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Change In Chinese Residency Status Jan 1 2019

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by spanboy, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    Hi. Any expats living/working in China know much about the forthcoming changes to Chinese residency for foreigners? As I understand it, if you are in China for more than 183 days a year you will be deemed a fiscal resident and will have to pay tax on any worldwide income. I'm very confused being a Brit who is currently living and working in China, but with property and a small income in Spain, having been there for a few years. Anyone in Beijing know a good Chinese (and not-too-expensive) English-speaking legal eagle who might be able to help me understand/prepare better? Adding Brexit into the equation doesn't make things any easier either!
     
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I really do not know about this, spanboy, but you have not really explained how the Chinese government will find out about your "worldwide" income. If you do not bring this money into the Middle Kingdom, then how will they find out that you have some income in Spain? This overweight pachyderm will soon find himself in a similar position, as I am about to start a new teaching job in Bulgaria, but in April I will start receiving my TPS pension. I have absolutely no intention of telling the tax authorities in Bulgaria about my pension, as I have no desire to be bumped up into a higher tax bracket. If I keep my pension in the UK, then will the Bulgarian authorities find out about it? Somehow I think that this is rather unlikely. as long as I do not start transferring funds into my BG account.
     
    Helen-Back likes this.
  3. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    I haven’t heard anything about this either and agree with the hippo, keep quiet. There’s no way they can find out about your property and income in Spain if you don’t tell them. The way things are going in China with gradually kicking out the expats, who knows, come another few years, how many of us will be able to keep on living there...?
     
  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Getting that Chinese Z visa stuck into your passport is not an easy thing, Teachallover, so I do not think that the Chinese authorities are in a hurry to boot you out if you did in fact get one. Teachers who have a proper Z visa have nothing to worry about. But yes, the Chinese authorities have been (and will continue to be) keen on kicking out people who are illegally working with tourist or business visas. Only the most scummy schools will employ expat teachers and not give them proper working visas.

    When Mrs Hippo and I were in Shenzhen, the Police once came to our flat and wanted to see my passport. On another occasion, there were armed police on the MTR, checking everyone's documents. Yes, it was a bit unnerving at the time, but I had a Z visa and so they were satisfied that I was there legally.
     
  5. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    This is a little outdated hippo. Part of the not-at-ease of obtaining the Z visa any more is exactly why the expat population continues to decrease from a few years ago, not only in the education industry but in all. I for one, never want to go through the visa process again.
    International schools are increasingly turning more local in the shape of bilingual schools. The decreasing expat population is part of the cycle creating this. Another current thread discusses the holidays decreasing to level out equally with local schools.
    The Z visa tier A B and C has been introduced; one imagines eventually the C tier will be kicked out as and when and then B... this will not happen overnight but it is already noticeable how fewer expats are now living in China. Above all, China want their own citizens not to lose employment in China and so are increasingly recruiting Chinese citizens who have studied and worked in US etc instead of international teachers to teach English. There has also been a deal signed with The Philippines to recruit 100,000 workers, including English teachers. Undoubtedly, Chinese parents are unhappy about this but it is never the less happening more and more. Salary offerings are also decreasing to international teachers. The OP’s news I have learnt today is another reason to push out foreigners. The ease to transfer money out of the country is another and will no doubt worsen. The VPN... the list increases...China is changing under the controlling regime it is...
     
  6. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    There is no change to the law or the residency regulations if you read the information provided.

    To maintain your current tax status all you have to do is leave China for 38 consecutive days every 4th year of your stay in the country. The law says 35 but does not include the day you leave or arrive in the country so thats 37, so give yourself 1 extra day to be certain. This has always been the law on tax but never enforced to the letter as it seems to be now.

    This is easy for a teacher to do in the summer holidays but not so convenient for a business man.

    China is not so stupid as to scare all the expats out of the country all at once! I will dig out a few links to explain it all later.
     
  7. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    The definitive regulations will be published 1st January when they become law.
     
  8. hs9981

    hs9981 Established commenter

    There are some very spiteful people on TES, maybe remove all links to your blog + address to be safe.....? ;)
     
  9. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    I don’t believe anyone is suggesting this will happen all at once, as I said, this will not happen overnight. This is a gradual process that has already started during the last couple of years.
     
  10. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I am making my exit plan and packing my bags. Just giving Britex time to settle down and the riots to stop before heading bavck to Blighty.
     
    Teachallover likes this.
  11. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    This is my thinking ahead too. I have another 18 months on my visa. I’m going to try and keep my head down and rake in as much as possible in the meantime. By that time we’ll see if the status of international schools is completely forgotten in China. Trouble is I have family roots anchoring me down...
     
  12. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Hmm. I wonder if this new law (if it really is new) is aimed at expats, whether they be international teachers or any other kind of foreigners, or whether it is really for wealthy Chinese citizens. Over the last twenty years or so, a lot of cash has been shifted out of China by Mr. and Mrs. Han and that loot has been used to buy properties in the US, Australia and NZ. Perhaps this law will only be applied to Chinese citizens and therefore expat teachers in the Middle Kingdom really have nothing to worry about.

    Teachallover, I was in China six months ago! Has the situation changed so much since my departure?
     
  13. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    Not at all, as I say, this has already started a couple of years ago when the A B C tier was introduced. All these laws being brought in are making things increasingly difficult for ‘aliens’ to live and to want to continue living in China.
     
  14. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    The school i’m teaching in is a classic case of what is happening right now in China as many schools are the same or following. 6 years ago it was a successful international licenced school. From about 3 or 4 years ago the enrolment numbers started plummeting and 2 years ago it was decided the only way to make the school continue to be viable was to introduce a local license bilingual school. A local license greatly allows the government to impose its rules, as far as, ordering poor quality toys, texts and resources that are not age-appropriate but we have very little control of. Inspections are tedious down to the method of how to wipe a table correctly before snack time. Even Christmas celebrations have been clamped down on... so what is happening? The bulk of quality international teachers leave/ have resigned leaving many C tier teachers who could be on the way out soon. Chinese citizens who have lived overseas for a year or two are taking those jobs. The vast bulk of enrollment are Chinese nationality children, as a result the level of English is inevitably dropping as Chinese is the common language with 50% of classes being taught in Chinese. International schools are disappearing quickly. There are now only a small few handful of schools in Beijing that remain highly enrolled with international license (non Chinese passports) but we’ll see what happens next (not over the next few days or weeks but years)...
     
  15. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    @february31st - could you please send link to where this info is from? Thanks
     
  16. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

  17. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I am waiting for the publication on January 1st to see what the official line is published.
     
    spanboy likes this.
  18. Capricorn2412

    Capricorn2412 New commenter

    The residency rules are still very fungible and open to interpretation. China is doing its part to comply with FACTA and OECD obligations towards helping to tackle tax evasion, so what actually happens vs what is intended may be very different. There is also a gap between the state setting out the policy and individual provinces implementing it, so you need to wait and see how it pans out where you are.
     
  19. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    On January 1st the Shanghaidaily will publish the new regulations for all to see.

    But any major changes to the tax Status of expats I can see a large exodus taking place in June.

    Many expats get paid to live and work in China and then they also get paid back in their home country.

    Maybe the biggest target for the tax changes will be Chinese Nationals with large earnings overseas and not paying tax in China. So just like in America citizens have to pay tax on overseas earnings or show the equivalent tax paid in a foreign country.
     
  20. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    hs9981, I think that I will delay getting my pension while I am still working. After all, I won't need it until I really am retired and then there will be no possibility of conflict with the Bulgarian tax authorities. Thank you for your good advice.
     

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