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China Uses Big Data to Audit and Tax the Rich

According to some individual social media accounts that focus on economic and financial news, the Chinese government has set up a “High Net Worth Individuals Administration” for people with bank deposits of 10 million yuan (US$1.4 million) or more,  The state has launched a special tax audit operation targeting this group.

In the future, the authorities will adopt the means of “smart taxation” to collect information from and digitally profile each taxpayer. People who are emigrating from the country will have to “settle taxes before the cancellation of their Chinese household registration.” In other words, everyone who wants to leave the “motherland” must go to the tax authority to have it issue a tax clearance certificate.

This news has led to heated debates among netizens. Some ridiculed this as one of Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” tactics.

As a fact, the Chinese government’s audits targeting high-income and high-net-worth individuals have already quietly begun. In September this year, Hainan province’s Taxation Bureau issued a document stating that it had launched a new type of audit supervision and carried out random checks on the “double-high (high-income and high-net-worth) population.” In June this year, Hou Kai, auditor general of the National Audit Office, reported to at a National People’s Congress session that 544 high-income earners in 22 Chinese provinces and cities had evaded 4.722 billion yuan (US$ 0.66 billion) in personal taxes from 2018 to 2021.

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 9, 2022