Ministry of Finance fears the nation’s annual tax target may not be reached

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Aug 10, 2013 - Page 13

The Ministry of Finance remains cautious about whether the nation’s annual tax revenue can meet the target this year, after the latest data showed tax revenue declined 0.4 percent in the first seven months year-on-year.

Tax revenue totaled NT$1.1292 trillion (US$37.7 billion) between January and last month, down NT$4.7 billion from a year earlier, with revenue for last month rising by 10.7 percent year-on-year to NT$97.9 billion, the ministry said in its monthly report.

“The results in the first seven months showed quite a discrepancy compared with the government’s target,” the ministry’s statistics department deputy director Hsu Ray-lin (許瑞琳) told a press conference.

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

However, with the results recorded in the first seven months, the nation would have to see its tax revenue grow more than NT$70 billion from a year earlier in the remaining five months of this year if it is to achieve the target, Hsu said.

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

Revenue from business income tax fell by 8.3 percent from a year ago to NT$217.1 billion in the first seven months, mainly on the impact of weak corporate profitability last year, the report said.

Revenue from securities transaction tax in the first seven months of the year also saw an annual decline of 6.7 percent to NT$40.3 billion, marking the lowest period level since 2005, despite last month’s revenue reaching the highest level this year at NT$7.1 billion, an increase of 45.2 percent from a year earlier, the report showed.

Compared with the weak trading momentum in the stock market, the improving revenue from land incremental value tax signified rebounding sentiment in the property market after new regulations enforcing the reporting of real property prices helped create a clearer market, Hsu said.

Revenue from land incremental value tax totaled NT$60.3 billion in the first seven months, up 26.7 percent from a year earlier, marking the highest level since 1998, data from the ministry showed.

Luxury tax revenue also increased by 8.5 percent year-on-year to total NT$2.7 billion in the first seven months, the ministry’s statistics showed.