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Web freight policy extended for 2 years! Have tax-related risks been resolved since the reform?

On December 31, 2021 the Ministry of Transport and the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) issued an announcement that, in order to further implement the State Council's decision-making and deployment of promoting the standardized and healthy development of the platform economy, the Interim Measures for the Management of Road Cargo Transportation Operations of Network Platforms, which had expired, would be extended for another two years. From truckless transportation to network freight, this new transportation business has been more than six years of exploration, development and reform, but some irregularities still have not been eradicated, network freight platforms, logistics intermediary platforms, major cases are exposed from time to time, in which the risk of tax-related invoices is still serious. This article will analyze with readers the dilemmas and problems faced by the network freight industry.

I. the "revised draft" failed to arrive as scheduled, network freight many problems to be solved

In July 2021, China Road Transportation Association, China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing and other industry associations have issued a "notice on the collection of <Interim Measures for the Administration of Road Cargo Transportation on Network Platforms> revised opinions and suggestions", from the content of the notice, are reflected: "In order to effectively promote the "Internet + "Freight healthy and standardized development, the Ministry of Transport decided to carry out the "Measures" revision work, intends to further improve the network freight access and exit mechanism, improve the network freight supervision and inspection system, and to study the implementation of the transaction aggregation type platform enterprises for the record management." Visible revisions around the key issues include:

(I) sound network freight access and exit mechanism. According to the "Interim Measures", "Network Platform Road Freight Transportation Operation Service Guide" and the policies issued by the provinces, the network platform road freight enterprises should be in accordance with the requirements of the "Interim Measures", "Service Guide" through the online service ability to identify the county-level transport authorities to apply for a business license. From the implementation point of view, network freight access management is relatively strict, the community calls for further simplification, while making up for the gaps in the exit mechanism. In this regard, there has long been the wind, "the third session of the thirteenth National People's Congress, the reply to the 8765th proposal" on the proposed: the next step will be to speed up the Ministry of Transport to promote the Internet road transport convenient government services system (Phase II) construction, as soon as possible to achieve the road transport qualification online application, international road transport license application and other business online; accelerate the promotion of the road freight transport driver's license and qualification examinations "two tests in one", optimize the training and examination process; strengthen the network freight new business information monitoring, guidance and support for the standardization and healthy development of enterprises.

(II) improve the network freight supervision and inspection system. Supervision and inspection" is the focus of the "Interim Measures" chapter, according to incomplete statistics, at present 18 provinces have introduced network freight regulatory documents, put forward further supervision and inspection requirements. The revised draft is expected to summarize the effect of the implementation of the interim measures on the basis of the absorption of useful experience around.

(III) transaction aggregation platform into the management. Provisional Measures" stipulates that the network freight transport business refers to the operator relying on the Internet platform to integrate and configure transportation resources, signing contracts of carriage with shippers in the capacity of a carrier, entrusting the actual carrier to complete the road transportation of goods, bear the responsibility of the carrier's road transportation of goods business activities, and explicitly "only for the information intermediary for the shippers and the actual carrier and the transaction aggregation services," excluded. behavior" is excluded. The revised draft may also include the transaction aggregation platform into the network freight business scope and implementation of management.

To date, the official "revised draft" has not been made public, network freight can be seen there are still many problems to be solved. And the "provisional measures" continued for two years undoubtedly gives enterprises a buffer period, so that the next step of the reform can be a smooth transition.

II. the basic face of the logistics industry has not changed, tax-related problems remain prominent

(I) Insufficient input deduction for network freight transportation platforms

According to our observation, the characteristics and status quo of the logistics industry directly lead to the tax risk of network freight transportation. Logistics industry layers of subcontracting capacity, the actual carrier most of the individual carriers is the most basic characteristics of China's freight market. In this basic pattern, the number of individual transporters is large, across the region to undertake the business, to the shipper to issue input invoices there are both objective difficulties and subjective unwillingness. Under the premise that the basic landscape of the logistics industry has not changed, the tax-related difficulties of network freight transportation platforms remain prominent. Although Cai Shui [2016] No. 36 clarifies that the truckless transportation business is invoiced and taxed in accordance with "transportation services", the network freight platform can solve the problem of difficulty in obtaining VAT invoices for the shipment of the owner by signing a transportation contract with the owner and issuing invoices, but it is only the owner who has shifted these problems to the network freight side.

