Thu, Apr 09, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Tax revenues dropping on slowing economy

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The economic downturn continued to sap the national treasury, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday, with tax revenues dropping NT$26.7 billion (US$787 million), or 21.3 percent, to NT$98.7 billion last month from a year earlier.

The contraction cut across almost all taxes, led by a fall in the income levy of NT$8.2 billion, or 30.4 percent, to NT$18.7 billion from the same period last year, the ministry’s monthly report showed.

Business tax decreased NT$6.4 billion, or 14.4 percent, to NT$38 billion, while securities transaction tax declined NT$3.6 billion, or 32.3 percent, to NT$7.5 billion, the report said.

Lin Lee-jen (林麗貞), head of the ministry’s statistics department, said it was natural for tax revenues to drop when economic activity is weak.

However, Lin said securities transactions tax for the first quarter amounted to NT$14.7 billion, up 11 percent, or NT$1.5 billion, from the fourth quarter, a sign that the impact of the downturn on the local bourse had been alleviated.

Capital gains tax on rising land value dropped 29.5 percent, or ­NT­$1.5 billion, to NT$3.7 billion on a sluggish property market, although the number of transactions picked up significantly last month, Lin said.

The number of property deals hit 36,383 last month, compared with 28,403 in February and 26,490 in January, the report said.

Altogether, the state coffers collected NT$245.3 billion in tax in the first three months, a decline of NT$58.6 billion, or 19.3 percent, from a year earlier.

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