|Time Traveler’s Memory|
Kaohsiung City 高雄市
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e-filing - Save Time and Be Green - File Your Taiwan Taxes Online!
You worked in Taiwan last year and now you want to file your Taiwan taxes.
The question is…how? Will I need to go back to each employer? Do I need an accountant? I can't even read Chinese! Not to worry, the National Taxation Bureau 財政部臺北國稅局 has made it sooooo easy.
So, feeling good now? Excited? Ready to get any lingering tax worries behind you? Well...of course! And, in addition to all that civic virtue, there's a plainly practical reason for your wanting to file: you need to show proof of having filed, and paid if you owe anything, to be able to get your next ARC. Without that, you can't get your next job! No joy in that, eh? Plus, with your taxes filed and all that documentation in-hand you won't face any tax penalties for filing and paying late, nor any sidelong glances from future employers - “Didn't pay his taxes!”
Let's take a look at the two easiest ways to file your taxes in Taiwan, and then go through some Q & A.
FILING YOUR TAXES
Probably the easiest way to file your taxes is just to go by the tax office nearest to the address that's on your ARC. According to research done last year in the Taipei City office, once you're at the window you can file your taxes in as little as 12 minutes! There's a few other countries who could learn a thing or two from Taiwan on this score! The whole tax form is…one page long!!
When you come into the office you'll need to bring your ARC. That's the only thing required, but, as with all things being an alien, bringing your passport is always advisable.
Last year 70% of people from overseas chose this drop-by method for filing their taxes in Taiwan.
Now there's a new way to pay your taxes: e-filing. With e-filing you can file, and even pay, your taxes online! Even if you are already back home! You can even get your refund online, too. All from the comfort of home, without ever having to go queue up at the tax office.
Here's how e-filing works: once you've got the e-filing program installed on your PC you'll need just two pieces of information - your Financial CA 金融憑證, a sort of bank Identifier that your local Taiwan bank can give you, or your ARC number.
With your Financial CA everything will be all auto-filled for you when you e-file; it will call up all your income for the previous year automatically. Getting your Financial CA number from your bank is the slickest way to go, especially if you're overseas, since you don't have to have any of your old pay stubs around. a Chinese - English request for your financial CA that you could show to your bank.
Without your Financial CA you'll need to know your income from your previous employers, and their tax ID number. Lacking that, you can stop by any National Taxation Bureau, and they can give you a CD-Rom with all the data. If you went this route, it's probably easier to complete the filing while you are there.
With e-filing, once you file, if you owe any taxes you'll be given two ways to pay – you can use your Taiwan ATM card and a card reader and pay online, or you can print the tax bill and pay it at any bank, post office or convenience store. If you have any refunds, you can choose to have them mailed to you by check or have them directly-deposited. It can't get any easier than that!!
Last year 30% of people from overseas chose to pay their taxes using the new e-filing system.
Remember, May is Tax filing month in Taiwan! You need to file your taxes between May 1st and May 31st. Tax payments are all due this year by June 13th.
So, what are you waiting for? Click here to get the program, run it on your PC and you're good to go. Save time and be green - file online!
Q & A
- Q What are the most common deductions allowed?
- First and foremost are the Standard Deductions, NT$79,000 for a single unmarried person; NT$158,000 for a married couple and NT$85,000 for each dependent child.
The KEY thing to remember is that for spouse and children you'll need to provide adequate legal documentation of the relationship.
- Q Can I deduct the cost of my apartment rental?
- Q What if I don't file? Are there any penalties?
- Up to three times the amount of what you originally owed (Ouch!)
- Q Can I deduct the cost of doctor's visits?
- Yes. Any payments to doctors, hospitals & clinics in the National Health Insurance.
- Q Are people ever stopped arriving at the airport in Taiwan and checked for not filing taxes?
- Q What's the biggest misconception about tax filing in Taiwan?
- The biggest misconception probably occurs at the executive level of foreign companies. If, for example, you're an executive from a major Japanese manufacturer stationed in Taipei, though your salary is being deposited by your home office back in Osaka in your local bank, that income is still liable to Taiwan taxes.
- Q What is the most convenient side of the tax system in Taiwan?
- Most people agree it's the simplicity. A one-page tax form!
- Q Can I drop in to ANY National Taxation Bureau office and pay my taxes?
- You could FILE your taxes at any office, but paying your taxes needs to be done in the same locality as the address that is on your ARC.