Legal authority

The PRC Stamp Tax Tentative Regulation, promulgated by the State Council on 6th August 1988 and effective from 1st October 1988.

Scope of Stamp Tax

Stamp tax or stamp duty is payable on instruments created in the course of economic activities or on the licensee and certificates granted by the administrative authority. 

Stamp tax are payable on the following types of contracts or licenses:-

  1. Contracts or agreements;
  2. Instrument for transfer of property; 
  3. Business accounting record; 
  4. Licenses and certificates, 
  5. Other instruments as specified by the Ministry of Finance.

Exemption from stamp tax: -

  1. Duplicate contracts and agreements; 
  2. Donation of property to government, homes for the elderly or for the disabled, or schools; 
  3. Agricultural produce purchased by designated State organizations from villagers' committees; 
  4. Interest-free loan agreements; 
  5. Loans advanced to Chinese government or financial institutions by foreign countries or international finance corporation at concessionary interest rates; 
  6. Insurance contracts for agricultural products and animal farming; 
  7. Transfer of books and magazines between publication distributors; Buying and selling of stock at approved Chinese stock exchange.

Payment of stamp tax

An agent has the legal obligation to pay stamp tax for its principle. If there are more than two parties to a contract, all parties shall pay stamp tax. For any stamp tax over RMB500, the taxpayer may apply to the tax authority to pay stamp tax by payment certificates, or pay the tax within a future period not exceeding one month.

Taxable items and tax rates

  Taxable item Scope Rate Taxpayer
1 Purchase and sale contract Including supplies, advance purchase, purchase, sales, compensation, and barter 0.03% Parties to the contracts
2 Contract for processing Including processing, repairing, printing, advertising, drawing work 0.05% Parties to the contract
3 Design and construction contracts Including exploitation and design 0.05% Parties to the contract
4 Installation and construction contracts Including construction installation contracts 0.03% Parties to the contract
5 Contract for lease of property Including leases of landed property, vessel, aircraft, automobile, machinery, equipment 0.01% Parties to the contract
6 Contract for transportation of goods Including air, rail, sea, inland water, highway or combined mode of transport 0.05% Parties to the contract
7 Contract for storage of goods Including storage and depository contracts 0.01% Parties to the contract
8 Contract for borrowing money Excluding lending between financial institutions 0.05% Parties to the contract
9 Contract for property insurance Including property, liability, guarantee, credit insurances 0.01% Parties to the contract
  Technology contract Including research and development, transfer of technology, consulting and services 0.03% Parties to the contract
  Transfer of property title Including use and transfer of copy right, trade mark, patent rights, and patent technology 0.05% Parties to the contract or certificate
  Business books and records Production and business records 0.05% Party setting up the books and records
  License or rights certificate Including landed property right, business, trade mark, patent, and land use certificates RMB5 per document Grantee