On December 31, 2019, the State Administration of Taxation ("SAT") issued the Notice on Carrying Out the Pilot Work of VAT Special Invoice Issuance on Behalf of Road Cargo Transportation Enterprises on Network Platforms (Tax General Letter [2019] No. 405), which carries out the invoicing mode of network freight platforms issuing VAT special invoices on behalf of small taxpayers, but a large portion of the shippers are reluctant to collect the invoices with a levy rate of 3%, and still require the network However, a large portion of shippers are unwilling to receive invoices with a levy rate of 3%, and still require network freight platforms to issue special VAT invoices with a levy rate of 9%, while Article 3 of the General Taxation Letter [2019] No. 405 precisely stipulates that the network freight platforms "shall not issue special invoices on behalf of members if it accepts goods transportation services provided by members". Therefore, in practice, the input source of network freight transportation platform is mainly the refined oil purchased by itself and handed over to the actual carrier to use and pay the invoice for road, bridge and gate tolls, but this part of the input deduction is obviously insufficient. This problem has also brought about the problem of false opening of VAT invoices for fuel and road and bridge tolls by the network freight transportation platform at the same time.

(II) Lack of legal certificates for network freight transportation platform's cost expensing

Of course, in addition to the insufficient VAT input deduction, the pre-tax deduction of network freight transportation platform enterprise income tax is also a major problem. According to the "Interim Measures", network freight transportation platform enterprises sign transportation contracts with shippers as carriers and issue invoices to shippers, then the main body of the collection of freight is also a network freight transportation platform enterprises. Then how to make financial treatment when it pays freight to the operator actually engaged in road cargo transportation is also tricky.

According to the State Administration of Taxation Announcement No. 28 of 2018, "Measures for the Administration of Pre-tax Deduction Vouchers for Enterprise Income Tax", the actual carrier is a value-added taxpayer that has already applied for tax registration, and its expenditures will be based on the invoices (including invoices issued on behalf of the tax authorities in accordance with the regulations) as the pre-tax deduction vouchers; the actual carrier is a unit that does not need to apply for tax registration according to the law or an individual engaged in the small amount of piecemeal operation business, and its expenditures The actual carrier is a unit not required to apply for tax registration by law or an individual engaged in small-scattered business, and its expenditure shall be deducted before tax by the invoice issued by the tax authorities on behalf of the actual carrier or by the receipt voucher and internal voucher, which shall contain the name of the receiving unit, the individual's name and identity card number, the item of expenditure, the amount of receipt and other relevant information. The judgment standard of small sporadic business is that the sales of individuals engaged in the business of taxable items do not exceed the starting point stipulated in the relevant policies of value-added tax, according to the caliber of Cai Shui [2016] No. 36 that is: the monthly sales of 20,000 yuan if taxed on a regular basis, and the sales of 500 yuan each time (day) if taxed on a sub-tax basis. In fact, this standard is very easy to be exceeded, so according to the regulations, in most cases, the network freight platform should obtain the actual carrier/individual driver from the tax authorities on behalf of the invoice into the accounts. As mentioned above, the actual carrier's willingness to issue invoices on behalf of the tax authorities is very weak, which leads to the phenomenon that some network freight transportation platforms account for a large number of white slips, which involves a very high tax risk.

