After several rounds of revisions and consultations in the past few years, the State Administration of Taxation (“SAT”) has recently promulgated the Bulletin on Several Issues concerning the Enterprise Income Tax (“EIT”) on Indirect Asset Transfer by Non-Resident Enterprises (“Bulletin 7”). Tax matters occurred but have not been settled before 3 February 2015, the date of implementation of Bulletin 7, shall be governed by Bulletin 7. Meanwhile, the relevant provisions of Guo Shui Han  No. 698 (“Circular 698”) and SAT Bulletin  No. 24 (“Bulletin 24”) concerning indirect equity transfers shall be revoked accordingly.
In accordance with Bulletin 7, indirect transfer of China taxable assets conducted by non-resident enterprises through arrangements that do not have reasonable commercial purposes, which results in avoidance of EIT, shall be deemed as direct transfer of China taxable assets and thus subject to tax in China. As an upgrade to Circular 698, Bulletin 7 shall have profound impacts on the tax costs, investment structuring and exit plan of foreign enterprises making investments into China and of domestic enterprises setting up “red-chip” structures for overseas listings.
Continue Reading A New Milestone for Taxation on Indirect Asset Transfer by Non-resident Enterprises — A Review of the Past and Present of Bulletin 7