Issuance Date: August 26, 2016 Source: General Office of the State Administration of Taxation
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the tax system in China has been committed to the Spring Breeze Campaign for More Convenient Taxation Service, in a bid to enhance the quality of taxpayer services and the administration efficiency. To push forward the tax administration system reform concerning state and local tax collection, and continuously enhance taxpayer satisfaction and compliance, the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) has recently published the Circular on Enhancing Management of Taxpayer Demand (Circular), with a view to regulating the collection, analysis, response to and result application with regard to taxpayer demand, and giving taxpayers a stronger sense of gain from tax processing.
Understanding due taxpayer demand via big collection
According to the Circular, efforts should be made to solicit taxpayer demand, improve the taxpayer demand management mechanism, enhance the consistency and standardization of demand management and fully respond to due taxpayer demand, by following the principle of providing legitimate services to taxpayers in a scientific and efficient manner through coordination and voluntary participation.
According to Xu Zhengzhong, professor at Chinese Academy of Governance, taxpayer demand, the direct motivation of taxpayer services, boosts innovation of tax administration and services. Collecting taxpayer demand in a scientific way provides a solid foundation for providing good, efficient and convenient tax-related services.
An official from the Taxation Service Department of the SAT said, to fully understand due taxpayer demand, the SAT has raised clear requirements on the target, type and way of collection. Tax authorities can organize targeted collection from typical taxpayers, and also organize non-targeted collection from taxpayers. The types of collection include full collection, special collection and daily collection. Specifically, full collection is subject to the SAT and provincial tax authorities on an annual basis; special collection is subject to tax authorities based on collection priorities; and daily collection, tax authorities below the provincial level. The ways of collection encompasses online platform, computer-aided phoning, mobile terminal platform, tax application platform, or paper questionnaire, as well as forum, field visit, opinion mailbox, and review book.
Establishing big analysis mechanism to understand key taxpayer demand
According to Zhang Bin, research fellow at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as building of a service-oriented government goes deeper and people's awareness of rights and interests is raised, higher requirements have been placed on enhancing taxpayer services with regard to collection, administration and inspection.
The Circular points out that taxpayer demand concerns tax authorities' policy implementation, tax law enforcement, service regulation, legal aid, IT application, and qualities of tax officials, covering the whole process of tax administration.
Oriented by reasonable taxpayer demand, tax authorities will classify and assess the information on taxpayer demand in different ways. In particular, tax authorities will not respond to unjustified demands that violate laws, regulations and provisions or are ambiguous. For justified demands, tax authorities will propose practical improvement ideas and formulate service improvement strategy in terms of significance and taxpayer satisfaction, based on the policies, regulations, service resources and their scope of responsibilities; immediately enhance the matters with great significance but low satisfaction, continuously watch out for matters with low significance and satisfaction, stably develop matters with low significance and high satisfaction, and continue to ensure matters with high significance and satisfaction.
Building big linkage landscape to enhance response to taxpayer demand
Taking taxpayers' sense of gain as the criterion of the effect of taxpayer service, and enhancing taxpayer's sense of gain to strengthen taxpayers' tax compliance is a key measure to shape the taxpayer service system aimed to enhance taxpayer satisfaction and compliance based on taxpayer demand, said Tang Jiqiang, chief researcher at Xicai Thinktank and professor at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics.
To further ramp up the efficiency of taxpayer services, the Circular requires that a quick taxpayer demand response mechanism featuring division of labor, graded processing and classified disposal should be established, and also specifies the time frame for response: feedback to simple tax-related taxpayer demand should be given immediately; general tax-related demand should be responded or replied to within 15 working days; complex tax-related demand should be responded or replied to within 30 working days; for failure to respond or reply to taxpayer demand in the given time, if any, the period can be extended upon approval from the taxpayer service department of the tax authority at a corresponding level, provided that the reason is given to taxpayers.
Maximizing impacts for closed management of taxpayer demand
The ultimate purpose for tax authorities to collect taxpayer demand is to improve performance and support decision making to maximize the results, said Hu Yijian, professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.
The Circular clarifies the way tax authorities at various levels to increase the application of results of taxpayer demand collected. First, taxpayer demand should be regularly sorted out and analyzed. Efforts should be made to timely improve taxpayer service measures in response to serious problems reported by taxpayers. Second, the big data analysis results of taxpayer demand should be fully utilized to regularly push suggestions on collection and administration system and tax policies. Third, the improvement measures for general and typical taxpayer demand should be made public regularly for public supervision, so as to enhance taxpayers' participation and satisfaction of taxpayer services.
According to Wang Jun, SAT administrator, taxpayer service optimization is an ongoing project, and taxpayer service management is taxpayer demand-oriented exploration with tax authorities following customers' ideas, which will coordinate equal and trustworthy cooperation between taxpayers and tax authorities, promote the enhancement of taxpayer satisfaction and compliance, and boost the healthy economic and social development in China.