New tax to take effect June 1
The Ministry of Finance announced yesterday that the Selective Goods and Services Sales Tax Act (特種貨物及勞務稅條例), which imposes a tax on luxury purchases and short-term housing transactions in Taiwan, will take effect on June 1. The act, which passed the legislative floor on April 15, was approved by the Legislative Yuan on Thursday, the ministry said. Under the new act, a 15 percent tax will be imposed on non-self-use homes sold within one year of purchase, while a 10 percent tax will be slapped on properties sold in the second year after purchase. Certain luxury goods and services will also face a 10 percent levy. Taxable items include cars, yachts, airplanes, helicopters and ultra-light planes that cost more than NT$3 million (US$104,200). In addition, tortoise shells, coral, ivory and furniture items costing more than NT$500,000 will also be taxed at 10 percent. Government officials have said that revenues collected from the tax would be allocated to social welfare programs.
Japanese officials thank CAL
The Japanese government yesterday thanked China Airlines (CAL), Taiwan’s leading carrier, for its relief efforts and endeavors to promote tourism to Japan in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. A certificate of appreciation was presented to CAL officials by Hiroshi Mizohata, commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Mizohata said that visitor numbers to Japan have dropped significantly since the quake, but said that CAL has taken the lead in sending tourism personnel to the stricken country to help speed the recovery of Japan’s tourism industry. The carrier has transported relief provisions free of charge to the disaster areas and has also made every effort to continue its air services to Japan in the wake of the quake, airline officials said. CAL employees have also raised about NT$8 million (US$278,000) for quake relief.
Local cosmetics sell in China
At the China Beauty Expo that opened in Shanghai on Wednesday, cosmetics buyers said Taiwanese products were more attractive than other foreign brands because of their quality and the fact they are designed exclusively for Asians. A Chinese buyer surnamed Wang (王) said he was also impressed by Taiwanese companies’ frequent use of brand spokespeople in their sales campaigns. For example, a Taiwan-made tooth powder attracted much attention at the expo because Taiwanese star Barbie Hsu (徐熙媛, aka Big S) recommended it in her book, he said.
NTNU holds paper art show
A paper art exhibition opened yesterday at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei. Although paper is widely used in everyday life, not many people appreciate it as an artistic medium, according to Ziv Shu of National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), the organizer of the International Paper Art Exhibition and Symposium, which runs until June 14. NTNU invited 87 artists from home and abroad to attend the symposium and brainstorm on ways to highlight the artistic properties of paper and increase public awareness of paper art. Participating artists have come from all over the world, including China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, the US, France, Israel, Italy and Mexico.