Published on:
June 18, 2020

by: Guest

Tax in China

Income Tax for English Teachers in China


A question we’re always asked here at Opportunity China is, “how does tax work in China?”

It can seem daunting and even a little scary at first, thinking about having to do legal things in a foreign country like paying taxes and social insurance, but paying taxes as a teacher in China is actually really quite simple. There are just a few important points you need to know.

1.You don’t need to file your own tax returns and send anything off to the government

Your employer will calculate the tax and take it out of your salary each month, and these deductions will show up on your payslip. In your Chinese bank account you will receive a net amount. So you don’t need to worry about knocks on the door from the tax collector or working out tricky deductions each month. Note that some employers state a post-tax salary on their employment contract, meaning that your pay slip may show a higher gross salary.

2.Tax in China is relatively low

You’ll be pleased to learn that tax in China is comparatively low (compared to many Western countries), and you don’t pay anything on your first RMB4800 worth of earnings. Use this handy Tax Calculator to work out your deductions.

3.Social Insurance in China

In addition to your tax, you may also need to make Social Insurance Contributions. This requirement in not universal and not a strict requirement in cities such as Shanghai, but is in cities such as Beijing and Chengdu. Many employers will pay this deduction for you as part of their package if it includes insurance, so may not come out of your wages. Use this calculator to see how much Social Insurance you may need to pay. Speak with your employer about this if you are unsure.

4. Let your student loan company and tax authority know you are moving abroad

It’s important that you let your student loan company and tax authority know you are moving abroad to teach and earn. They may not be interested, or they may request you send them evidence such as a payslip or contract.

If in doubt, Opportunity China can liaise with your potential or current employer to confirm the amount that you will receive each month after any deductions, if required, are made.


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