Sat, Jul 02, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Time running out for tax agency to collect big debts

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

Bad news for the Treasury — according to the latest list of top tax evaders released by the Ministry of Finance yesterday, the government could lose its chance to recover the taxes owed by three of the nation’s biggest tax scofflaws next year.

The Tax Collection Act (稅捐稽徵法) stipulates that the government has between 10 and 15 years to collect outstanding back taxes.

That means the estate of stock speculator Huang Jen-chung (黃任中), Huang’s son Huang Juo-ku (黃若谷) and his sister, Huang Yan-ping (黃燕平), could see their outstanding taxes written off after March next year.

Huang Jen-chung, the son of former Judicial Yuan president Huang Shao-ku (黃少谷), died on Feb. 10, 2004 at the age of 63 from diabetes-related organ failure, owing NT$1.4 billion (US$43.45 million at current exchange rates) in unpaid taxes dating back to 1995.

He had been jailed for six months in 2003 after losing a lawsuit over his fight with the National Tax Administration over what he owed in taxes from the sale of Far East Air Transport Corp (遠東航空) shares owned by his company — the Huang Lung Investment Co (皇龍投資).

His estate is now listed as having NT$1.83 billion in unpaid taxes, making it the second-biggest tax evader in the nation.

The No. 1 tax evader ranking is held by Huang Juo-ku, whose back taxes total about NT$1.84 billion.

Huang Yan-ping owes the government about NT$1.20 billion.

The list of the nation’s biggest tax evaders is made up of 860 individuals and corporations, while the total amount of outstanding back taxes is NT$87.9 billion, the ministry said.

The ministry defines a large tax evader as an individual who owes NT$10 million or a corporation that owes more than NT$50 million.

The tax collection period for 294 out of the 860 is set to expire in March, which means the government is going to lose about NT$30 billion in potential tax revenue.

However, the ministry said it has no plans to try to extend the maximum tax-collecting period on tax evaders.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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