Wed, Aug 24, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Pan-purple group promises tax revolt if demands ignored

BY KO SHU-LING  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Pan-Purple Alliance yesterday vowed to mobilize taxpayers to defy tax laws if the government fails to adjust what they called a taxation system that serves the interests of large corporations.

"People have the right to refuse an unfair taxation system if the government continues to allow big companies to pay less taxes than the general public," said Chien Hsi-chieh, convener of the Pan-Purple Alliance and a former Democratic Progressive Party legislator. "We do not rule out the possibility of launching a campaign to encourage the public to adopt a non-violent, uncooperative measure to refuse paying taxes next year."

If this should happen, Chien said the government would be doomed and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) would be forced to step down before his term expires in 2008.

According to Chien, the government's taxation system has many loopholes. He singled out the proposed minimum tax scheme, which has been approved by the Executive Yuan and is awaiting the legislature's review and final approval.

The minimum tax scheme does not tax high-income individuals on their overseas income, which Chien said would encourage the wealthy to transfer their money overseas.

The scheme also does not apply to foreign investment in local stock markets, which Chien said would encourage local buyers to establish paper companies abroad to dodge the taxes.

In addition, the proposed progressive tax rates for the minimum corporate tax scheme -- 7.5 percent, 8.5 percent and 10 percent -- cater to the needs of conglomerates, making them the biggest winners, Chien said.

"What kind of tax reform is this?" Chien asked. "It only shows that the scheme is a hoax and that worse-off taxpayers like you and me are being exploited by the reform scheme, which is manipulated by big corporations and tolerated by the government."

Echoing Chien's opinions, Jason Huang (黃士洲), a lawyer and a post-graduate law student at National Taiwan University, said that overseas earnings are not as hard to keep track of as the government claims.

Earnings from stock transactions should also be levied to make the taxation system fairer, Huang said.

Gee Keh-shang (葛克昌), a law professor at National Taiwan University, said that there are three kinds of taxpayers in Taiwan: those who do not enjoy any taxation privileges, those who enjoy a certain degree of taxation privileges, and those entitled to total taxation exemptions.

"We are not asking for the taxation system to be perfect, but the government should not create a new category giving big companies more taxation privileges," Gee said.

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