China Will Experiment with Blockchain to Collect Taxes and Send Invoices

It's the first time the technology underlying Bitcoin will be applied in this manner.

August 10, 2017 5:00 am
Blockchain Tax Collection China
A Chinese man and woman use their smartphones on November 20, 2014 in Beijing, China. China is the largest smartphone market in the world, with some reports estimating there are more than 500 million users in the world's most populated country. ( Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

It’s like Bitcoin, but for China’s Internal Revenue Service.

The Chinese government has announced plans to use blockchain technology for collecting taxes and distributing electronic invoices. Given the strength of its economy and the size of its population, China’s test case will be closely watched.

According to Futurism, China’s State Administration of Taxation will collaborate with Shenzhen Zhanhe Technology Investment Co., a technology conglomerate, on the blockchain pilot project. Few other details have been reported on the topic.

Many are interested in seeing how blockchain will fare outside the confines of a cryptocurrency market, especially for a country with a GDP of $10.4 trillion USD. Perhaps, the technology would streamline the process of collecting taxes for 1.3 billion people.

According to MIT Technology Review, China has been developing its own cryptocurrency. It isn’t based on blockchain but could be dovetailed into a nationalized digital currency of some kind.

China is easily the world leader when it comes to the blockchain ideas and applications. The technology was listed as a priority in its Thirteenth Five-Year National Informatization Plan in 2016. MIT Technology Review reports the U.S. Congress has floated the idea for tax returns and health records. But, it’s far from seriously entertaining it.

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