Thu, Jul 18, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Ministry of Finance reviewing revisions for the ‘luxury tax’

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Finance is scheduled to release its review of the so-called “luxury tax” by the end of this month, Taxation Agency Deputy Director-General Hsu Tzu-mei (許慈美) said yesterday.

The ministry will also host a public hearing next month before moving to revise the tax, Hsu told at a press conference.

The special sales tax on selected goods and services was imposed on June 1, 2011, in a bid to curb speculative property transactions and soaring property prices in major metropolitan areas.

The government imposed a 15 percent tax on properties resold within one year of purchase and a 10 percent tax on those resold within two years of purchase.

“The implementation of the tax has had some effect in curbing speculative transactions in the real-estate market,” Hsu said.

Compared with January 2011, the number of property transactions in the nation’s five major urban areas all showed a declining trend last month, the ministry said, citing data from local government’s land administrations.

Hsu said the ministry has come up with some proposed changes to the tax, following the commissioning of the Chunghua Association of Public Finance in December last year to study the effect of the tax and ways to improve it.

Based on the preliminary review, taxation experts have suggested the ministry extend the tax to cover properties resold within three years or more, and consider levying an additional tax to buyers who have already owned various properties.

However, more discussion is needed on these suggestions, which is why the ministry has planned the public hearing, Hsu said.

As of the end of last month, the luxury tax had brought in NT$8.66 billion (US$289.39 million), with revenue from the tax attributable to real-estate transactions accounting for around 60 percent to 70 percent, the ministry’s latest data shows.

The ministry has been stepping up its inspection of the luxury tax attributable to real-estate transactions. The amount of luxury tax repaid after inspections totals NT$620.66 million so far, with NT$592.18 million collected from fines, ministry statistics showed.

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