A few months ago I had a message from the Foreign Teacher’s department at the college where I work in Guangzhou. Apparently the government had passed some new legislation relating to taxation for foreign workers. There was a sense of urgency.
College: You need to install this app on your phone to file your taxes immediately. Tax rebate. Can get money.
M: How much?
C: Don’t know. Install the app on your phone.
Me: I tried. The app doesn’t work.
C: Try again.
M: The app still doesn’t work.
C: There must be a problem.
C: So try again.
M: Still not working.
C: Okay. You need to file your taxes manually.
M: Can’t, I’m not in the country.
C: You need to send us your bank details and the information page from your passport so we can do it for you
C: You need to check the information. It’s different from last time.
M: Yes. I know. My passport expired and I opened a new bank account at a different bank.
M: Because you told me to do it, for the third time in six months.
C: You need to send us your old bank details and the information page from your old passport.
M: That information is not valid any more. Different passport number, different bank account number.
C: This has never happened before.
M: Nobody in China ever had a new passport or a new bank account before?
C: New system. China is a developing country.
M: Oh. Ok….
C: No tax rebate for you. Instead you have to pay 3458.75 RMB
C: You had two sources of employment
M: But both my sources of employment were the same place. You.
C: This is China.
For more everyday Chinese fuckery, check out my This is China series.