Proposals to cut or abolish the capital gains tax on stocks yesterday drew fire from the Green Party Taiwan and Social Democratic Party (SDP) alliance.
SDP Chairman Fan Yun (范雲) accused the nation’s two main parties — the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) — of a “fetishism” for tax cuts, claiming that their competing proposals to revise the securities transaction tax would effectively eliminate the capital gains tax.
“While using people to earn money is taxed at a relatively high rate and many office workers have to pay a tax rate of more than 15 percent, using money to make money is not taxed at all,” Fan said, adding that personal income taxes account for about 75 percent of the nation’s tax revenue, compared with an average of 45 percent for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries.
She said that double-digit capital gain taxes in countries such as the UK, Japan, South Korea and Singapore belied claims that lower taxes were necessary to “save” Taiwan’s stock market.
“Taxes paid by the wealthy are actually less than those paid by workers,” Anti-Poverty Alliance convener Chien Hsi-chieh said, adding that the effective tax rate on the nation’s wealthiest 5 percent was less than 6 percent because of low taxes on capital gains.
At a time when Taiwan’s debt and unfunded pension obligations account for more than 160 percent of GDP, the government should not cut taxes further, he said.
Individual capital gains taxes on securities currently only apply to initial public offerings (IPO), as well as the sale of “emerging” and “off-market” stocks, he said.
A capital gains tax on big traders who sell more than NT$1 billion (US$30.6 million) in stocks a year was originally set to go into effect this year, but was deferred for three years by last-minute legislative action.
KMT presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) has proposed permanently eliminating the capital gains tax on “big traders” and IPOs. She has also called for cutting the securities transaction tax to 0.25 percent, while allowing traders to choose whether to pay an immediate additional 0.05 percent transaction tax or a 15 percent tax on any stock gains.
DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) has said that the party is proposing a “0.3 percent securities transaction tax and a 0.1 percent capital gains tax that would not be levied if the investor does not make any profit.”
The KMT has placed Hung’s proposal at the top of its agenda for the legislative session that opens today.
Two lottery players recently won NT$1 million (US$31,822) prizes on scratch lotto tickets they purchased on the same day at the same store in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area. Taiwan Lottery Co said that the lotto wins both happened on “20 million Super Red Envelope” (2,000萬超級紅包) scratch cards sold at a shop on Kunming Street on the first day of the Lunar New Year holiday on Thursday last week. The first of the winners was a married couple, who first won NT$2,000 on a NT$300 scratch lotto card, and then used their winnings to buy a NT$2,000 Super Red Envelope. After noticing that there
CAMBODIAN CON: The two men filmed videos with made-up content with a focus on purported human trafficking, beatings and sexual assaults by scammers Cambodian authorities yesterday sentenced two Taiwanese to two years in prison and a NT$30,000 fine each for staging a kidnapping in the southern coastal city of Sihanoukville which they live streamed online. Chen Neng-chuan (陳能釧), 31, and Lu Tsu-hsien (魯祖顯), 34, were convicted of inciting and causing social disorder a day after Cambodian police officials convened a news conference about their arrest. Chen, who goes by the online name “Goodnight Chicken” (晚安小雞), and Lu, known by the handle “Anow” (阿鬧), must each pay 4 million riels (US$982), according to a court filing. The court said the duo arrived in the Cambodian capital, Phnom
TAKE PRECAUTIONS: Never hike alone and prepare food, water and appropriate equipment for Taiwan’s mountains, particularly in the winter, officials said Two mountain hikers were rescued yesterday, a day after a body was airlifted out of Yushan National Park, one of several deaths related to mountaineering or hiking in the past two weeks, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. A Nantou County mountain rescue team called for a helicopter while responding to a call yesterday morning. They said a woman surnamed Chen (陳), 31, and a man surnamed Lin (林), 32, got lost in the mountains around the Batongguan Historic Trail (八通關古道), while traveling west toward Dongpu Township (東埔). They were directed to a nearby alpine meadow, where the helicopter landed with four
‘CORRECT CALL’: The navy said the captain was right to send crew out to fix an issue with a buoy, and that the buckles connecting two of them to the safety line came loose Equipment and environmental reasons, not human error, were to blame for the loss of three submariners on Dec. 21 last year, the navy said yesterday. The navy would not punish any of the Hai Hu’s (海虎) crew after an investigation determined that the captain was correct in sending crew to retrieve a safety buoy, it said in a news release. Three crew members — a master chief petty officer surnamed Lin (林) and two petty officers surnamed Yen (顏) and Chang (張) — are still unaccounted for after being swept from the submarine’s deck by a wave while trying to retrieve the