The number of Chinese declaring a high annual income is rising as their pockets swell with bigger salaries and stock earnings.
The amount of Chinese who reported earnings above 120,000 yuan (about 17,142 U.S. dollars) last year surged more than 30 percent from that of 2006 to 2.12 million, the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) said on Friday.
About 82 percent of the people came from 14 provinces and cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Qingdao and Xiamen. Most were from the booming economies of the coastal region.
This group declared a total income of 773.5 billion yuan, about 50 percent more than that of 2006, the SAT said on its website. It attributed the growth to expanded employment and rising salaries.
Urban employment saw a net increase of 10.4 million people last year, it said. The average annual payment of urban employees on the job rose 18.7 percent year on year to 24,932 yuan, while the annual disposable income of city dwellers added 12.2 percent to 13,786 yuan after adjusting for price changes.
The sharp gain in those declaring high-income was related to the country's sizzling capital market last year, said financial researcher Fan Fangzhi of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
This group's average per capita income last year climbed 17 percent to 364,000 yuan from that of 2006, according to the statement.
Chinese share prices almost doubled last year, peaking at a record high of 6,124 points in October. They then slumped and fluctuated around 5,300 point for most of the rest of the year.
The high-income group paid 105.7 billion yuan of personal income taxes, 33.19 percent of the national total, the SAT said.
In 2006, China started to require those with annual income exceeding 120,000 yuan to file tax declarations, a move to strengthen tax collection on high-income groups and narrow the rich-poor gap.