Love, laughter and lonely clouds have inspired poets the world over. Now Taiwan wants people to find lyrical inspiration in a subject that is also close to the heart — taxes.
The Ministry of Finance has launched a competition for Taiwanese to write verse about initiatives aimed at making it easier to file taxes. Topics include such gems as the uniform invoice redemption app, the Taxpayer Rights Protection Act (納稅者權利保護法) and tax refunds on energy-saving appliances and the replacement of used vehicles.
The competition has inspired budding bards — and humorists — to channel the likes of William Carlos Williams on Twitter.
To be sure, taxes have inspired plenty of lyrics in the past.
“The tax man’s taken all my dough, and left me in my stately home,” the Kinks sang in Sunny Afternoon.
Thomas Jefferson also was not a fan, according to the hit musical Hamilton: “Look, when Britain taxed our tea, we got frisky. Imagine what gon’ happen when you try to tax our whisky.”
The UK’s former poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy penned 22 Reasons for the Bedroom Tax in 2013.
Taiwan said the poems must be no more than 10 lines in length and must be submitted in Chinese and English. Only Taiwanese citizens can enter, and the winner is to be announced at the end of August, receiving NT$18,000 in cash.
However, a tax collector will be coming to take back some of that money — it must be declared as income when filing next year.
One reason for the competition could be Taiwan’s relatively flat tax revenues since 2018, even as the economy boomed from surging global demand for semiconductors.
Tax revenue was equal to 12.1 percent of Taiwan’s GDP in 2020, ministry data showed.
That is significantly lower than most other developed economies, and less than the global average of 14.9 percent, World Bank data showed.
Liya Chu (朱如茵), whose parents are New York-based Taiwanese restaurateurs, has been crowned the champion of US television cooking competition MasterChef Junior, after wowing the judges, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, with a feast of fusion cuisine. In the finale of the show’s eighth season, broadcast on Thursday, Chu walked away with US$100,000 after serving a spread of spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant, followed by coconut pandan panna cotta with a passion fruit coulis and sesame tuille. Chu, who was 10 years old at the time of filming three years ago, faced off against then-11-year-old Grayson Price from
A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show. On the show, Wen said he had gathered information on the locations from publicly available Web sites, as
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,
Opening-day ticket sales for a horror exhibition at the Tainan Art Museum were suspended twice on Saturday as the show attracted too many visitors. Titled “Ghosts and Hells: The Underworld in Asian art,” the exhibition runs until Oct. 16. It is the local version of a show that debuted at the Musee du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris. It was planned and curated by Julien Rousseau. The Tainan museum said that within an hour of its doors opening, more than 1,000 people had entered the exhibition. By noon, 3,000 physical and virtual tickets had been sold, while the museum had more than 4,000