Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Umeå Economic Studies,
Umeå University, Department of Economics

No 1008: China’s VAT Reform, Enterprises Tax Burden and Innovation

Haibo Feng (), Sheng Liu () and Fei Xu ()
Additional contact information
Haibo Feng: Jinan University, College of Economics, Postal: Guangzhou, China
Sheng Liu: Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, School of Economics and Trade, Postal: Guangzhou, China
Fei Xu: Department of Economics, Umeå University, Postal: Department of Economics, Umeå University, S 901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Abstract: The impact of China’s VAT reform on enterprise innovation is the result of the combination of tax cuts and endogenous incentives. We find evidence that China’ VAT reform generally reduced the tax burden of firms but had a different impact on the manufacturing and the service industry. The tax burden of the manufacturing dropped significantly, but that of the service industry did not change markedly. Furthermore, we show that China’s VAT reform had also a significant positive impact on corporate innovation for both the service industry and the manufacturing. However, these effects were significantly greater in the manufacturing. Meanwhile, China’s VAT reform did not alleviate the tax burden of all the enterprises. For the enterprises facing the increased burden of tax, the reform can still stimulate the enterprise innovation if it has sufficient own capital, whereas the impact coefficient and significant level reduced significantly compared with the enterprises that the burden of tax reduced. If the enterprise’s own capital is insufficient, VAT reform has little effect on enterprise innovation. Finally, we show that China’s VAT reform exerted different influences on the innovative behavior of heterogeneous enterprises.

Keywords: China’s VAT reform; Tax Burden; Innovation

JEL-codes: H25; H32; O31

Language: English

27 pages, September 6, 2022

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