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双语:中国又要对外企动手了

2015-03-24    来源:forbes    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

China's Thousand Shades Of Grey: A New Campaign Against Multinationals
磨刀霍霍:中国又要对外企动手了

On Wednesday, China’s State Administration of Taxation issued a notice containing regulations governing payments to related parties.
上周三,中国国家税务局发布了一份公告,这份公告包含对向境外关联方支付费用加以管理的规定。

The new transfer-pricing rules require that payments to related foreign entities be arm’s-length in nature. They also specify four types of payments not considered as such. The four types, which are ruled to be non-deductible, generally include transfers to parties not having business operations and unable to discharge their obligations, payments for labor not conferring economic benefit on Chinese-based payors, royalties for intangible assets not adding value, and royalties for “fringe benefits” relating to capital market activity.
这些转让定价新规要求企业向境外关联方支付费用应当符合独立交易原则。此外,这些新规还列明了不符合独立交易原则支付费用的四种情形。这四种情形(在计算企业应纳税所得额时按规定不得抵扣所支付的相应费用)总体而言包括:1.向未履行功能、承担风险,无实质性经营活动的境外关联方支付费用;2.就关联方提供的不能给企业带来直接或间接经济利益的劳务支付服务费;3.向仅拥有无形资产法律所有权而未对其价值创造作出贡献的关联方支付特许权使用费;3.因融资上市活动所产生的附带利益向境外关联方支付特许权使用费。

On Friday, the State Administration of Taxation issued a press release on the rules. There was helpful background information but little technical clarification of the four types of non-deductible payments.
上周五,国家税务局发布了一份有关这些新规的新闻公告。这份新闻公告含有一些有用的背景信息,但对支付费用在计算企业应纳税所得额时不得扣除的四种情形并没有予以多少技术上的澄清。

Patrick Yip of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu told the South China Morning Post that tax authorities will especially be looking at outbound service payments.
德勤会计师事务所(Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu)大中华地区税务副主管合伙人叶伟文(Patrick Yip)告诉《南华早报》说,税务当局将会尤其关注企业因接受境外关联方提供服务而支付的费用。

Beijing’s attempt to halt questionable related-party payments comes amid the OECD’s ongoing “Base Erosion and Profit Shifting” initiative and just days after new policies issued by the European Union, Britain, and Australia.
中国政府此项试图阻止可疑的关联方费用支付的举措,是在经合组织(OECD)正在开展“税基侵蚀和利润转移”行动计划的背景下启动的,而且是在欧盟、英国和澳大利亚相继发布相关新政策的短短几天之后推出的。

The new rules also follow “China’s first major anti-tax evasion case,” which snagged a taxpayer identified as “M.” In November, Xinhua News Agency announced that the U.S.-based multinational was handing over 840 million yuan in back taxes and interest ($137 million) and paying 100 million yuan in additional taxes in each following year. China Daily, also an official outlet, confirmed that the delinquent taxpayer was Microsoft. The paper stated that no other business fit Xinhua’s description.
此外,这些新规也是在“中国反避税第一大案”发生之后颁布的,该案抓住了一家代号为“M”的纳税企业。去年11月,新华社宣布,这家总部设在美国的跨国公司补缴了8.4亿元人民币(合1.37亿美元)的税款和利息,并且未来每年将为中国增加税收1亿多元。《中国日报》确认这家未缴税款的纳税企业是微软。该报纸指出,没有其他企业符合新华社的描述。

The software giant will surely not be the last company to fork over large sums to the Chinese tax authorities. There’s no question multinationals have been engaging in unreasonable transfer-pricing schemes to reduce Beijing’s tax bite. The issue going forward, however, is the fairness of China’s tax enforcement efforts.
这家软件巨头肯定不会是向中国税务当局缴纳巨额税款的最后一家公司。毫无疑问,跨国公司一直在采用不合理的转让定价策略,以此减少向中国政府缴纳的税款。然而,今后的问题是中国税法实施的公平性。

There are concerns. Transfer pricing is, by its nature, an especially complicated area of taxation. As Chas Roy-Chowdhury of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants noted in comments to the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business website, there are “shaded areas of grey.” China, like most countries, does not have the expertise to fairly handle the complexities of transfer-pricing cases.
有些人对此感到担忧。从其本质来说,转让定价是一个特别复杂的征税领域。正如特许公认会计师公会税务主管乍·罗伊-乔杜里(Chas Roy-Chowdhury)在长江商学院网站上发表的评论中所指出的,这些是“灰色阴影领域”。和大多数国家一样,中国并不具备公平处理转让定价之复杂性的专长。

Moreover, there are hints in Chinese media that the country’s tax authorities will be especially prejudicial. One report, for example, indicates that multinationals, in making allocations of income to China, will be required to take into account the country’s “special market factors.” In other words, foreigners will have to apportion greater income to China to be taxed there.
此外,中国媒体还暗示,税务部门在处理这类问题时会有特别的倾斜。例如,一篇报道表示,跨国公司在向中国分配收入时,将需要考虑到中国的“特殊市场因素”。换句话说,外国人将必须把更多的收入分摊到中国来纳税。

