Tax revenue target hard to reach, ministry says

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - Page 13

The government has found it difficult to hit its tax revenue target of NT$1.823 trillion (US$62.43 billion) this year, following a decline in revenue from securities transactions of more than a quarter in the first 10 months from a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday.

Tax revenue increased 4.7 percent from a year earlier to NT$114.1 billion last month, driving overall tax revenue to NT$1.53 trillion in the first 10 months, up 2.9 percent from a year ago, the ministry said in its monthly report.

However, if the nation plans to reach the full-year target of NT$1.823 trillion, tax revenue for this month and next month will have to grow more than NT$14.1 billion from the same period last year.

“We have a lot to do [to reach that target],” Hsu Ray-lin (許瑞琳), deputy director of the finance ministry’s statistics department, told a press conference yesterday.

The significant contraction in revenue from securities transactions continued to be the major negative factor in overall tax revenue this year.

Securities transaction tax revenues slid 26.1 percent to NT$60.2 billion in the first 10 months from a year earlier, marking the lowest level in the January-to-September period since 2005, according to the report’s data.

Because of sluggish trading on the local bourse, Hsu said full-year revenue from securities transaction taxes may fail to reach the government’s target of NT$126.5 billion, with a shortfall of NT$50 billion.

The lower tax revenue came as bad news for the nation at a time when its national debt amounted to NT$216,000 per person as of the end of last month.

The ministry’s latest data showed national debt, which includes the central government’s long-term and short-term debt, totaled NT$5.025 trillion at the end of last month, with the central government’s outstanding debt with a maturity of more than a year reaching NT$4.875 trillion, while treasury bills — its outstanding debt with a maturity of less than a year — standing at NT$150 billion, statistics showed.