Taiwan to allow delayed payment of taxes for 1 year due to Wuhan virus

Taiwan residents affected by Wuhan coronavirus can delay their payment of taxes by 1 year or pay over 36 installments

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Woman having her temperature checked outside of Taiwan's Tax Bureau.

Woman having her temperature checked outside of Taiwan's Tax Bureau. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Finance (MOF) on Monday (March 16) announced that it will allow those affected by the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to delay their payment of taxes or pay their taxes in the form of installments over the course up to three years.

During a legislative Finance Committee hearing on Monday, Taiwan's Finance Minister Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮) said that people and companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who cannot afford to pay their taxes this year can apply for an extension of up to one year or spread out payments in the form of 36 installments, reported CNA. He added that the daily NT$1,000 (US$33) stipend that people receive while they are under quarantine will also be exempted from taxation.

Su made the remarks in response to a question by Kuomintang (KMT) legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) about the MOE's financial policy to help deal with the pandemic. Su said that the financial instruments at the government's disposal are divided into revenue and expenditure.

In terms of expenditure, a special budget worth NT$60 billion has been allocated to aid efforts to contain the outbreak in Taiwan. In terms of revenue, Su said that there is no need to amend the law to provide tax relief as an administrative order will suffice.

The MOF had previously announced that those who have been quarantined or placed in an isolation ward due to COVID-19 and were unable to file their taxes on time could postpone their submission. From March to May, taxes in eight categories, including license tax, comprehensive office tax, home tax, business tax, sales tax, goods tax, tobacco and alcohol tax, and special goods and services tax, can be extended from 15 days to 1 month.

However, Lai questioned whether this would only slow down the burden on people and not provide the real relief a tax cut would. Su responded that no tax reduction measures had been offered in the past, not even during the financial crisis or SARS epidemic, according to the report.