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22 June 2021

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China Extends Land Appreciation Tax Exemption for Corporate Restructuring

China's Ministry of Finance and State Administration of Taxation have jointly issued Announcement No. 21 of 2021, which extends the exemption from land appreciation (value-added) tax on immovable property and land-use rights transferred as part of qualifying corporate restructuring to 31 December 2023. The extension is effective from 1 January 2021.

Land appreciation tax is a deductible tax on gains realized from the transfer of immovable property and land-use rights ranging from 30% to 60% of the gain. Subject to certain conditions, the exemption is provided in the following cases:

  • An enterprise restructuring, including where an unincorporated enterprise is transformed into a limited liability company or joint-stock company, or a limited liability company is transformed into a joint-stock company or vice versa;
  • A merger of two or more companies or a division of a company into two or more companies; and
  • Cases where a contribution of capital to a company is in the form of immovable property.

Aside from a contribution of capital, the exemption generally requires that the original shareholders remain before and after the restructuring, although the shareholding ratio may change. The exemption does not apply, in any case, where either side of a transfer is a real estate development company.

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