For whatever reason (such as leaving the country, applying for long term residence, buying property, or paying bank loans), you might need to prove to the relevant authorities that you have been paying taxes regularly. You can do so by getting The Tax Payment Certificate of the PRC (中华人民共和国税收完税证明) online via www.tax.sh.gov.cn or physically going to the relevant tax bureau.
Steps below are for in-person claiming
Step 1: Determine the time period for which you need the tax records. Then prepare all the passports that correspond to that time period (this is crucial as your records are only linked to which passport number was valid at that time)
Step 2: If it’s your first time, check out which tax bureau you should go to, there is one for each district—like Xuhui, Jingan, Minhang, etc. For details on location, check out the website http://www.tax.sh.gov.cn/pub/bsfw/bsdt/ --(currently it’s all in Chinese; the English version seems to be permanently under construction). If your income came as a salaried employee, the district will depend on where your company is registered. If you worked for several companies during that time period, they might be registered in different districts (if you are not sure, just go to the one are sure of, and they will tell you which other districts you need to go to if needed)
Step 3: Present your passports and ask for the Tax Payment Certificate (中华人民共和国税收完税证明) to be printed out. It has the official red seal/chop of the tax bureau on each page. It might run into several pages depending on your time period, since it is itemized on a monthly basis.
Step 4: Also ask for the Personal Income Tax List (国家税务总局上海市税务局个人所得谁纳税清单) which is a comprehensive table of your gross salary and taxes paid each month, which company paid it, --all itemized on a monthly basis.
The whole process was actually quite efficient once you have all your passports ready.
TIP: If you haven’t registered online, or have forgotten your details, you can get log-in details the first time around in the bureau.