Wed, Jan 04, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Tax revenues rose last year: minister

CNA , TAIPEI

Minister of Finance Lin Chuan (林全) said yesterday that tax revenues increased sharply last year and that tax reform this year will focus on sales, inheritance and gift taxes.

Lin made the remarks during a New Year's meeting with the press.

Lin estimated that the tax revenues of the central and local governments would reach between NT$160 billion and NT$170 billion (US$4.77 billion and US$5.07 billion) for last year, or a record high for the past 15 years.

The figures are not to be compared with those in 1989 and 1990 when real-estate and stock prices soared, Lin said, but they are still valuable. He attributed the high figures to the economic rebound and the Ministry of Finance's efforts.

However, he also said that the ministry is cautiously optimistic that tax revenues will show steady growth this year.

Lin said that tax revenues have grown significantly over the past decade, mainly because of an increase in the tax rate on securities transactions. The securities-transaction tax rate dropped last year, but tax revenues still increased, which he said was a healthy sign for the Ministry of Finance, as tax revenues cannot depend on the securities-transaction tax.

After pushing through the minimum tax system for individuals and corporate businesses, the ministry will continue to broaden the tax base and cut tax rates, Lin said, adding that the ministry aims at a "fair and efficient" tax system.

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