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China publishes guideline to help philanthropy

Updated: Dec 19,2014 8:27 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Charitable donations in China will become tax deductible, according to a guideline released by the central government on Dec 18.

The guideline, published by the State Council, said donations from abroad to charities in China could enjoy preferential tariff rates.

The guideline called for opening more donation channels, emphasizing the development of Internet philanthropy. It also called on social forces such as public institutions and media outlets to provide more support for philanthropy.

It urged charitable organizations to improve management standards and enhance their credibility, vowing to punish those who willfully dishonor charitable organizations and hurt their reputation.

According to the guideline, the central authorities are planning an information-sharing system capable of better coordinating relief efforts for government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

China has 85 million disabled people, 120 million people living under the poverty line and 160 million left-over rural residents, meaning philanthropy needs more participation on all fronts, a statement from the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

The guideline proposed to keep a record of citizens doing volunteer activities so as to encourage more people to do so and give commendation to people who make extraordinary contributions to philanthropy.

Philanthropy in China witnessed a boom in 2008, after a strong earthquake hit the southwestern province of Sichuan. But a series of scandals in following years have impeded its development.