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What's with the beef over fapiao?

Tonyaod (824 posts) • 0

I'm confused, why are there two threads by two seemly legit posters about two different restaurant with almost identical wording to complain about the lack of fapiao?

What's going it? Is there some kind of racket going, a shakedown?

While I agree in principal that a good business practice is to always follow local regulations, but when choosing between not going into business at all or fudging over minor things, it's a tossup.

The only reason I can see for asking for a fapiao from my perspective is when you want an reimbursement from your work, school, or whatever.

As being the case, reimbursement should only be given for legitimate reasons, such as a business meal in this case or a living allowance. As with local custom, most people in need of fapiao will always ask ahead of time whether that establishment can issue a fapiao or not, if not, they simply ask the next restaurant.

Refusing to pay on the pretext that they don't have a fapiao will unlikely work because even if the PSB are called they will likely not intervene citing that this is a tax and civil issue and inform you that you would need to contact the tax bureau. You can file a formal compliant but I doubt that they'll come to your rescue. If you however, insist on leaving with out paying, then you are in fact breaking the law in the eyes of the PSB in which case they will probably in the minimum try to convince you to pay and resolve the situation peacefully.

On a side note, from your writing it is probably safe to assume that you are an expat and not a local dressed as one. That being the case, try not to give "laowai"s a bad name and start going around acting like jerks and making a scene.

I've just realized that I might have walked into a minefield with this one but here's my two cents anyway.

debaser (635 posts) • 0

Am I right in thinking that giving a fapiao obliges the business to pay tax on the sale and therefore a sale without one can easily be 'hidden'? As a legal requirement it shouldn't even be necessary to complain in the first place. I have a few Chinese friends who refuse to eat at any esablishment that refuses to give a fapiao as they feel that tax evasion is theft from their country and therefore the people. However, I was also wondering about the two almost identical postings. Some sort of scam? A stupid joke?

Finally, while leaving without paying may be a little extreme, refusing to leave or pay without first being given a fapiao might be the way to go about it.

Chingis (242 posts) • 0

Not a joke as far as I am concerned. I run a business, I pay tax, and when I go out for a meal I expect that the place I choose to go will follow Chinese law. I do not expect to be told off for not asking first. Does this make me a jerk? The fact is that if I am not provided with a tax receipt then I have to pay a legitimate business expense out of my own pocket. Are you offering to pay my meals for me Tony? As for "most" people asking ahead, I do not have this experience.
Who's giving "laowais" a bad name there Tony, those evading paying tax, or those asserting their legitimate right to demand a tax receipt??

Tonyaod (824 posts) • 0

Perhaps I've worded my response poorly and I am trying to have a fair and objective debate over the issue here. So let me try again.

By being a jerk, I meant that there are better ways of dealing with the situation. Instead of telling people to eat at the restaurant and then not pay after not being able to get an fapaio, you can advise people not to go there if they need a fapiao. Of course, I agree that you have a legitimate reason to be angry if you need a fapiao and they can't provide one.

With regards to fapiao, if you've been in Kunming long enough you know that while legally all business establishments are suppose to provide fapiao, it can't be taken for granted that they do. Do you suppose street peddlers issue fapiao? How about the corner mixian shop? The facts of life is that by most people, I meant the locals, will make sure to ask ahead of time if they can issue fapiao if they really needed one because they know this.

By giving the "laowai"s a bad name, I mean that while the establishment is owned by foreigners, the servers and the staff that you encounter there usually are not foreigner. Neither are the people at the tax bureau to which you will file a complaint nor the PSB if you get them involved. Fact of the matter is, the Chinese people perceive (whether correctly or not) that foreigners are wealthy compared to Chinese standards. By complaining rather loudly over what they feel is insignificant amount of money (using the method you've advocated) the perception of "laowai"s will become that they are loud-mouth, arrogant troublemakers.

While in principle (and by law) you do have legitimate rights to demand a tax receipt along with many other rights, you should know by now that China has a set of official rules while operating under the set of another. Do you suppose the land-grab that's happening in China by corrupt officials in collusion with real estate developers are legal? Do you suppose farmers can assert their legitimate legal rights? If they file a formal complaint do you think the PSB or the courts will come to their rescue? How about when "Chengguan" start beating up street vendors and confiscate their goods? Is that legal practice as well?

I suppose I am taking a pragmatic view in regards to this issue. As locals know very well, there are many things wrong with the system but bucking the system or going against the grain will not do you any good, only cause misery. You can next time, when not being furnished with a fapiao, stand up to leave and refuse to pay, see how far that will get you. Or, you can do what I suggest, ask ahead of time.

Final note, I still stand by my original statement however worded poorly as it might be. Don't give "laowai"s a bad name by going around acting like jerks and making a scene. We are all guests in this country, while the fighting might be amongst ourselves, the fight is still taking place on their soil.

Look forward to your response.

Best regards,

Tony

Tiger (66 posts) • 0

Perhaps it would be worthwhile to debate the legal use of a fapiao. Although it is legal for a business to provide a fapiao in receipt for payment, it is not strictly legal to use it to claim tax relief if the burger and coke (for example) was not a business expense. It is similar with a taxi fapiao, if you collect taxi fapiao when you or your family go to Carre Four, it is illegal to use those as a business expense.

I know, I know, everyone does it, but it puts your demands into a perspective, doesn't it?

Tiger (66 posts) • 0

BTW, if the object is to solely ensure that the restaurant pays its' tax - that is not your responsibility ... unless you're an undercover tax agent.

Chingis (242 posts) • 0

The business in question paying tax is one thing, what is more of a concern to me is that I can claim a legitimate business expense. And if we are to take the approach that foreigners are guests here then perhaps we should at least have enough respect for the system to not build a business model around avoiding paying tax. I consider this kind of behaviour disrespectful in the extreme, far more than the street peddler who spends his whole miserable time looking over his shoulder for thuggish chengguan. People who have enough money to voluntarily come to this country to start a business do not fall into the same category as these poor unfortunates.
And you are right tiger, it is not my responsibility that a business pays it's tax, but it is most certainly my right to insist on a tax receipt

curious66 (7 posts) • 0

i really couldn't care less, i feel privileged to be in Kunming and i think most establishments here are more patient, kinder and more friendly and faaaar less racist to foreigners than those of many other cities/ countries... not to mention many of the countries that many of us foreigners come from!!

i also feel privileged to be able to post in this site, so, forgoing the joy i'd have derived otherwise, i've not made my comment harsh or sarcastic!

cheers y'all! :)

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