Wed, Sep 22, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Typhoon victims set for tax breaks

BETTER NEWS Victims of Typhoon Fanapi can claim deductions from a range of taxes, including income tax, business tax, commodity tax and housing tax

By Ted Yang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of Finance said yesterday that property owners who suffered losses caused by Typhoon Fanapi, which ravaged the southern part of the nation on Sunday, have a grace period of up to 30 days to apply for tax deductions.

The ministry said in a statement that those whose land was deemed unusable following mudslides or land subsidence caused by the storm are eligible to file applications for tax deductions with local tax offices within 30 days of the typhoon.

This means that land owners who suffered storm-related losses over the past few days have until Oct. 18 to apply for tax waivers, with detailed reports of the damage and legal verification of ownership.

According to the Land Tax Act (土地稅法), property holders are required to submit their applications for special tax rates or exemptions at least 40 days prior to the collection starting date, which is Nov. 1 this year.

The deadline, however, falls on the Mid-Autumn Festival today, and has thus been postponed until tomorrow.

Applications made after the deadline will not be eligible for the special rate until next year, the ministry said.

To ensure the rights of all taxpayers, ministry officials said that victims of Typhoon Fanapi could also claim deductions from a wide range of other taxes, including income tax, business tax, commodity tax, tobacco and liquor tax, housing tax, license tax and entertainment tax.

For income tax, individuals are required to report losses caused by the storm to their local tax offices within 30 days. After the damage is confirmed by an inspector, taxpayers can deduct losses from their income tax returns to be filed next year.

However, the ministry said that those filing individual income tax who had suffered losses of less than NT$150,000 (US$4,750) and business taxpayers with losses of less than NT$3.5 million are not required to submit to an inspection.

For business and entertainment taxes, businesses that had to suspend operations during the storm could apply for a waiver, allowing them to deduct the number of days which they were unable to operate because of the typhoon.

For commodity and tobacco and liquor taxes, those who could not sell products they had already paid tax on because of damage caused by the storm can apply for a refund. Individuals who failed to pay taxes for commodities on account of the damage may apply for a deferral for a month, the ministry said.

For housing tax, individuals whose property had 30 percent to 50 percent of its total area damaged could have their tax reduced by 50 percent.

Homeowners whose property suffered more than 50 percent damage may be exempt from the tax.

For license tax, individuals whose vehicles or motorcycles with an engine of larger than 151cc were damaged or completely destroyed in the floods may apply for a refund of the tax within 30 days of the occurrence of the damage.

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