Taiwan to allow tax payment delays for 1 year due to pandemic

TAIPEI (CNA) — Tax payers who suffer from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be allowed to postpone their tax payments for up to one year or pay their taxes by installments for up to three years, Taiwan’s Finance Minister Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮) said Monday.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) was scheduled to release an administrative order later in the day for the provisional policy aimed at helping people to cope with financial difficulties they find themselves in because of the global outbreak of the coronavirus, Su said at a legislative Finance Committee hearing.

He was answering a lawmaker’s question about other strategies the government has come up with aside from a special budget worth NT$60 billion (US$1.99 billion) for efforts to alleviate the impact on the local economy and people’s livelihoods.

The MOF had noted earlier that those ordered into isolation for medical treatment due to COVID-19 infection or who are placed under home isolation after having contact with confirmed cases, or home quarantine after having traveled to pandemic-ridden nations and areas, will enjoy the right to delay their payment of certain taxes for up to one month.

The taxes applicable are all those levied in the two-month period from March to May, including vehicle license tax, individual income tax, house tax, business income tax, business tax, commodity tax, tobacco and alcohol tax and specific selected goods and services tax.

The eased taxation measures will be further relaxed to a delay of up to one year, Taxation Administration Director-General Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) said, noting that tax payers who suffer as a result of the COVID-19 impact could also be permitted to pay their taxes in installments as another option.

At least 36 monthly installments will be allowed, which means that the taxes can be paid off in as long as three years, Lee said.

In addition, government compensation of NT$1,000 per day for citizens isolated for quarantine will be tax free, she added.

Taiwan had recorded 67 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Monday with one death, since the coronavirus emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

The outbreak has been declared by the World Health Organization as a pandemic that has infected nearly 170,000 people in more than 130 nations and areas around the world and has caused over 6,000 deaths.

It has also taken its toll on the global economy, leading many countries to take emergency response measures, including the United States Federal Reserve cutting its key interest rate to near zero, a dramatic move not seen since the depths of the 2008 financial crisis.