Here are the opening paragraphs:
As Chinese individuals and companies head overseas in greater numbers, the country’s tax authorities are starting to follow.
The Beijing billionaires who set up cryptically named companies in the British Virgin Islands to hold their fortunes are in the cross hairs. So are the Guangdong salesmen living and working in Africa and Latin America. China’s tax officials are now demanding that citizens start reporting exactly how much money they earn overseas.
In asking for this information, national and municipal tax agencies in China are quietly beginning to enforce a little-known and widely ignored regulation: Citizens and companies must pay domestic taxes on their entire worldwide incomes, not just on what they earn in China.I am not sure that the U.S. Congress (which determines our tax regime (I know some tea parties think it is the IRS; they are wrong)) can take great comfort in the fact that China has a similar system. Indeed, many of us have lived our lives listening to U.S. politicians (Congressmen included) vilify China (think McCarthy and his ilk and then segueing into Vietnam where the domino theory was based on China and Russia toppling the dominoes and bringing great woe to all of humanity).
But the broader issue is whether, given a global economy, a single country worldwide (sometimes called citizen based taxation) system is a good thing. There are people paid a lot more than I am to struggle with that issue, but I am sure that readers will have some feelings. Let's here them.
My thought is that, eventually, in a broader sense, we are all in this together. By we, I mean our progeny who, in my view, are we. We all sink or swim on a globe that must sustain us. In my mind, we need to pull together a global government or at least a global organization that will coordinate the effort to, in William Faulkner's words, insure that "man will not merely endure: he will prevail." There must be some system that, in the final analysis, make sure that we all contribute to enduring and prevailing. That requires a compulsory tax because we are too selfish to make voluntary contributions to a system that allows us to endure or prevail. And that is why government or quasi-government is so important.
Addendum 1/9/15 1:30am:
A commenter pointed out a rebuttal to the New York Times article. See No, China does not have citizenship-based taxation (Isaac Brock Society 1/8/15), here, written by someone identified only as Eric in the blog. The rebuttal is quite detailed and, taken at face -- I can't speak as to whether it is more accurate than the NYT article on the point of contention -- seems to be a detailed rebuttal of the notion in the article that the Chinese taxation system parallels in some respect the U.S. CBT system. So, I invite readers to consider the Eric blog entry, and thank the commenter for calling it to our attention. I do note that, as of 1/9/15 at 1:31am, the NYT has not acknowledged that the article errs in this respect. (The article does provide two unrelated corrections; I presume that someone has called it to the attention of the NYT and the authors of the NYT article.)