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China Fully Implements Unified Property Registration; Property Tax Likely on the Horizon

China has announced that it has completed the unified registration of real estate. This means that from urban housing to rural homesteads and from real estate to natural resources, all real estate property rights within China’s national territory have been registered in a unified manner. However, concerns have been raised that the unified registration system may facilitate the government’s accurate knowledge of property ownership information, becoming a basis for determining the tax rate and collection of “property taxes.” It is an indication that the introduction of property taxes may be getting closer.

The goal of the unified registration system is based on the Civil Code of China, with the “Interim Measures for Real Estate Registration” as the core, as well as the supporting implementation rules, operating norms, local regulations, and other aspects of the real estate unified registration system. The reform task of “four unifications” for registration agencies, registration books, registration bases, and information platforms have been accomplished.

According to statistics, over the past decade, China has issued more than 790 million real estate ownership certificates. The unified registration system is expected to provide basic data support for the collection of property taxes and facilitate the government’s accurate grasp of property rights information. However, some Chinese financial, real estate, and public figures believe that the move will improve the operability of property tax collection, indicating that the introduction of property taxes may be getting closer. Property taxes have been viewed as a variable affecting China’s housing market and a burden on homeowners.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), April 25, 2023