Taiwan’s tax system was originally based on the progressive framework of Sun Yat-sen’s (孫逸仙) theory about people’s livelihood, and the nation’s income distribution has always been among the most equitable in the world.
However, in recent years, a wave of tax exemptions and deductions has destroyed the tax structure as the average tax burden has decreased and income distribution has become more inequitable.
The two tax reforms carried out after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office have not been successful. What the public hopes for now is that Ma, who now lacks re-election pressure and has a strong desire to leave a historical legacy, will be brave and resolute, and correct the chaotic tax system to leave a fair tax system to coming generations.
Norman Yin is a professor of financial studies at National Chengchi University.
Translated by Perry Svensson