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Vehicle/Vessel Plate Tax

22 Vehicle/Vessel Plate Tax

TAXPAYERS

TAX PER UNIT

COMPUTATION METHODS

EXEMPTIONS

TIME LIMIT AND PLACE FOR PAYMENT

This tax (called Vehicle and Vessel Usage License Plate Tax in full, or VVULPT) is levied on specified vehicles and vessels. The Provisional Regulations Concerning the Vehicle and Vessel Usage License Plate Tax were promulgated by the Administrative Council of the Central People's Government on September 20, 1951, and came into effect on the same date. During the implementation of VVULPT in the past 50 years, substantial revisions have been made to the Provisional Regulations.

VVULPT is administered by the local tax bureaus. The revenue collected belongs to the local governments. In 2003, revenue from VVULPT amounted to 60 million yuan.

TAXPAYERS

General Guidelines

Entities Subject to Tax

Any of the following entities that possess or operate taxable vehicles/vessels within the territory of the People's Republic of China may be subject to tax:

  • Enterprises with foreign investment.
  • Foreign enterprises.
  • Enterprises with investment from overseas Chinese, and enterprises with investment from compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao, or Taiwan.
  • Foreigners.
  • Overseas Chinese, and compatriots from Hong Kong, Macao, or Taiwan.

    The users of the vehicles/vessels shall be the actual taxpayers.

TAX PER UNIT

General Guidelines

Tax per unit falls under two categories: vehicles and vessels (see Tables 22.1 and 22.2, respectively).

Determining Tax Levels

The specific tax per unit shall be determined by People's Government at the provincial level for its own jurisdiction, but within the ranges set out in Tables 22.1 and 22.2.

For example, Beijing stipulates the following levels of tax per unit:

  • Passenger vehicles with 10 seats or fewer: 120 yuan per vehicle per year.
  • Passenger vehicles with 11–30 seats: 140 yuan per vehicle per year.
  • Passenger vehicles with 31 seats or more: 160 yuan per vehicle per year.
  • Cargo vehicles: 48 yuan per net tonnage per year.
  • Two-wheel motorcycles: 20 yuan or 32 yuan per vehicle per year.
  • Three-wheel motorcycles: 48 yuan per vehicle per year.
  • Non-motored vehicles: No tax is levied.
Table 22.1 Vehicles: Tax per unit
Type Category Accounting unit for tax purposes Quarterly tax payment (yuan) Notes
Motored vehicles1. Passenger vehiclesPer vehicle15–80Taxed on net tonnage.
 2. Cargo vehiclesPer ton4–15 
 3. MotorcyclesPer vehicle5–15 
 4. Motor-tricyclesPer vehicle8–20 
Non-motored vehicles1. Animal drawnPer vehicle1–8Including pedicabs, rickshaws, and other manually drawn vehicles.
 2. Manually drawnPer vehicle0.30–6.00 
 3. BicyclesPer vehicle0.50–1.00 
Table 22.2 Vessels: Tax per unit
Type Accounting unit for tax purposes Quarterly tax payment (yuan/ton) Notes
Motored vesselsUp to 50 tons0.30Assessed on the basis of net-weight capacity.
 51–150 tons0.35 
 151–300 tons0.40 
 301–500 tons0.45 
 501–1,000 tons0.55 
 1,001–1,500 tons0.65 
 1,501–2,000 tons0.80 
 2,001–3,000 tons1.95 
 3,001 tons or more1.10 
Non-motored vesselsUp to 10 tons0.15Assessed on the basis of deadweight capacity.
 11–50 tons0.20 
 51–150 tons0.25 
 151–300 tons0.30 
 301 tons or more0.35 

COMPUTATION METHODS

General Guidelines

In general, tax payable is calculated using the following formula:

Tax payable = Tax base × Applicable tax per unit

However, the tax base varies for vehicles and vessels, as well as within each category.

Vehicles

In general, tax payable is calculated using the following formula:

Tax payable = Tax base × Applicable tax per unit

The tax base may be either the number of taxable vehicles or the net-weight capacity of the taxable vehicles.

Example

A foreign-funded enterprise possesses 5 cars, and 4 cargo trucks each with a net-weight capacity of 8 tons. The local quarterly tax per unit is 80 yuan per vehicle for the cars, and 15 yuan/ton for the trucks.

Annual tax payable = (5 cars × 80 yuan/car × 4 quarters) + (4 cars × 8 tons × 15 yuan/ton × 4 quarters) = 3,520 yuan

Vessels

In general, tax payable is calculated using the following formula:

Tax payable = Tax base × Applicable tax per unit

The tax base may be either the net-weight capacity of the taxable vessels or the deadweight capacity of the taxable vessels.

Example

A joint venture is engaged in marine transportation business. It possesses 6 ships, each with a net-weight capacity of 5,000 tons. The statutory quarterly tax per unit is 1.1 yuan/ton.

Annual tax payable = (6 ships × 5,000 tons × 1.1 yuan/ton × 4 quarters) = 132,000 yuan

EXEMPTIONS

Diplomatic Use

Where any of the following entities uses a taxable vehicle, the vehicle may be eligible for certain exemptions:

  • Embassies and consulates in China.
  • Diplomatic representatives and consuls.
  • Administrative/technical staff employed at embassies/consulates or by diplomatic representatives/consuls, and their spouses and any non-adult children living with them.
  • Resident organizations of international organizations (e.g., the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union) and their officers.

Vessels Taxable Under Other Categories

Where Customs levies Vessel Tonnage Tax on vessels, the vessels shall not be subject to VVULPT.

Others

The following shall be exempt:

  • Fire-fighting vehicles.
  • Ambulance vehicles.
  • Water sprinkler vehicles.
  • Waste removal vehicles.
  • Pontoons or floating docks used for loading/unloading passengers/cargo.

TIME LIMIT AND PLACE FOR PAYMENT

Time Limits for Payment

Taxpayers may pay tax on a quarterly, biannual, or annual basis.

The specific time limit for payment shall be determined by the relevant local tax offices after considering local conditions.

Places for Payment

Tax is collected by the relevant local tax offices.

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