time when the taxpayer undertakes vehicle and vessel tax liability is the month when the ownership or right to management of Vehicles & Vessels is obtained.

The vehicle and vessel tax is declared annually, calculated monthly and paid one-off. The tax year is from January 1 to December 31.

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