China clarifies tax-exemption rules on naphtha purchases

02 August 2012 12:07  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China has clarified its rules on the exemption of consumption tax on naphtha used in producing ethylene and aromatic products in a move to boost support for domestic chemical producers, sources said on Thursday.

According to a statement released by the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) in late July, ethylene and aromatics producers can get a full refund on the consumption tax of yuan (CNY) 1.00/litre ($0.16/litre) they have paid for buying naphtha from 1 October 2011. They can receive the rebate only if they qualify for them.

To enjoy the tax rebate, producers should operate ethylene and aromatics businesses, and have production facilities such as naphtha crackers, continuous reformers, aromatic extractors and paraxylene (PX) units. Their output of ethylene and aromatics should also account for at least 50% of their total naphtha-based production, SAT said.

The clarification will help ethylene and aromatics producers take full advantage of the tax benefits introduced last October, according to SAT.

“Although there’s a policy on the tax exemption, the taxation bureaus have failed to come out with a detailed rule on how to apply the refunds,” Nie Shaohui, a tax researcher with Guangdong-based Juanyi Consulting, said.

 “The SAT statement clarifies procedures and requirements in the implementation,” Nie added.

However, a PX producer based in eastern China said the clarification has no impact on its operations as the policy has been in place since last October.

On 1 January 2009, China stopped levying consumption tax on naphtha producers for the naphtha used in producing ethylene and aromatics.

Last October, it re-imposed the CNY1.00/litre excise tax on naphtha to ensure the gasoline blending sector is excluded in an incentive meant only for ethylene and aromatics producers, and to fix loopholes that allowed naphtha industry players to evade tax. Under this taxation scheme, naphtha producers have to incorporate the tax in their selling price, while naphtha buyers have to provide proof that the material went to the production of ethylene and aromatics before receiving tax rebates for their purchases.

By: Fanny Zhang
+65 6780 4359

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