China plans to expand a pilot tax refund scheme for tourists to other parts of the country in a bid to encourage them to spend more and boost the sector.
The government will study the feasibility of opening tax-free stores in other immigration ports, according to a circular issued by the State Council.
The cabinet asked relevant agencies to expand the tourist tax refund scheme by the end of this year to other regions in the country.
The Ministry of Finance, General Administration of Customs, Ministry of Commerce, State Administration of Taxation and National Tourism Administration will coordinate in modifying the taxation policy.
By 2020, domestic tourism consumption is expected to reach 5.5 trillion yuan (US$893.97 billion), and the added value of the tourism industry is seen accounting for over 5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, the circular said.
Currently, overseas tourists are allowed to claim tax refund equivalent to 11 percent of the amount of their purchases in certain shopping malls in southern China’s Hainan province, according to a pilot program that took effect in 2011.
Overseas tourists, including those from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, can get a rebate on their purchases no more than 90 days before they depart by air.
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