Sat, Apr 14, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Tax revenue up 6.9% amid calls for refunds

PAY IT BACK:Civic groups have questioned the desirability and legality of tax surpluses in light of stagnating wages and deteriorating housing affordability

By Crystal hsu  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s tax revenue increased 6.9 percent year-on-year to a record NT$371.2 billion (US$12.67 billion) last quarter, as domestic consumption gained traction amid continued economic expansion, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.

The quarterly sum surpassed the ministry’s budget target by 4.5 percent, lending force to calls for tax refunds, as tax experts have said that other countries do not collect more tax dollars than proposed for government operations.

Revenue from tobacco and alcohol taxes surged 49.1 percent annually in the first three months, while revenue from securities transaction taxes grew 32 percent from a year earlier, the ministry’s report showed.

The government’s latest data showed that daily stock turnover averaged NT$146.7 billion last month, even though the market was uneasy over a potential trade war between the US and China.

Revenue from business taxes also gained 8.9 percent to NT$129.2 billion on the back of better restaurant and retail sales, Department of Statistics Deputy Director-General Chen Yu-feng (陳玉豐) said, adding that the figures suggest an improvement in consumer confidence.

Tax revenues from property, commodity, securities transactions and business operations have so far exceeded the government’s budget, while levies from inheritances, gifts, corporate and personal income, and liquor consumption are behind target, the report showed.

Civic groups have raised questions over the legality and desirability of tax surpluses in light of stagnating wages and deteriorating housing affordability.

“Some countries would return extra tax dollars to their people,” said an expert at an international accounting firm who preferred to remain anonymous.

Tax revenue from property transactions increased 7.4 percent from a year earlier in the first three months, while the inheritance levy grew 2 percent.

Property transactions totaled 149,031 units in the first three months, an increase of 4.8 percent from a year earlier, government statistics showed.

Revenue from corporate and personal income taxes also improved from the previous quarter, although they have yet to meet the government’s target, the ministry said.

Taiwanese are due to file income taxes next month.

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