Taxation in Taiwan

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National Taxation Bureau of the Central Area of the Ministry of Finance Cai Zheng Bu Zhong Qu Guo Shui Ju .jpg
National Taxation Bureau of the Central Area of the Ministry of Finance

Taxes provide an important source of revenue for various levels of the Government of the Republic of China. The tax revenue of Taiwan in 2015 amounted NT$2.1 trillion. [1]

A tax is a mandatory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed upon a taxpayer by a governmental organization in order to fund various public expenditures. A failure to pay, along with evasion of or resistance to taxation, is punishable by law. Taxes consist of direct or indirect taxes and may be paid in money or as its labour equivalent.

Government of the Republic of China ROC government since 1948

The Government of the Republic of China, commonly known as the Government of Taiwan, is the democratic, constitutional government that exercises control over Taiwan and the other islands in the free area. The president is the head of state. The government consists of five Yuans (branches), the Executive Yuan, Legislative Yuan, Judicial Yuan, Control Yuan, and Examination Yuan.


Tax administration

The Ministry of Finance, which is part of the Executive Yuan, is the highest government entity responsible for implementing taxation policies and overseeing the leveling and collection of taxes. Taxation occurs at both the national and local government level.

Executive Yuan The executive body of the Republic of China

The Executive Yuan is the executive branch of the government of the Republic of China on Taiwan.

National taxes

Two broad categories of taxes exist at the national level: customs duties and inland taxes. Customs duties are administered by the Directorate-General of Customs, which has local offices throughout the country. Five national tax administrations who are directly subordinate to the central government handle oversight of all inland taxes. Inland taxes is a broad term that includes: [2]

Local taxes

Brief classification of real estate related tax in Taiwan Brief classification of real estate related tax in Taiwan.jpg
Brief classification of real estate related tax in Taiwan

Individual municipalities, counties, and cities have set up Revenue Service Offices responsible for collecting a range of taxes, including: [2] [3]

Tax legislation

Unlike the Internal Revenue Code in the United States, there isn't one law that governs taxation in Taiwan. Rather, taxes are governed by a series of laws and regulations each related to a specific type of tax. As the chief legislative body, the Legislative Yuan plays an important role in formulating and revising tax related laws. The Income Tax Act is the primary law that governs individual income and profit-seeking enterprise income taxes. [4]

The Internal Revenue Code (IRC), formally the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, is the domestic portion of federal statutory tax law in the United States, published in various volumes of the United States Statutes at Large, and separately as Title 26 of the United States Code (USC). It is organized topically, into subtitles and sections, covering income tax, payroll taxes, estate taxes, gift taxes, and excise taxes; as well as procedure and administration. Its implementing agency is the Internal Revenue Service.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Legislative Yuan National legislature of Republic of China

The Legislative Yuan is the unicameral legislature of the Republic of China now based in Taiwan. It is one of the five branches of government stipulated by the Constitution of the Republic of China, which follows Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People. Sometimes referred to as a "parliament", the Legislative Yuan, under Sun's political theory, is a branch of government. According to the Judicial Yuan's interpretation number 76 of the Constitution (1957), the parliament of the republic includes all three of the National Assembly, the Legislative Yuan, and the Control Yuan. However, after constitutional amendments effectively transferring almost all of the National Assembly's powers to the Legislative Yuan in the late 1990s, it has become more common in Taiwanese newspapers to refer to the Legislative Yuan as “the parliament”.

Individual Income Tax

Both residents and non-residents are assessed individual income tax on Taiwan-sourced income unless an exception is provided in the Income Tax Act and related laws. Individuals are considered residents of Taiwan for tax purposes if they are either domiciled there, or spend for 183 days or longer in a taxable year.

Income received in exchange for services rendered while physically present in Taiwan is considered to be Taiwan-sourced income regardless of if the payer is a local or offshore person or entity. One major exception to this rule exists for non-residents who are physically present in Taiwan for less than 91 calendar days in a year and who are only paid compensation by offshore entities. [5]

Progressive tax

Taiwan has implemented a progressive tax system for individual income taxes. For the 2017 tax year, the tax rates were as follows: [6]

Brackets (Unit NT$)Rate (%)
0 - 540,0005%
540,001 - 1,210,00012%
1,210,001 - 2,420,00020%
2,420,001 - 4,530,00030%
4,530,001 - 10,310,00040%
10,310,001 and over45%

