Why do China’s Tax Bureaus target Foreign Companies?


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Why do China’s Tax Bureaus target Foreign Companies?

Lessons from the recent tax audits of expats!



Tuesday, 18. October 2016, 4pm. -6pm.


Unit 0811, Landmark Tower II
8 North Dongsanhuan Road
Chaoyang District, 100004 Beijing
P.R. China 

Registration on the AHK website (German Chamber of Commerce) or via Michael Tancsits at peking@advantageaustria.org (Advantage Austria)




Due to a recent wave of unannounced tax audits of companies with foreign employees and the introduction of a new online tax filing platform, many expats are now worrying about their tax status in China. In particular, in a nationwide campaign tax officials have focused on the permanent establishment (PE) of foreign-based companies, which have frequently sent seconded employees to Chinese partners or subsidiaries. According to some of the cases published by authorities, several foreign companies were ordered to make backlog fillings worth several millions of RMB for unpaid taxes. Although the sentences have been high, they also offer new clues on how to avoid such an outcome. In this seminar, Richard Hoffmann, co-founder and partner at ECOVIS Beijing, and Elizabeth Shi, senior tax expert with ECOVIS Beijing, will give you an overview of the concept of PE, its development in China and the lessons, foreign companies should draw from the recent audits.


The seminar will address the following issues:


– A short introduction to Double Tax Agreements 

– The Concept of PE and its characteristics 

– 4 types of PE and their tax implications 

 Criteria for PE 

– Role of service agreements between HQ and partner/subsidiary 

– Real or Fake employers or Who are you reporting to? 

– back-to-back secondments 

– PE and visa applications 

– Q&A


Richard Hoffmann

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Consultant, Lawyer, Partner ECOVIS Beijing
Richard Hoffmann is a Co-Founder and Partner at ECOVIS Beijing, Founder of the Heidelberg office and Board Member of ECOVIS International. Richard obtained an honor’s degree in law and worked for various prestigious law firms in Germany, the United States and China prior to joining ECOVIS. He has published more than fifty articles in international magazines, frequently speaks at high-profile events in China and abroad and is often invited as a legal expert by international TV and radio stations such as CCTV and Reuters to comment on issues regarding foreign direct investment. He has more than 10 years of work experience and speaks German, French, English and Mandarin Chinese. For more information, please contact: 




Elizabeth Shi


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Elizabeth Shi is a Senior Tax Manager at Ecovis Beijing. She has over 10 years of working experience in China´s legal, tax and business field. Prior to joining Ecovis, Elizabeth has worked in the Big Four accounting firms’ tax and business advisory departments. She has advised companies on various China tax and legal related matters, including dealing with tax and other government authorities. Her expertise covers tax compliance, restructuring, M&A, tax due diligence, liquidation and deregistration related tax matters as well as tax planning for companies and individual expatriates. Elizabeth started her professional career as a legal consultant in a prestigious IP firm, working on foreign direct investment (FDI) and intellectual property (IP) projects. With her legal background both in academics and in practice, she has profound understanding of China’s tax system and its operation. For further information please contact: elizabeth.shi@ecovis-beijing.com