China Specifies Preferential Tax Policies for Animation Industry

To encourage and support the development of China’s animation industry, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and  State Administration of Taxation (SAT) jointly disseminated the “Notice Concerning Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Business Tax (BT) Policies of Animation Industry” (Caishui [2013] No. 98, hereinafter referred to as “Circular 98”) in November, 2013. Circular 98 clarifies the preferential VAT and BT policies as they apply to animation enterprises, beginning retrospectively on January 1, 2013.


Preferential VAT Policies


Generally, animation enterprises are subject to a 17 percent VAT rate for the domestic sale of self-developed and manufactured animation software. Circular 98 stipulates that VAT in excess of 3 percent will enjoy an instant VAT refund. The export of animation software is also VAT exempted.

These policies are effective from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2017.


Preferential Business Tax Policies


A 3 percent business tax (BT) rate applies to animation enterprises providing the following services:


Animation script compilation

Image design

Background design

Animation design


Animation production




Image synthesis


Background music

Sound synthesis

Film editing

Subtitle production

Compressing services

Transcoding services (for the adaption of animation on internet and cellphone)

Domestic transfer of animation copyright (including the authorization and reauthorization of the brand, image, or content of the animation)


To take advantage of the policy changes, animation enterprises should also be registered in Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning (including Dalian), Jilin, Heilongjiang, Jiangxi, Shandong (including Qingdao), Henan, Hunan, Guangxi, Hainan, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Tibet, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia or Xinjiang.


The preferential BT policies are only effective from January 1, 2013 to July 31, 2013 because the national adoption of  VAT pilot collection in lieu of BT has been implemented since August 1, 2013, and providing the services mentioned above is now subject to VAT instead of BT. Circular 98 explains that relevant preferential policies for pilot VAT taxpayers will be further released.


Animation enterprises should seek confirmation on their eligibility from the local office of the Ministry of Culture as a preliminary requirement for enjoying the preferential tax policies.


This article was first published on China Briefing website.


Dezan Shira & Associates is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia. Since its establishment in 1992, the firm has grown into one of Asia’s most versatile full-service consultancies with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Vietnam as well as liaison offices in Italy and the United States.


For further details or to contact the firm, please email info@dezshira.com or visit www.dezshira.com.

Comments are closed

The Contributor

China Briefing hosts a wealth of business intelligence on legal, tax, and operational issues in China from a practical perspective. Knowledge, expertise and commentary for China Briefing is regularly contributed by Dezan Shira & Associates´ professional legal and tax staff. Currently located in Futian district, Dezan Shira & Associates has been assisting foreign companies in Shenzhen for 22 years.

    Connect with China Briefing:
  1. - Email: Click here

Have Your Say!

Where is your favorite holiday destination in SEA?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

  1. Etienne Ducrot: Hi, I’m interested to contact this Foundation. Do you know how? Thanks. Etienne
  2. Emma: Hi Jasmin, I’ve read your article about a new medical center opens in Nanshan at the end of this month....
  3. sherry lee: A simple story with great words…I love it.
  4. Evangeline: Awesome piece!
  5. Glenda: Hi there, I enjoy reading through your article post. I wanted to write a little comment to support you.