Ministry stays cautious on tax revenue targets

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 - Page 13

The Ministry of Finance yesterday maintained a cautious attitude toward national tax revenue this year, after the latest data showed tax revenue contracted by 1.3 percent year-on-year in the first half of this year.

The nation’s tax revenue totaled NT$1.0313 trillion (US$34.28 billion) in the first six months, down NT$14.1 billion from a year earlier, with revenue for last month dropping by 5.2 percent year-on-year to NT$324.5 billion, the ministry said.

“There exists a discrepancy between the actual numbers and the government’s target,” deputy director of the ministry’s statistics department Hsu Ray-lin (許瑞琳) told a press conference.

The ministry has targeted collecting up to NT$1.8637 trillion in taxes this year, up 3.7 percent — or NT$67 billion — from the NT$1.7967 trillion collected last year.

Hsu attributed the lower-than-expected revenue in the first six months to lower contributions from the business sector, reflecting last year’s sluggish economic sentiment.

Income tax revenues from businesses fell by 8.3 percent from a year ago to NT$214.9 billion in the first six months, mainly on the impact of weak corporate profitability last year, the report said.

The same factor also dragged down cash dividends issued by companies listed in Taiwan, which further affected revenue from consolidated income tax.

The ministry’s data showed cash dividends distributed by all listed companies in Taiwan last year declined by NT$200 billion from 2011, which could drag down consolidated income tax revenue for this year by more than NT$60 billion.

The tail-off caused revenue from consolidated income tax in the first six months to drop 0.7 percent to NT$272.9 billion from a year earlier, the ministry said, adding that the government could also face challenges to meet its revenue targets for business income tax, securities transaction tax and commodity tax this year.

However, revenue from land incremental value tax totaled NT$50.4 billion in the first six months, up 28.5 percent from a year earlier, marking the highest level since 1998, data from the ministry showed.

Revenue from the special sales levy, also known as the luxury tax, rose by 10.5 percent from the previous year to NT$2.2 billion during the six-month period, the data showed.