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China to Levy Farmland Occupation Tax

Since 2006, the Chinese government has not collected the agricultural tax. However starting from the second half of 2019, it will resume imposing a levy of a farmland occupation tax on farmers. Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a presidential decree at the end of last year, announcing that on September 1, 2019, the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Farmland Occupation Tax will become effective. As the official media is low-key about the bill, many farmers are still in the dark.

According to article 3 of the law, “the farmland occupation tax shall be calculated on the basis of the area of the farmland actually occupied by a taxpayer and shall be paid in a lump sum under the applicable tax rate as prescribed. The tax payable shall be the area of farmland (in square meters) actually occupied by the taxpayer multiplied by the applicable tax rate.”

In 2004, then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao proposed that the agricultural tax rate be reduced gradually, at an average annual reduction of at least 1 percentage point, with a goal of completely abolishing the agriculture tax within the next five years. As of today, Wen’s policy has remained in place for 15 years.

Source: Radio Free Asia, February 19, 2019