Chinese City Combats Tax Evasion with Blockchain

The Chinese city of Shenzhen has joined hands with Internet monolith Tencent, to help the authorities fight tax evasion.

The  Shenzhen National Taxation Bureau and Tencent have put together an “Intelligent Tax” innovation lab, that aims to innovate the taxation process through technology.

According to a release by the authorities, the lab is set to combine theoretical research with nascent technologies, such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the blockchain, and Big Data, for taxation management and electronic invoice applications.

Shenzhen is believed to have a major underground economy, with peddlers openly hawking bogus receipts. To evade taxes and defraud employers, buyers use the fake paperwork.  Detection of forged or doctored receipts is a severe challenge for tax collectors and state-run enterprises.

The Intelligent Tax lab is already working on a new digital invoice based on blockchain technology, as said by Tencent’s CEO Ma Huateng, adding that the blockchain-based solution will be the first product incubated at the lab.
Li Wei, deputy director of the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of State Taxation, said that the primary features of the digital invoice include absolute traceability and data security that will help to productively combat fake invoices and “improve the invoice supervision process.”

“We will promote tax modernization, optimize the taxation and business environment, and help improve Shenzhen’s economic quality”, said Wei.