Sharing Economy: Challenges and Opportunities for Chinese Individual Income Taxation

This point in time marks a great change in our economic system. We have witnessed the emergence of the sharing economy and it has been growing rapidly while disrupting well-established industries along the way. China, the world's second largest economy and a unique consumer market, constitutes an interesting example of the implications of the sharing economy to the society. Among others, the sharing economy poses challenges to taxation. Using the examples of ride-hailing (“Didi Chuxing”) and property leasing (“Airbnb”) business models, this article analyses the challenges posed by the sharing economy particularly to individual income taxation, from both substantive law and tax administration perspectives. Along with an analysis of the status quo, this work investigates the policy responses of other countries and provides proposed solutions to the underlying problems in China. The article also elaborates on how tax authorities can work with the sharing economy platforms and advanced technologies to jointly benefit Chinese society, in particular with regard to tax compliance.