Divorce cases rapidly up, property tax to blame

Updated: 2013-10-29 16:53


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The number of divorces has a year-on-year increase of 40 percent and reached 39,075 in the first three-quarters of this year in Beijing. Beijing Youth Newspaper reported.

The "2013 Social Services Statistics quarterly report (third quarter)" released by the Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau shows that there were 39,075 cases of divorce registration, exceeding the 27,630 recorded in the first three quarters in 2012 and 38,197 recorded in all of 2012. Although divorce has been increasing in recent years, a growth rate of 40 percent in one year is rare.

Executive vice president of Beijing Marriage and Family Construction Association Li Ziwei thinks that the unusual rapid growth in cases of divorce has something to do with the "Five regulations of the domestic real estate market" published in February to cool down the country's over-heated property market.

According to the "Five Regulations," people who sell an owner-occupied home that is not the only home he or she has owned for no less than five years, the owner has to pay 20 percent of their individual income tax. Affected by the policy, many families who have a second home choose to have a divorce to avoid the high tax.

Mr. Mao and his wife, who live in Beijing, have two homes and they want to sell one which is worth 1,700,000 yuan ($280,000) in the Tongzhou district. To avoid the tax of nearly 300,000 yuan, he and his wife registered each house under each name and had a divorce. "We can save 300,000 yuan in this way. It is not a small number for us. I have to work many years to earn 300,000 yuan.," Mao said.

"Other first-tier cities have also witnessed the divorce wave since the "Five Regulations" came out, Li Ziwei said. The Civil Affairs Bureau in Shanghai Minxing district deals with about 30 cases of divorce every day while it used to be only less than ten cases a day. They even set a board there which says that "the property market has its risks and divorce needs to be cautious."