September 7, 2007

Chinese students learn about the American tax system

Eighteen tax representatives from China are attending Sacramento State to study the American tax system. Their classes, established through the College of Continuing Education, began this fall and will last for a year.
Eighteen tax representatives from China are attending Sacramento State to study the American tax system. Their classes, established through the College of Continuing Education, began this fall and will last for a year.

The tax man cometh…all the way from China to learn the American taxation system.

Sacramento State is hosting 18 students from Hubei Province in central China here to learn how the American tax system works. The students arrived Aug. 30 to begin a year of study through the College of Continuing Education.

“We have developed a customized training program for them in taxation,” says Bernadette Halbrook, faculty liaison for the College of Continuing Education. “They will take classes in business, international accounting and leadership development and will job shadow at the California Franchise Tax Board.”

Sacramento State’s involvement began about a year ago when a former Sacramento State faculty member who was from the province mentioned to Alice Tom, dean of the College of Continuing Education, that officials from the Hubei Province were interested in developing a global training program for its taxation officials.

“He said there were people in his province interested in learning about the American tax system and wondered if we might have any interest in putting together a program for them,” says Halbrook. “Dean Tom said, ‘yes,’ and we began discussion with Chinese officials about what the students’ needs were and what officials wanted.”

The students work for the Hubei Province Local Taxation Bureau and were selected by the Chinese government to attend Sacramento State.

“The Chinese government originally identified 400 people as up-and-coming leaders, Halbrook said, “Fifty were chosen to go to Wuhan City, the capital of the province, to study English for a year, and 18 were identified as top scorers and were offered the opportunity to come here.”

Despite their training in English, Halbrook said the program will still be very demanding for them.

“English is not their first language so that will make things harder,” she says, “but we’re very conscious of that and we have people who have worked with international students before to help them.”

Halbrook says this may be the only program of its type in the United States, and she hopes it can become a model to be used in the future with other groups.

For more information about the tax program for the Chinese students, contact Halbrook at 916 278-3483. For media assistance, contact the Sacramento State Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.