Salary and Banking
The currency of China is the Renminbi (RMB). As of this printing, the exchange rate is 6. RMB to the U.S. dollar. The daily exchange rate can be obtained in the business section of The Shanghai Star or at any financial website. There are no restrictions on exchanging up to $500US in China, though there are charges involved.
Due to banking laws in China, the school cannot directly pay employees U.S dollars cash in salary payments. The school will establish an account at Standard Chartered Bank after all your residence and work permits are issued, normally a month or more after you arrive, into which your salary may be transferred. The employee may then withdraw cash from this account or transfer it to a foreign bank.
Teachers hired on overseas hired status will receive a displacement allowance of $1,000 on arrival. The school will pay this allowance in the Renminbi equivalent so that the teacher has some local currency for incidentals.
In addition to the displacement allowance, it would be helpful to have US $2,000 to US $3,000 available to meet expenses prior to your first salary payment (August) should you wish to buy additional furniture and other items of personal choice. The money should be in, cash, or an account upon which you can draw.
All teachers are paid in U.S. dollars over an eleven-month period, August–June. The pay date for each month is provided in a pay schedule at the beginning of the year, and is generally the last working day of each month. Payment of salaries will be in RMB direct transfer into your Standard Chartered Bank account. Once pay is transferred into the employee’s account, ongoing transfer to other banks, or exchanges into RMB can be done by the teacher at the bank. The teacher will bear any bank-levied charges. SCIS-HIS will make all transfer orders on or before the scheduled pay date, but it cannot control when individual teachers’ banks will acknowledge the transfer and credit the deposit.
Most teachers maintain bank accounts in their home countries. The Business Office will not cash checks. Traveler’s checks can be problematic to cash and it is recommended that US dollars cash or RMB be the currency of choice.
Although China is basically a cash-oriented country, having a credit card with you will simplify life here, especially as you settle in. Many teachers have used credit cards to draw cash from ATMs as they wait for their local bank accounts to be established. A number of ATM cards work in Shanghai and Hangzhou. Visa, Master Card, and American Express are accepted at hotels and most--not all--restaurants, department stores, and shopping centers. Buying airline tickets and other such purchases are also made easier. Some places, however, charge a 3-4 percent surcharge when paid by credit card. You should contact your bank your bank and place a "travel alert" on your card so that the bank does not suspend your access while overseas.
Taxes - China
The PRC charges an income tax on every expatriate salary at the rate of approximately 30%. SCIS-HIS bears the cost of this tax and pays the income tax for all teachers.
Taxes - Home Country
Depending upon your home country, you may have tax or reporting obligations in your home country. It is recommended that you make inquiries of your home country taxing authorities before departing for China to ensure you understand your home country tax status.