Tue, Sep 20, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Lawmaker alleges audit threats

TERROR BY TAXATION?A DPP legislator alleges that small and medium-sized firms that have donated to the party are being intimidated with tax audits of their books

By Chiu Yan-ling and Cheng Chi-fang  /  Staff Reporters

Many small and medium enterprises, as well as small hospitals, have said that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration is discouraging them from supporting Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidates by threatening them with tax audits, DPP caucus secretary-general Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠) said on Sunday.

The Ma administration is fomenting another era of political terror, Wong said, adding that a number of hospitals had asked DPP representatives to ask on their behalf about certain taxation items they felt are unreasonable.

However, those inquiries resulted in even heavier taxation, Wong said.

Some corporations even had their taxes inspected because they had donated to the DPP and the inspections continued until they stopped donating to the DPP or the party’s candidates, Wong said.

The Ma administration is cutting taxes for the rich, but the government’s tax revenue is severely lacking, so they are focusing on shops or small and medium-size enterprises that have slightly more income, Wong said, adding that she also heard other legislators in the party say company taxes were being inspected if the owner was considered close to the DPP.

Wong also said that under the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法), donors who donated to a political party had to write the name of the company.

“They audit businesspeople who support the DPP,” Wong said.

The government’s actions have caused corporations to hold back on donations to the DPP, which Wong said was a means to cut the party’s financial lifeline.

Another DPP legislator, who requested anonymity out of concern that it would be more difficult to raise funds, said that in the legislative elections in 2007, some donors who donated tens of thousands of New Taiwan dollars were later subjected to tax audits.

As a result, those donors became reluctant to donate again, making fundraising this year even harder, the source said.

In response to Wong’s allegations that the Taxation Agency was intimidating companies from donating to the DPP via audits, Deputy Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) said no such thing was happening.

“I was chief of the Taxation Agency for a decade and it doesn’t matter if it’s the DPP or the KMT [Chinese Nationalist Party] in power, it has never received instructions like that,” Chang said.

“Civil servants now have the concept of administrative neutrality and they would not inspect your taxes on grounds of political gain,” he said.

“How would Taxation Agency personnel know if the corporation is pan-green or pan-blue?” Chang asked.

Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer

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