Fri, Aug 18, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take: Soong hit with big tax bill

STAFF WRITER WITH AGENCIES

The Administrative Supreme Court yesterday ruled against People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) and said he would have to pay NT$26.4 million (US$825,000) to the National Tax Administration. Soong was charged gift taxes of NT$13 million, dating back to 1994, when he wired campaign funds totalling NT$42 million to his daughter-in-law Wen Chiu-hui's (溫久慧) account. Soong called it unreasonable and filed a suit against the administration with the Taipei Administrative High Court. Soong said in his argument to the court that the money he wired to his daughter-in-law was used for paying off the remaining debts that he had after the election as well as for establishing a foundation, and he was not "giving" the money to her as private assets. The court discovered that Soong wired the money to Wen's bank accounts in the US. Wen, however, did not spend the money until the first wire transfer of US$1 million to the foundation in December, 2001. As a result, the court believed that Soong used the money as private assets, hence he needs to pay tax on the amount.

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