Government stands firm on unpopular securities tax, but vows to review it

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Thu, May 09, 2013 - Page 14

Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) said the government would not abolish the capital gains tax on securities investments after a magazine survey of legislators and the public yesterday showed that the majority of those polled want the tax to be scrapped or amended.

Chang said that instead, the government would work on amending the tax after a legislative task force finishes reviewing it, he said.

A survey co-released by the Chinese-language Wealth Magazine, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Sun Ta-chien (孫大千) and National Taiwan University economics professor Lin Chien-fu (林建甫) yesterday said that among the 107 legislators who had responded to the poll, 95 said the tax should be abolished or revised, while 67 percent of the public held the same view.

The poll was conducted between April 28 and May 1, and collected responses from 1,075 people above the age of 20.

The legislature has established a task force to review the tax, led by KMT Legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰).

Chang said abolishing the tax will not be an option that the task force would consider, adding that scrapping the levy would rewind progress on fairness and justice.

Chang said the schedule for the review would be set by the task force, with Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Chen Yuh-chang (陳裕璋) and himself to be part of the committee.

Last year, the legislature passed a bill introducing the tax and it took effect this year. Iinvestors are onnly required to pay the tax after the TAIEX reaches 8,500 points.

Separately yesterday, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said the government would review the tax, but rejected the idea that the sluggishness of the stock market is solely due to the levy.

“Maybe the capital gains tax is one of the reasons, but not the only reason. So we need to do a more comprehensive assessment,” Ma said.

Additional reporting by CNA