2020 How to Issue Invoice and Pay Taxes As a Film Crew/Freelancer in China

How can a freelancer issue invoice in China? Can I do it without register a company? How can I pay taxes as a film crew?

If you are a freelancer in China and work for your clients on project based, you can issue the invoice for your clients through the taxes bureau, whether it’s a normal invoice or a VAT invoice, as long as you have a contract and you are registered in the area, anyone can issue the invoice.

Here is the list of documents you will need to bring before you go:

  1. Passport & Photo Copy of the passport;
  2. Residential Registration paper;
  3. Bank Card, Chinese bank accounts only;
  4. Contract that you signed with your clients, make sure they are also signed&chopped;

The place you need to go is the taxes bureau/taxes hall, there is a few of them in different districts in Shanghai, if you are in other cities of China, the condition should be the same, although there are some cities can go through the process in any taxes bureau.

Taxes rate as a freelancer in China:

Personal taxes charges:

The invoice amount below 4000RMB:800RMB

The invoice amount over 4000RMB: 20% of the total amount.

VAT taxes charges:

If the amount is over 100K RMB: 3% of total amount.

For the VAT invoice, the 3% applies to any amount.

Before you go, you should check which one you should go, not all the taxes bureau are able to provide the invoice services for freelancers/personal.

China Taxes Bureau

There is a hotline for all your expats if you need to call before you go, they speak English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and more hopefully.


2020 How to Pay Taxes As a Film Crew/Freelancer in China


Q: Can I issue the invoice if I don’t have a work visa?

A: Yes, you can, as long as you hold a valid visa and registered in the area.

Q: What kind of invoice content can I issue?

A: This depends on your contract details, if you want it to be labor fee then the contract should mention it, if you want it to be consulting fee, then you should write that in the contract.

Q: What if the company is not in the same city as me. (but still in China).

A: As long as you are registered and have your residential paper, you can apply invoice and it will work for the rest of China.

Feel free to let us know if you have any questions regarding the taxes, we will try to reply you when we are off the shooting.

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