International Compliance: Stamping Receipts in China (fapiao)

If you have ever been to China, you may be aware that they stamp your receipts. Stamping the receipt, (fapiao), is a government requirement and it tells everyone the receipt is indeed issued by the company and is legitimate. Fapiao发票 [fā piào] –is used exclusively in China and the company stamp is a sign of an official in China.

The fapiao, usually a piece of paper, is stamped with an official red stamp and it is used in the Chinese tax system as well as by business travelers and expatriates in China. Sometimes, an employer requires for the fapiao to be submitted for expense accounts, expense reimbursements such as travel, food and other purchases.

Fapiao is not just simply a tax receipt; it is also a bill, an invoice, paper to support warranty, and it is also a state lottery. The main purpose of the fapiao is to deter from tax evasion. In order to avoid this issue, some employers withhold a portion of the employee’s salary and require them to turn in a certain amount of food and transportation fapiao in order to balance out and retain the withheld amount. Other companies require employees to turn in receipts for tax breaks. In some instances, companies require fapiao for housing/rental properties. It’s important to understand the lease and how to obtain a fapiao because sometimes, landlords do not want to issue it in hopes of avoiding paying taxes.

Whether you are in a taxi, restaurant or grocery store, keep in mind that you will need to request for a fapiao. One fun incentive of getting a fapiao is the hope of winning some money! You can rub off a silver coating to see if you have actually won something. However, even if you didn’t win, you will still want to ensure you have all of your fapiao because not having it may mean, not getting your money back.

TOPIC: Cultural Differences, Global Payroll
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