Written By: Wei Cui
Posted on November 29, 2019
On October 28, 2019, a large delegation of government officials from China’s national and provincial tax administrations visited Allard Law School, as a part of their two-week-long study tour in Canada. The delegation comprised professionals from the Law and Policy divisions in national and provincial tax offices—divisions that are amalgamations of policy analysts and lawyers specializing in tax and administrative law.
At the request of the tax delegation, the Center for Asian Legal Studies organized a two-hour training session. Mr. Jeffery Hicks, a 5th-year Ph.D. student from the Vancouver School of Economics, first made a presentation comparing corporate tax incentives in Canada and China. A key part of the presentation was based on interdisciplinary research at UBC that analyzes the impact of recent tax incentives adopted in China using unique taxpayer datasets. The presentation aimed to introduce to the audience state-of-the-art research on policy evaluation.
A second part of the training session again involved presentation of empirical research done at UBC, this time on the use of statutes, regulations, and informal policy documents in policy implementation in China. Chinese government lawyers are intimately familiar with the routine use of informal government circulars to announce policies that in other countries would have been enacted in statutes or through regulations that go through formal rulemaking procedures. However, empirical studies of this practice, especially across different government agencies or across different levels of government, are still rare. The presentation at Allard Hall, therefore, offered new perspectives to the Chinese tax officials on their own daily work.