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Tax ‘amnesty’ postponed by five years

Cabinet approves the amendment to the Tax Collection Act at its regular weekly meeting

Tax ‘amnesty’ postponed by five years

Tax debtors will be pursued for their arrears for ten years instead of five, according to a government decision yesterday.
The Cabinet approved the amendment to the Tax Collection Act at its regular weekly meeting.
The change will apply to individuals who were listed as owing taxes before March 5, 2007 but had not made their final payments yet, reports said. The existing law lets tax debtors off the hook after five years, but the date will now be extended until March 5, 2017.
The Ministry of Finance said it had received many comments saying that the duration of the period amounted to an amnesty to tax defaulters but was unfair to the vast majority of people who paid their taxes on time. The original law was seen as being too lenient and as encouraging major debtors to go slow with the payments, reports said. The reactions showed that an amendment to the law was necessary, MOF officials said.
The new measure would cover 115,115 cases and a total amount of more than NT$175 billion (US$5.45 billion), according to the MOF.
Premier Wu Den-yih said the ministry should communicate with the Legislative Yuan so the changes could be approved quickly. Forcing debtors to pay their taxes, especially if large sums were involved, was a question of fairness and of meeting public expectations, Wu said.
After hearing a report about taxation policies last week, Wu reportedly asked the MOF and the Ministry of Justice to come up with solutions to the problem. The extension proposal came from the MOF and was accepted by Wu, reports said.
Over the past eight years, only about 4 percent of taxes owed by large debtors were collected, reports said.


Updated : 2021-03-01 13:14 GMT+08:00