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Vehicle and Vessel Usage Tax

The vehicle and vessel tax is imposed on the vehicles and vessels within China, which shall be registered with the regulatory departments in accordance with the law, and shall be paid by the owners or managers of the vehicles and vessels.

There are six major tax items, such as passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles. The annual tax amount standards of the tax items vary from RMB 36 - 5400/vehicle, or from RMB 3 - 60/ton in terms of dead weight (net tonnage), or from RMB 600 - 2000/m in terms of the length of yacht body. The vehicle and vessel tax shall be filed and paid on a yearly basis.

Vehicle and Vessel Usage Tax Explained

Taxpayers

Taxpayers include enterprises, units, individual household businesses and other individuals who possess and operate vehicles and/or vessels within the territory of the People's Republic of China (excluding enterprises with foreign investment, foreign enterprises and foreigners).

Tax base, tax amount per unit and computation of tax payable

The tax base is classified into two categories respectively for vehicles and vessels: the tax base for vehicles is the number of the taxable vehicles or the net-tonnage of the taxable vehicles; the tax base for vessels is the net-tonnage or the deadweight tonnage of the taxable vessels. The annual amount of tax payable is separately computed for vehicles and vessels:

  • For vehicles: 60 to 320 Yuan per passenger vehicles; 16 to 60 Yuan per ton (net-tonnage) for cargo vehicles; 20 to 80 Yuan per motorcycle; 1.2 to 32 Yuan per non-motorized vehicle.
  • For vessels: 1.2 to 5 Yuan per net tonnage for motorized vessels; 0.6 to1.4 Yuan per deadweight tonnage for non-motorized vessels.

The formula for calculating tax payable is:

  • Tax payable = Number (or net-tonnage) of taxable vehicles × Applicable tax amount per unit
  • Tax payable = Net-tonnage (or deadweight capacity) of the taxable vessels × Applicable tax amount per unit

Major exemptions

Tax may be exempt on the vehicles and vessels self-used by governmental organs, people's organizations and military units; the vehicles and vessels self-used by units financed by financial fund allocation; the fishing vessels with a deadweight capacity not in excess of one ton; the pontoons and floating docks used exclusively for passengers, the loading or unloading of cargo and the storage of goods; the vehicles and vessels used by police department, fire department, health department and environmental department; the vessels subject to payment of Vessel Tonnage Tax according to Rules; special vehicles designed for the convenience of the handicapped; and the tractors used mainly in agriculture production.

Vehicle and Vessel Usage License Plate Tax

Taxpayers

At this moment, this tax is only applied to the enterprises with foreign investment, foreign enterprises, and foreigners. The users of the taxable vehicles and vessels are taxpayers of this tax.

Tax amount per unit

The tax amount per unit is different for vehicles and vessels:

  • Tax amount per unit for vehicles: 15-80 Yuan per passenger vehicle per quarter; 4-15 Yuan per net tonnage per quarter for cargo vehicles; 5-20 Yuan per motorcycle per quarter. 0.3-8 Yuan per non-motored vehicle per quarter.
  • Tax amount per unit for vessels: 0.3- 1.1 Yuan per net tonnage per quarter for motorized vessels; 0.15-0.35 Yuan per non-motorized vessel.

Computation

The tax base for vehicles is the quantity or the net tonnage of taxable vehicles. The tax base for vessels is the net-tonnage or the deadweight tonnage of the taxable vessels. The formula for computing the tax payable is:

  • Tax payable = Quantity (or net-tonnage) of taxable vehicles × Applicable tax amount per unit
  • Tax payable = Net-tonnage (or deadweight tonnage) of taxable vessels × Applicable tax amount per unit

Exemptions

  • Tax exemptions may be given on the vehicles used by Embassies and Consulates in China; the vehicles used by diplomatic representatives, consuls, administrative and technical staffs and their spouses and non-grown-up children living together with them.
  • Tax exemptions may be given as stipulated in some provinces and municipalities on the fire vehicles, ambulances, water sprinkling vehicles and similar vehicles of enterprises with foreign investment and foreign enterprises.

Vehicle Purchase Tax

The vehicle purchase tax is imposed on the entities and individuals who purchase the taxable vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, trams, trailers and agricultural transport vehicles. The vehicle purchase tax is calculated under the rate on value method, and the tax rate is 10%.

The price for tax assessment is the total amount of the price and other charges in addition to the price paid by the taxpayer to the seller for the purpose of purchasing the taxable vehicle (excluding value added tax); the State Administration of Taxation will provide for the minimum price for tax assessment of the taxable vehicles of various types by reference to the average market transaction price of the taxable vehicles.

Where the taxpayers purchase the taxable vehicles, they shall file the tax returns and pay up the tax amount payable in a lump sum within 60 days upon the purchase.

A halving of the 10% purchase tax on small-engine cars, coupled with favorable credit policies, has boosted car sales since the fourth quarter of 2015.

Analysts have cautioned that demand for those vehicles could stall after the policy expires at the end of this year.

TAmong auto makers, oyota Motor Corp. sold 101,100 cars, up more than 100% from a year earlier. However, Ford Motor Co. 's sales in the country fell 11% to 82,324 vehicles, and Nissan MotorCo. reported a 0.8% rise to 394,800 cars. General Motors Co. said it delivered 277,979 vehicles to Chinese consumers, up 7.5% from a year earlier.

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