But this is not just a question of Beijing’s fairness. Transfer-pricing cases are especially prone to abuse by a government determined to disadvantage foreign business. These cases allow tax authorities to review large amounts of sensitive information. Once the State Administration of Taxation gets it hands on such data, it can—and probably will—turn the valuable material over to Chinese competitors.
但这不只是有关中国政府公平对待的问题。在一个决心让外国企业处于不利地位的国家,转让定价案例尤其容易受到的不公平对待。这些案例让税务当局能够审查大量敏感信息。国家税务局一旦得到这类数据之后,就可以——而且可能会——把这些有价值的材料交给跨国公司的中国竞争对手。

Unfortunately for multinationals, several adverse trends are coinciding. First, the Chinese generally feel they have much less need for foreign business.
对于跨国公司而言,不幸的是,几个不利的趋势正在同时出现。第一,中国人普遍认为他们并不怎么需要外国企业。

Second, the sense of official grievance has become particularly acute as the state sees non-Chinese competitors reaping big profits.
第二,由于中国政府认为非中资企业正在中国捞取丰厚利润,官方不满情绪以已经变得尤其强烈。

Third, Beijing needs renminbi. When Premier Li Keqiang this month said central leaders have “more tools in our toolbox” to create growth, he meant spending yuan the government currently does not have. At the just-concluded National People’s Congress meeting he promised spending increases—10.6% for the central government—in excess of targeted economic growth of “approximately 7%.” In reality, the economy will not grow anywhere near that rate this year, potentially creating a larger deficit than anticipated. At the moment, Beijing projects a budget deficit of 2.7% of gross domestic product.
第三,中国政府需要人民币。当李克强总理本月表示,中央领导人“在我们的工具箱里有更多的工具”来创造经济增长时,他指的是花费中国政府目前还没有的资金。在刚刚结束的全国人民代表大会会议上,他承诺今年财政支出(中央财政支出增加10.6%)增幅超过7%左右这个经济增长目标。在现实中,今年中国的经济增速不会接近这个水平,从而有可能会造成比预期更大的财政赤字。目前,中国政府预计今年财政预算赤字占国内生产总值(GDP)的比例为2.7%。

And to make matters worse, local governments will be especially cash-strapped in the coming months. They are especially dependent on plummeting land-sale revenue at a time when they must service more than $3 trillion in debt. The recently announced plan to swap debt of 1 trillion yuan into government notes, a good first step, is only a stop-gap measure.
而让事情更加糟糕的是,未来几个月内地方政府将尤其缺乏资金。他们在必须偿还超过3万亿美元债务的时候,尤其依赖于正在直线下降的土地出让收入。最近宣布的1万亿元地方政府债券置换存量债务额度的计划是很好的第一步,但只是权宜之计。

As Anne Stevenson-Yang of J Capital Research points out in an important March 16 note, “the recapture of funds” is the Communist Party’s “overarching goal” this year. This theme connects the so-called anti-corruption campaign, which has resulted in the collection of large sums from venal officials, to efforts to claw back profits from multinationals. Not only was “M” forced to pay a significant amount, but also Qualcomm agreed this February to pay a record-breaking fine of 6.088 billion yuan.
正如美奇金投资咨询公司(J Capital Research)创始人安妮·史蒂文森·杨(Anne Stevenson-Yang,中文名:杨思安)3月16日在一份重要的报告中指出的,“拿回资金”是中国执政党今年的“首要目标”。这一主题将所谓的反腐败运动(已经促使中国政府从贪官手中没收巨额资金)与旨在从跨国公司手中收回利润的行动联系起来。不仅M公司被迫支付一大笔资金,高通公司(Qualcomm)今年2月也同意支付破纪录的60.88亿元人民币罚款。

So multinationals, after the March 18 tax notice, can expect tax authorities to vigorously pursue transfer-pricing cases in the immediate future.
因此,在3月18日的税法公告发布之后,跨国公司可以预期税务当局在不久的将来会在转让定价问题上大做文章。

Yet revenue-hungry Chinese authorities will probably not stop there. The next target could be the large payments to foreign shareholders by publicly listed Chinese Internet businesses, like Alibaba Group Holding. These transfers are made through Variable Interest Entity structures, which employ multiple tax-haven vehicles. Beijing has essentially blessed these payments by allowing stock offerings to proceed in markets outside China, but there is little to prevent a change of official attitude.
然而渴望获得财政收入的中国当局很可能不会就此罢手。下一个目标可能是诸如阿里巴巴等公开上市的中国互联网企业向外国股东支付的大额资金。这些资金转移是通过可变利益实体(Variable Interest Entity)结构进行的,这个结构采用了多种避税工具。中国政府通过允许此类企业在境外市场进行股票发行,已经基本上默许了这些转让支付,但没有什么可以阻止官方态度发生变化。

“Western economies have laws with lasting effects,” said an unnamed lawyer to Stevenson-Yang. “China has campaigns.” This year Beijing’s most recent campaign means few payments leaving China will be safe.
“西方经济体有法律,这些法律具有持久效力,”杨思安的一位未披露姓名的律师说,“而中国有的是运动。”今年中国政府的最新运动意味着离开中国的支付款项没有多少会是安全的。

intangible adj. 无形的,触摸不到的;难以理解的

deductible adj. 可扣除的;可减免的

questionable adj. 可疑的;有问题的

multinational adj. 跨国公司的;多国的

expertise n. 专门知识;专门技术;专家的意见

allocation n. 分配,配置;安置

grievance n. 不满,不平;委屈;冤情

(forbes.com)



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