Taipei City Civil Affairs Department Commissioner Huang Lu Ching-ju (黃呂錦茹) yesterday accused a temple director of perjury after he accused her of evading taxes with fake receipts.
Prosecutors said that between 2005 and 2006, Ho Chung (何仲), managing director of the Fayu Temple, instructed a clerk to write two receipts, each indicating donations of NT$1 million (US$30,000). One receipt was sent to Huang Lu while another was sent to her husband, Huang Hsiu-chuang (黃秀莊).
However, in a subsequent internal auditing process, the temple discovered that there were no such donations and reported the matter to the Taipei National Tax Administration.
When Taipei District Prosecutor Kuo Yu-fang (郭瑜芳) brought the case to court, Huang Hsiu-chuang said he was responsible and the case had nothing to do with his wife. His accountant testified in court that Huang Hsiu-chuang had instructed her to make cash withdrawals many times in the past for donations.
However, the temple said receipts are usually made with a third-party witness immediately after the donation has been received, so the way Huang Hsiu-chuang made the secret donations was suspicious.
Huang Lu yesterday denied involvement in any acts of tax evasion or trying to influence the temple’s transfer of power process.
She said her husband had made a NT$1 million donation to the former chairman of the temple and used the receipt issued from the temple to file a return on his taxes.
She also made a donation to the temple but did not use the receipt to file a return on her taxes.
“I never used the receipt to file a return on my taxation and so it is impossible that I would be involved in tax evasion with fake receipts,” she said yesterday after filing a lawsuit against the temple.
Huang Lu condemned current abbot Wang Hsiu-chao (王秀昭) for making groundless accusations against her and her husband after a failed bid to become the temple’s chairperson.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday offered his support to the commissioner and said he believed she was innocent.
“She would not be involved in tax evasion. I feel very upset that the temple has made these false accusations against her,” he said.
Huang Lu, who became commissioner in 2006, has been dogged by controversy since taking office.
Last month, Democratic Progressive Party city councilors accused the department of abusing municipal resources to campaign for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Chiang Nai-shin (蔣乃辛) in the legislative by-election in Taipei’s Da-an District (大安). Huang was accused of lacking neutrality when two people wearing the department’s vest were spotted calling on residents to vote for Chiang.
additional reporting by mo yan-chih