Tax Reforms for Enhancing the Stable Development of the Chinese Financial System

Working Paper

Published By

Shorenstein APARC, page(s): 36

September 2003

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The Chinese economy has had the highest rate of growth in the world in the past two decades. However, despite its rapid growth and the significant improvements in its financial system, serious risks and problems still exist in both the commercial banking sector and the stock market, that may potentially threaten the stable development and growth of the entire economy. In this paper, these risks and problems in the stock market and the commercial banking sector are identified. Possible solutions are then discussed. Finally, tax reforms are proposed that have the effects of (1) eliminating the double taxation on cash dividends from corporate profits; (2) encouraging the substitution of new equity for existing debt by corporations, which can lower the P/E ratios without lowering the stock prices and improve quality of commercial bank assets by reducing the probability of new nonperforming loans; and (3) attracting new and longer-term investors, both domestic and foreign, to the Chinese stock market. It is also shown that the proposed tax reforms will not result in a significant reduction in total fiscal revenue.

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