A biweekly magazine yesterday alleged that premier-designate Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) had not been honest in property declarations in a bid to avoid higher taxes, triggering a quick denial from Jiang, who provided a gift tax certificate as proof.
The latest issue of Wealth Magazine said that since 2000 Jiang has declared in the Control Yuan’s property-declaration forms that he owns a second floor apartment in a four-story building occupying an area of about 30 ping (99.17m2) and 11 ping of the land on which the building stands.
The documents showed that the two items were “donated assets,” the magazine said.
However, documents at a land agency showed Jiang had bought the apartment and the land from his father, Jiang Mu-chi (江木吉), the magazine said.
The apartment building, which is about 20 years old, is on Tong An street in Taipei’s Zhongzheng District (中正區), where Jiang’s family has lived for years.
The magazine suspected Jiang and his father had tried to avoid paying a gift tax on the assets so it told the land agency that Jiang had obtained the property from his father in March 2000 through purchase rather than donation.
Land rules stipulate that before sellers and buyers of real estate can register a change of ownership, they must present certificates to prove that they have paid the land value tax and deed tax in case of a transaction, and a gift tax certificate in cases of donations, the magazine said.
The magazine said Jiang might have had to pay a gift tax of NT$420,000 (US$14,200) if he had reported receiving the property from his father as a gift.
Jiang’s office issued a statement rebutting the story. It said his father had transferred ownership of the property to Jiang as a gift in 2000 and Jiang had paid the NT$294,142 gift tax levied by tax agency when he filed taxes for that year.
Jiang presented the gift tax certificate to back up his denial.
However, Jiang did not say whether he told the land agency he had bought the property from his father, as the documents the magazine had obtained indicated.
If Jiang’s claim that his father gave him the property as a gift is true, it still leaves unanswered the question of why he concealed that fact from the land agency.