Mon, Apr 06, 2009 - Page 3 News List

KMT legislator proposes tax break for sports fans

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) said yesterday that he planned to launch a proposal that would allow taxpayers to list tickets to sports events as tax deductible.

“I have used examples in the US and Europe as a reference. Tickets to sports games are deductible in other countries,” Chang told reporters.

“The regulation could help boost secondary consumption in the sports industry, which is estimated to be at least US$50 billion. This will help promote sports events in Taiwan,” he said.

In accordance with Chang’s plan, taxpayers, their spouses and their dependents would enjoy a maximum NT$10,000 sports events deductible quota per individual when reporting their income tax.

Chang’s proposal was among several tax deduction plans proposed by lawmakers and the government recently.

On March 25, KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) of the Finance Committee proposed introducing an NT$30,000 per individual consumption deduction regulation to the Income Tax Act (所得稅法).

Lai said at the time that the nation’s tax revenue would only decrease by NT$5.8 billion (US$175,000) through his proposal.

The Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA) also proposed the idea of allowing taxpayers to deduct expenditure on tickets to art events — a maximum of NT$12,000 per person — from their annual tax reports.

The proposal was seen as an incentive to encourage the public to participate in arts events and boost the art sector.

The CCA’s plan had met with opposition from the Ministry of Finance, which said the nation’s tax revenue could drop by NT$6.5 billion should the plan be approved.

When approached for comment in Taoyuan, Executive Yuan Spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) emphasized the need to thoroughly consider the effect on the nation’s coffers.

“[We should consider] whether [Chang’s proposal] would really help boost the [sports] industry and whether it would deal a blow to the nation’s finances,” he said.

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