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China - Taxation

China has had a personal income tax system since 1980, although the incomes of many Chinese continue to fall below the taxable amount. There are uniform rates for Chinese nationals and for foreigners, but expatriates who live in China for less than a year are only required to pay tax on the income they earn within the country, any income from elsewhere is tax free. Expatriates who are resident in China for more than a year, but no more than five years, have to pay tax on any income that is generated in, or remitted to China, while expatriates who live in China for more than five years have to pay tax on all their income, whether generated in China or elsewhere.

Different tax rates are levied on various categories of personal income, including wages, salaries, returns on investment, business profits and proceeds from property disposal. Progressive tax rates on income start from 5% for monthly income not exceeding RMB500, to 45% for income exceeding RMB100,000 per month.

Foreign businesses operating in China currently benefit from preferential corporate tax rates, introduced in the 1980s to encourage foreign investment in China. However, these rates are to be repealed from 2007 onwards, with a 5-year transition period for companies already located in China to allow them to adjust gradually to higher tax rates. Currently, the tax rate for domestic Chinese companies is around 33%, but a new lower flat rate is likely to be introduced.

A long-term expatriate resident China is allowed to bring into China a reasonable quantity of tax-free personal belongings, including a certain amount of clothing, small household appliances and books. The definition of 'reasonable quantity' as applied by Chinese customs officials might be somewhat different to a western definition. In order to benefit from the tax-free allowances, it is necessary for individuals to present to customs authorities their long-term residence certificate, their passport, their employer's business license and any available receipts and invoices for the items being brought into the country. Items over and above the tax-free amount are taxed at between 20% and 100% of their official value. Wine and tobacco products are taxed at 200%. Imported cars are taxed at around 100% of their 'official price' (often much higher than their actual price), plus a 20% licence plate tax. Details of the duties to be paid on various items can be obtained from the Chinese consulate in your home country.

There are severe penalties for under-reporting or tax evasion, including life imprisonment or capital punishment.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners


Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

AXA - Global Healthcare

As the global healthcare specialists for AXA, the world’s number one insurance brand, we can help you get fast access to expert medical care, whenever and wherever you need it. All our plans include evacuation and repatriation, a second medical opinion service and extra support from a dedicated case manager if you’re diagnosed with cancer. You’ll also have 24/7 support from our caring multilingual team - we’ll always remember you’re a person, not a case number.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.