This loophole has been exploited so much that marriage registration offices have begun posting signs reading, “Beware the risks arising from the housing market. Have second thoughts before deciding to get divorced.”
If the couples divorce, each spouse will then own a property and one of them can sell the apartment that is tax exempt. After the transaction is complete, the couples get married again.
The registration center in Zhabei District saw a record 53 divorces yesterday, its director surnamed Yin said. “We have never seen so many couples seeking a divorce in a single day, and by 2pm the number had already surpassed the previous high of 42 couples,” he said.
The impact of the tax policy on “fake” divorces is even more obvious this time compared with other policies, such as couples wanting to get round restrictions on buying a second home, Yin said.