Maybe China needs its own Tea Party- many of the country’s citizens are getting a bit steamed over a proposed new tax on Mooncakes- a traditional gift from employers to workers for a yearly festival.
While Tea Parties may be whargarbling in the streets about how our taxes are going to fund gay marriage and teaching actual science in schools- which like, makes Jesus mad or something and it’s in the bible- Chinese workers actually do seem to have a legitimate grievance over the cake-jacking.
The traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival falls on September 12th, and employees are given the sweet, stuffed pastries as celebratory gifts by employers. But the Mooncake tax is a new proposal, and some workers are pushed into a higher tax bracket due to the gifted Mooncakes. Chinese worker Li Jingyuan explains why the populace is so frustrated by the Mooncake tax proposal:
“I actually earned 6,800 yuan in August, meaning I should pay 720 yuan in tax. But the mooncakes took my total income to above 7,000 yuan and I was taxed 1,020 yuan… As the western saying goes, nothing is certain but death and taxes. I feel very uncomfortable about the ‘mooncake tax.”
The tax of in-kind income is not new, but with the internet, awareness of the obligation to claim the gifts gave rise to the Mooncake tax complaints. Huffed one worker online:
“If I have to pay taxes on the mooncakes I eat, I’d rather not eat them,” quipped one Weibo user writing under the name Little Fuxing Summer. “Better to just give me the money so I can buy mooncakes myself that actually taste good.”
A poll of nearly 20,000 workers on the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, Weibo, revealed a 92% rate of opposition to the Mooncake tax.