Thu, Apr 14, 2016 - Page 13 News List

Economic weakness sees tax revenue contract 7.8%

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Tax revenues last month totaled NT$149.5 billion (US$4.62 billion), contracting 7.8 percent from a year earlier, as the nation’s economic weakness started to dampen the state coffers, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.

The national treasury collected NT$345.5 billion for the first quarter, representing a 2.2 percent decline from the same period last year and falling short of the budget target by 4.6 percent, government data showed.

DIVIDEND PAYOUTS

“It is unclear whether the budget target is achievable this year, because companies are bound to pay lower income, but individuals might contribute more due to higher dividend payouts,” Department of Statistics Deputy Director Hsu Ray-lin (許瑞琳) said.

Companies and individuals are due to pay income tax next month for money earned last year.

Companies listed on the local bourse reported a 1.1 percent decline in profits, totaling NT$2.36 trillion, for last year, but distributed dividend payouts worth NT$1.28 trillion, a 17.9 percent increase, Hsu said, adding that higher dividend payouts allow firms to save on corporate income tax expenses.

Corporate income tax dropped 68.6 percent year-on-year last quarter due to slow business activity and tax returns, the ministry’s report said.

PROPERTY TAXES

Property taxes also remained a drag, plunging 25.8 percent year-on-year last month and 35.9 percent last quarter, the report said.

The results matched contractions of 20.5 percent and 29.3 percent in property transactions for last month and the first quarter respectively, the report said.

Commodity taxes fell 12.8 percent to NT$13.6 billion last month due to a cutback on car purchases and oil-related consumption, the report said.

For the January-to-March quarter, the state coffer collected NT$45 billion in commodity taxes, up 5.4 percent from a year earlier, the report said.

The ministry attributed the increase to new car sales aided by government subsidy and a weaker euro and yen.

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