The Chinese tax authorities have laid out measures to streamline the process for export tax rebates, which have proved effective in reducing operating costs and easing cash shortages for exporters, following the policies issued in late April 2022 by State Administration for Taxation (SAT) and nine other bodies (in the circular Shui-Zong Huo Lao-Fa  No. 36 and SAT Announcement  No. 9).
The export tax refund process used to be heavily paper-based, requiring cumbersome submissions, especially the proof of foreign exchange income. The policies have now been adjusted as follows:
1. E-application in full force
All export tax rebate tasks can now be processed online, including refund registration, claims or certification. The paper submission remains possible but is no longer mandatory.
2. Digital documentation accepted
For all export rebate claims, applicants are allowed to store all mandatory documents digitally if not in the form of paper dossiers, which can include contracts, invoices, shipping documents, and agent engagement documents. By going digital, applicants can simply maintain a logbook to record the documents’ dates, types, format and locations, to be ready for any tax authority inspection.
3. Forex income proof removed
Perhaps the most heartening amendment is the removal of the need for submitting the proof of foreign exchange income when claiming export tax rebates, except in two circumstances:
4. Faster and extra refunds
Tax rebates have also been made faster and more lenient than before in the following sense:
5. Leverage of export credit insurance
Export tax rebates will be better aligned with export credit insurance. For example, insurance indemnity paid to exporters, in a failed export deal, can also be accepted as a foreign exchange receipt to support an export tax rebate application. This allows more exporters to qualify for export tax rebates.
All in all, the new measures aim to improve the policies and streamline the procedures for export tax rebates amid the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.
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