On the question of whether to allow the expansion of the platform to use internal vouchers to charge costs, the State Administration of Taxation's reply to Recommendation No. 8765 of the Third Session of the Thirteenth National People's Congress is very clear: "If the platform enterprises are allowed to use internal vouchers to charge costs for all their business activities, the difference between the platform enterprises and the non-platform enterprises will be caused by the collection of the enterprise income tax, which is not conducive to creating a fair competitive market environment, and will not be favorable to the creation of a fair competitive environment. It is not conducive to the creation of a fair competitive market environment. In particular, if all VAT taxable items use internal vouchers as pre-tax deduction vouchers, it is not conducive to the standardized management of VAT invoices, destroys the integrity of the VAT deduction chain and is prone to the risk of tax evasion. Therefore, it is recommended that platform enterprises use internal vouchers and external vouchers for cost and expenses in accordance with the law."

III, the financial rebate policy is facing cleanup, summarized platforms or should be born

As mentioned before, the network freight platform VAT deduction is a major problem, most of the platform compliance solution is to obtain the local government financial rebates to make up for the high tax burden. Over the years, many local governments in order to attract investment, presumption of local economic development, the implementation of preferential policies for specific subjects in the tax, non-tax and other income and financial expenditures, etc., in a particular historical period and the economic environment to promote the growth of investment and industrial agglomeration. However, some local fiscal preferential policies have been implemented for a long time by the malicious use of tax evasion, resulting in the loss of national tax revenues, disrupting the market order and affecting the effect of the national macro-control policies. In recent years, similar local government fiscal rebate policies have become fewer and fewer, and the policies that have been implemented are facing gradual cleanup after their expiration.On December 21, 2021, Auditor General Hou Kai of the Audit Commission declared in the "Report of the State Council on the Rectification and Improvement of Problems Identified by the Audit of the Implementation of the Central Budget and Other Fiscal Income and Expenditure of the Year 2020" that "11 provinces cleaned up and repealed tax rebate policy documents, standardize financial expenditure management, etc., and formulate and revise 11 relevant systems." The Rectification Situation of the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation Regarding the Issues of Illegal Return of Tax Revenues and Other Aspects states, "The Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation have jointly set up working squads, established a coordinated working mechanism, and organized special actions nationwide to rectify the problems of illegally returning tax revenues and other issues with a focus on rectifying the false issues of fiscal revenues. Systematic combing of irregular return of tax revenue off-site tax attraction, first levy and then return and other typical problems of false revenue, to promote the local finance and taxation departments to self-examination and review, rectification and accountability, and the establishment of rules and regulations." In this context, where is the way out of the network freight platform?

First, to force individual companies to invoice on behalf of others. The state encourages the development of platform economy, in terms of tax considerations are individual, platform and end users are included in the tax regulation. Even if the willingness of individual drivers to invoice on behalf of the weak, in the national tax collection and management environment should also make changes. Currently, the tax department focuses on the personal tax of high net worth individuals such as celebrities and anchors, with the aim of improving the overall tax compliance of the society.

Second, change the underlying logic of network freight transport into an online transportation aggregation platform similar to flexible labor platforms. This has been reflected in the revision of the Interim Measures. To provide information intermediary and transaction aggregation and other services for shippers and actual carriers, to witness the authenticity of transportation business, and to obtain the qualification of commissioned levy and invoicing by the tax authorities, to collect and pay the tax of individual drivers on behalf of individual drivers, and to issue invoices to the owner of the goods and the driver's tax clearance voucher on behalf of individual drivers, the network freight transportation platform will no longer be profitably through the difference in the price of the transportation service, but rather will profitably be in the form of advertising and service fees, which will lead to a great transformation of the network freight transportation. However, in this transformation, the qualification of the platform and the regulatory responsibility also need to be considered in the revision of the Interim Measures, otherwise the tax-related and invoicing irregularities that occur in flexible labor platforms will also be staged on the network freight platform.

IV. Summary

Regardless of the direction of network freight transportation, the authenticity of the business is still the focus of the regulators, including the transportation department, tax department, etc. The preservation of authentication information, service information, transaction information, including order logs, online transaction logs, payment settlements, and real-time driving track data containing time and geographic location information according to the relevant rules is an important safeguard for the realization of the compliance of network freight transportation business.


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Copyright@2019 Aequity.ALL rights reserved京CP备17073992号-1