The Ministry of Finance yesterday said it collected NT$119.1 billion (US$3.98 billion) in tax revenue last month, an increase of 6.1 percent from a year earlier, bolstered by larger securities transactions and dividend payouts.
The overall gains in tax revenue came even though business activity and housing deals slackened amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Trading on the local bourse is vibrant this year, allowing securities transaction tax revenue to post growth for seven months straight,” Department of Statistics Deputy Director-General Chen Yu-feng (陳玉豐) said.
Photo: AFP / Sam Yeh
Stock transactions generated NT$9.4 billion in tax revenue, jumping 12.5 percent from a year earlier, with average daily turnover rising 21.19 percent from NT$155.2 billion to NT$186.4 billion last month, Chen said.
Like other stock markets worldwide, Taiwanese equity markets have seen wild swings, but reclaimed most of their losses to the COVID-19 outbreak, as local tech firms have benefited from remote working and learning arrangements, which boosted demand for laptops, tablets and information technology devices.
For the first four months of this year, stock transactions rose to a new high since the global financial crisis in 2009, Chen said.
Personal income tax revenue surged 49.5 percent to NT$29.3 billion last month, attributable primarily to the quarterly distribution of cash dividends by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker.
The ministry has voiced misgivings about the continued upturn in income tax revenue, as it has pushed back the deadline by one month for personal income tax filings this year from May 31 to June 30.
It would be better to make a final judgement after the dust settles, Chen said.
His warning came after corporate income tax revenue and business tax revenue both slipped into negative territory.
Chen pinned the blame on diminished economic activity and an oil price rout, which wreaked havoc on duties from imports of oil, chemical and mineral products.
Business tax revenue might fare worse this month, which reflects partial data for last month, Chen said.
The virus outbreak also weighed on property transactions. Revenue from land value increase tax last month declined 10.7 percent to NT$7.5 billion, with the number of deals shrinking 5.6 percent to 46,545, the ministry said in a report.
Cumulative property transactions totaled 187,121 cases from January to last month, falling 3.4 percent from the same period last year, it said.
However, liquor and tobacco tax revenue held firm with a 6.8 percent increase to NT$5.6 billion, despite a decline in dinner gatherings.
The ministry collected NT$519.6 billion of tax revenue in the first four months, an increase of 9.2 percent from a year earlier and ahead of its budget schedule by 8.6 percent.
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