Filing of individual income tax

By default, the tax year for all individuals and profit-seeking enterprises follows the calendar year. Income tax returns are due by May 31 of the following year, with no extension of time allowed. [5] Taxpayers, including foreigners, are able to complete and file their tax return electronically through software provided by the local taxing authority. [7]

Profit-Seeking Enterprise Income Tax

All profit-seeking businesses in Taiwan are subject to the Profit-Seeking Enterprise Income Tax. Sole proprietors and partners must file a return. However, their portion of the taxable income is reported on their individual income tax return. [8]

Income tax rate of profit-seeking enterprises

In 2010, the top tax rate was reduced from 25% to 17%, and the threshold below which no tax is owed was raised from NT$50,000 to NT$120,000. Therefore, the current profit-seeking enterprise tax rates are as follows: [8]

Taxable IncomeTax Rate
Below NT$120,0000%
Above NT$120,00017%

The amount of tax payable shall not exceed half of the amount of the taxable income in excess of NT$120,000.

Business tax (value-added tax)

Tax amount = (sales - purchases) * tax rate

In 2017, tax rate is 5%.

Securities transaction tax

This tax is paid by sellers of Republic of China securities at a rate of 0.3% of the gross proceeds from the sale of shares issued by companies. A rate of 0.1% applies on the gross proceeds of corporate bonds, however, an exemption has been put in place through 2016. [9] This tax is governed by the regulations set forth in the Securities Transaction Tax Act. [10]

Real estate speculation and the luxury tax

Aimed at cooling off real estate speculation that was driving up the cost of living in Taipei City and other urban areas, the Republic of China government implemented a new luxury tax in June 2011. The law imposes a 15% sales tax on owners of second homes who sell within one year of purchase. Additionally, a 10% sales tax is charged against properties sold after being owned for between one and two years. [11] Data provided by the Republic of China government in late 2011 showed that the luxury tax was having the desired effect, causing the average housing price in Taipei to fall nearly 12% while reducing overall volume of real estate transactions island-wide by nearly 15% in the June–October time period. [12]

Taxation of foreign investment

Uniform invoice lottery

First conceived in the 1950s, the Taiwan government created a uniform invoice system to encourage honest reporting of sales and prevent underpayment of taxes by businesspeople. To provide an incentive, the government launched a receipt lottery system. Each receipt is coded with an alphanumeric number, and every two months a lottery drawing is held with prizes ranging up to NT$10 million (approximately $335,000 USD as of February 2012) depending on how many numbers match. [13] The lottery is governed by the Uniform Invoice Award Regulations. [14]

Historical tax revenue statistics

Gross Tax Revenue1,565,8471,483,5181,710,6171,685,8751,556,652
Individual Income Tax304,686306,804389,744347,526334,330
Profit-Seeking Enterprise Income Tax285,701334,163445,245382,634311,888
Unit: NT$ million
Source: Guide to ROC Taxes 2011 [2]

See also

Notes and references

  1. (Taiwan), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (13 January 2016). "Taiwan tax revenues top US$62 billion in 2015 - Taiwan Today". Taiwan Today. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 "Chapter 1: A General Description of Taxation, Guide to ROC Taxes 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-13. Retrieved 2012-01-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. Income Tax Act, Laws & Regulations Database of the Republic of China. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  5. 1 2 Introduction to Taiwan tax rules: Taiwan Pocket Tax Book 2011, Page 32. PricewaterhouseCoopers Taiwan. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  6. "Chapter 2: Individual Income Tax, Guide to ROC Taxes 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  7. "Taipei National Tax Administration, Ministry of Finance-e-Filing" Archived 2011-12-05 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  8. 1 2 Chapter 3: Profit-Seeking Enterprise Income Tax, Guide to ROC Taxes 2011
  9. Securities Transactions Tax Archived 2011-10-08 at the Wayback Machine , Taipei National Tax Administration
  10. Laws & Regulations Database and The Republic of China. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  11. "Property market seen likely to recover after poll", Focus Taiwan News Channel. Published 15 January 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  12. "Luxury tax is bringing down prices, ministry says", Taipei Times. Published 16 December 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  13. "Unlucky bemoan single digit in invoice lottery" Taipei Times. Published 3 February 2012.
  14. Uniform Invoice Award Regulations, Laws & Regulations Database of the Republic of China. Retrieved 2 February 2012.

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