Wed, May 03, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Group fights for taxpayers' rights

CNA , TAIPEI

The Alliance for Fairness and Justice called on the nation's lawmakers yesterday to pass a bill that would "ensure human dignity" and a subsistence-level income for taxpayers.

Chien Hsi-chieh, president of the organization also known as the Pan-purple Alliance, said protecting the basic rights of taxpayers has been the focus of parliaments in Europe, North America and Japan in recent years.

As the Constitution stipulates, basic living costs should be exempted from taxes in order to provide for the minimum expenses needed to lead a decent life, he added.

He urged legislators to pass an alliance-proposed bill to ensure the protection of taxpayers' rights and interests. He also called on taxpayers to pay attention to their own interests and recall lawmakers who stood in the way of the bill's passage.

Chien further called for a revision of the current tax code, which he claimed "punishes married people" because filing joint income tax returns currently increases a couple's tax rate.

Another issue which needs to be addressed, according to Chien, is that those under 20 years of age are not able to file their own tax returns -- something he claimed is "unreasonable."

Costs that a taxpayer incurs in earning a living -- such as housing and transportation expenditures -- should be deducted from taxable income, he added.

Lawyer Huang Shih-chou (黃士洲) said that inheritance tax rules should also be changed.

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