By Chi-hao James Lo, The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (�_����) yesterday responded to claims that his parents are being audited by the Ministry of Finance’s National Taxation Bureau (NTB), saying that he would like a high-ranking executive from the NTB to come forward and explain the investigation. The investigation can be traced back to the 9-in-1 Elections when Ko ran against the Kuomintang’s (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (�s�Ӥ�).
During the campaign, Lien’s staff accused Ko of borrowing NT$10 million from his father to purchase a house. The KMT candidate’s staff stated that the act of borrowing from one’s parent is no different from receiving a gift, and Ko is thus suspected of tax evasion. In response, Ko’s wife, Dr. Chen Pei-chi (���صX), publicly revealed the family’s bank account passbook and revealed a monthly remittance of NT$130,000 in interest to Ko’s father’s bank account to prove that it is indeed just a loan between father and son. However, in a Facebook post yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party Tainan City Councilor Wang Ding-yu (���w�t) claimed that the parents of Ko are being audited by the NTB. The mayor’s parents were reportedly asked for proof that they indeed lent money to Ko to buy real estate. Wang also claimed that the NTB had requested that Ko’s parents report to the bureau’s Hsinchu office for further explanation. Ko Responds to
Parents’ Audit In a public interview yesterday, Ko said that he is extremely dismayed by the harassment from the NTB. Ko said that the bureau had conducted a tax investigation toward the organizers of his lectures during his election in response to accusations from the KMT.
The inspections during the election were very disagreeable, said Ko, and the act of having his father report to the NTB has exceeded the social expectation of tolerance. The mayor went on to publicly criticize the agency, stating that the country now lacks important things to deal with, and then sarcastically praised the government for working so hard. Ko then implored the NTB to step forward and give a public explanation about the probe and told local media that he will decide on how he should reply to the provocation after a high-ranking officer has given an explanation. All Actions in Accordance with Legal Regulations: NTB The NTB responded to Ko’s barbs, stating that all actions taken by the bureau are in accordance with legal regulations. The bureau stated that the case of Ko’s parents was brought to their attention by a civilian report. As such, the NTB said that they are not targeting Ko as an individual, but are merely doing their job as dictated by legal regulations.