[Original] Consumption Tax Reform Should Be Legislated First --- (Finance Department)


Time:

2020-03-23

Recently, China's refined oil consumption tax has been raised twice in half a month, causing heated discussion. Some people are puzzled by the "two consecutive increases" in consumption tax. In this regard, some experts said that the contradiction between my country's resources and environment has become increasingly prominent, and the task of pollution control has become increasingly arduous. It should be reasonable to increase the consumption tax to curb the excessive growth of refined oil consumption.

"Taxes that are closely related to the people, like personal income tax and taxes on small and micro enterprises, are being reduced, and oil prices are also closely related to the people, so why should we raise the consumption tax instead?" The media quoted consumers as saying that it does speak to the reality that the tax on refined oil products is quite confusing to many people. Professor Hu Yijian of Shanghai Finance University also believes that refined oil, as an important resource, is both a means of production and a consumer product. Falling oil prices are good for manufacturers to reduce costs, but they are bad for guiding fuel consumption. In terms of policy design, the two should be distinguished: in the field of production, oil prices should be reduced as much as they should be in line with international standards; in the field of consumption, some hedging measures are needed to keep oil prices at a reasonable level and not too low. The problem is that raising the consumption tax is related to the people's "money bag". How to be famous and gain the recognition of the people is obviously a problem that can not be ignored.

Even though the consumption tax reform is an important part of deepening fiscal and taxation reform, it has been made clear in the decision of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee. Raising the consumption tax on refined oil products is not a "whim", but an imperative. Including high energy-consuming, high-polluting products and some high-end consumer goods into the scope of collection, regardless of whether oil prices rise or fall, the consumption tax on refined oil is a trend of increase. However, the consumption tax on refined oil has been raised twice in half a month, but it is somewhat "sudden" and lacks the principle of "tax statutory", which naturally leads to "heated discussion".

The Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee proposed "improving legislation", and the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee emphasized "governing the country according to law". This is even more indispensable for tax reform, which is related to the vital interests of the people. If there is no law to follow or if there is no law to follow, many things will inevitably fall into blindness. Even if it benefits the country and the people, it will appear to be unknown and difficult to be widely recognized. For example, the consumption tax related to the people's "money bag" has not yet been legislated, and the "interim regulations" are still in use ". Although it is in line with the law in terms of procedure, it does not conform to the principle of statutory taxation, nor does it conform to the spirit of "perfect legislation" and "rule of law.

It should be pointed out that "temporary" is temporary, not permanent, but a "test field" to explore whether the relevant taxes are reasonable ". Although such tax regulations are the "authority" of the tax subject, they are not the "belief" of the tax subject. It is difficult to establish a benign tax system between citizens and the state. This is undoubtedly a hard wound to promote China's fiscal and taxation reform and improve the market economy. Only strict legislation can convince citizens. Raising the consumption tax on refined oil products and even reforming other consumption taxes, even if it is imperative, should be legislated first. This is the meaning of "improving legislation" and "governing the country according to law", and it is also the expectation of the people.