China's Outbound Payment Tax Filing

Tax filing for outbound payments is a critical regulatory requirement in China for high-value international transactions, overseen by the State Taxation Administration (STA) and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE). This measure is designed to monitor and regulate the flow of foreign exchange out of the country and ensure the compliance of these transactions with national tax laws. It specifically targets transactions where an individual or an organization in China makes outbound payments exceeding US$50,000 to overseas entities. This regulation reflects the Chinese government's effort to maintain a balance between facilitating cross-border business activities and safeguarding the national financial system against tax evasion and foreign exchange risks.


According to STA SAFE Announcement (2013) No.40 and STA SAFE Announcement (2021) No.19, the requirement for tax filing applies to a range of transactions, including payments for trade in services, employee remuneration, dividends, profits, and other forms of income that are remitted overseas. The essence of this regulation is to scrutinize the legitimacy and compliance of high-value transactions with tax and foreign exchange policies. However, the regulation also outlines exemptions for certain payments, such as reinvestments by foreign investors within China and non-trade-related foreign exchange payments by specific organizations, among others. These exemptions aim to streamline the regulatory process for transactions deemed to pose less risk to the national financial system.


For those transactions that do require tax filing, the payer is required to register and file necessary tax information with the STA, including company information, contracts, taxable situations, and the payment plan. This comprehensive information enables banks to verify compliance with tax filing requirements when processing the remittance applications. The tax filing can be accomplished through two primary channels: direct filing at local tax service centers or via online platforms, providing flexibility and convenience to payers.


After completing the tax filing and obtaining verification, payers can proceed with foreign exchange payment formalities, utilizing the serial number and verification code from the Filing Form for bank verification. This procedure underscores the integrated approach of China's regulatory framework, which aims to secure compliance across both tax and foreign exchange domains.


For contracts necessitating multiple outbound payments, tax filing is only required before the initial payment, simplifying compliance for subsequent transactions under the same contract. If errors are found in the Filing Form or if changes occur, modifications or cancellations can be made before the payment, ensuring accuracy in the compliance process.


In essence, the tax filing for outbound payments serves as a vital tool for the Chinese government to monitor high-value international transactions, ensuring they meet tax and foreign exchange regulations. Navigating the complexities and constant changes of China's tax system requires specialized knowledge, underscoring the importance of professional advice for ensuring compliance in its ever-shifting tax landscape.


At PHC Advisory, we can offer you full support on matters regarding doing business in Italy and Asia, or any other issues your business may face. If you would like to know more about policies relevant to your business in Italy or Asia, please contact us at


PHC Advisory is a company of DP Group: an international professional services conglomerate of companies with approximately 100 experienced professionals worldwide. We offer comprehensive services in tax, accounting, and financial consulting, including financial supervision, financial audit, internal audit, internal control over financial reporting, and support for audited financial statements and annual audits, ensuring clients' financial transparency and compliance.

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only, financial advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances on a case-by-case basis, and the contents of this article do not legally bind PHC Advisory with the reader in any way.

If you want to know more about doing business in China, please have a look at our previous articles: