The Standing Committee of the State Council announced in July 2012 that the Shanghai VAT pilot programme will be extended to eight cities and provinces including Beijing, Tianjin, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian (including Xiamen), Hubei, and Guangdong (including Shenzhen) by the end of the year.

The Ministry of Finance and the SAT issued Cai Shui [2012] No. 71 (“Notice 71”) to clarify the specific timing for each locality. In early August, the eight cities and provinces started preparing to transition to the new VAT pilot programme. The preparations include certifying and training VAT taxpayers and installing and testing equipment and systems related to monitoring and collecting VAT. The transitions to the VAT pilot programme will be completed at intervals. Beijing completed its transition in September, and Jiangsu and Anhui in October. Fujiang and Guangdong, meanwhile, are expected to complete theirs by 1 November 2012, and Tianjin, Zhejiang and Hubei by 1 December 2012.

The SAT also issued several implementation notices* to provide further guidance on some practical issues for the extended pilot programme.