The Industrial Development Bureau (
Currently, a company must have at least NT$600,000 in annual professional training expenses in order to get the tax break. But officials say that minimum is set too high and out of reach of smaller businesses.
"It [the elimination of the requirement] will encourage companies to investment in professional training," said Duh Tuzz-jjun (
The finance ministry is likely to support lowering the requirement, Duh said. "Their only concern is administrative hassle, since more companies will be eligible for the tax deduction," he said.
The final decision on the proposed change will be announced next month, Duh said.
The bureau also announced that the government would spend NT$280 million to help companies train 34,000 professionals this year.
According to the bureau's report, it is estimated that by 2005, traditional industries -- such as print makers, shoe manufacturers and textile firms -- will account for just 45 percent of the nation's production output, down from 60 percent today.
This year, traditional industries will receive NT$168 million professional training subsidies, or 60 percent of the NT$280 million total, with the remainder going to the high-tech sector.
"The government would like to see traditional industries upgrading -- not vanishing," Duh said. "The private sector is less willing to make investment in traditional industries. Therefore the government has to do it."
According to Duh, the new version of the Statute for Upgrading Industries (
For example, take a company that invests NT$1 million per year for two years straight and then ups its professional training budget to NT$2 million in the third year. In that third year, the firm would be able deduct 25 percent of the first NT$1 million and 50 percent of the second NT$1 million.
Duh also noted that, under the statute, companies need no longer be in "cities" (
"There will be more counties and towns that will enjoy business investment," Duh said. "We intend to have at least half of the current 369 counties and towns eligible for tax credits."
Population growth rate, transportation, unemployment rate and average household income are some of the factors considered when evaluating the chosen areas.
As for the definition of "new important strategic industries" (
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