One of our China lawyers, Dan Harris, was recently interviewed regarding China law and lawyering in general in this article, entitled Legal Landscape.
Looking at your practice area, what has been the biggest development in the last five years? Things that American companies could get away with in China five years ago, they can’t anymore.
The other thing is that Americans will set up a company in China that sells a service or a product back to the parent company in the United States. What you should do is bring on accountants who understand transfer pricing and they will figure out that the typical profit margin is, say, 6-10%, so maybe they put you down for 8%.
About China Law BlogWe will be discussing the practical aspects of Chinese law and how it impacts business there. About our China Law Group Our deep knowledge of China’s legal system, culture, and business climate make our China practice one of the most sophisticated in the US. Our lawyers have earned international acclaim for providing cutting-edge legal solutions to US- and foreign-based companies doing business in or with China. Large portions of this interview are China relevant, particularly for foreign companies doing business in China, and so if you are one of those companies, we recommend you read it.
The Chinese government will come to the American company three years later and say, “What are you doing? Americans need to start realizing that what American companies got away with five years ago, that era is no more. It’s true the conservative party of the United States of America does so, but I hope in the future the PRC holds itself to higher standards than the low bar of the republican party of the USA. We will be telling you what works and what does not and what you as a businessperson can do to use the law to your advantage. Our vast experience handling China-specific entity formation, contracts, intellectual property matters, and dispute resolution gives our clients the security of knowing they have a truly seasoned legal team behind them. You have three employees but haven’t paid employer taxes for the last three years or withheld employee taxes. Our aim is to assist businesses already in China or planning to go into China, not to break new ground in legal theory or policy.
We’re going to say that you’re doing business in China because you have these three employees, so you owe company income taxes. If they’re not your cleaning person, or your plumber who’s coming to fix your sink for two days, and you’re paying them money and they don’t have a company, they are your employees. But the Chinese government will come in and say, “People don’t run businesses for no profit.
And if you’re not going to pay them the money that they believe they are owed, they will make your life miserable beyond any conception of the word miserable. And by the way, employer taxes and benefit taxes equal, like, 40% of what you paid them in salary for the last three years. We’re going to impute a 30% profit, and you need to pay the last three years’ taxes on that plus penalties, plus interest.” And the Americans freak out.

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