With the annual income tax deadline fast approaching, tax-related complaints are being bandied about, with some saying they are being asked to pay too much, while others are trying to find as many deductibles as possible to decrease their tax burden. However, one 61-year-old farmer did the opposite by donating NT$160,000 (US$5,490) to the nation’s treasury in the hopes of contributing to society.
Lin Po-ming (林柏民), director of the National Tax Administration’s (NTA) office in Yuanlin (員林), Changhua County, said a farmer surnamed Chen (陳) in Sijhou Township (溪州) had insisted that the office not disclose his full identity.
Lin said Chen’s children had grown up and started their own families. A grandfather and a devotee of I-Kuan Tao, Chen said he wanted to contribute to society.
In March, Chen was moved by news reports of two people who donated NT$2 million and NT$1.5 million to the treasury, Lin said.
“He [Chen] said he often read news about the financial strain the government was feeling,” Lin said. “He has been a farmer all his life and has never had to pay anything in taxes. Although he is not rich, he had a six-year endowment insurance that recently expired. He said he decided to donate it to the nation as a way of improving the nation’s finances.”
To find out how to make the donation, Lin said Chen approached the Sijhou Township Office first and later sought assistance at the NTA’s office in Yuanlin.
Having not handled any similar case in the past, officials at the NTA’s Yuanlin office consulted the accounting department in the NTA Headquarters, the National Treasury Agency, the central bank and Bank of Taiwan to determine the proper administrative procedures to process the donation.
Chen’s wish was fulfilled on Monday.
As a government employee for 42 years, Lin said it was the first time he had seen someone donate money to the nation.
“It was pouring rain in Yuanlin on Monday afternoon,” Lin said, recalling the day when Chen made the donation. “He rode a scooter to the office [NTA’s Yuanlin office] and was soaked because there was a hole in his raincoat. He patted his clothes and said: ‘No problem.’ I was impressed by his sincerity.”