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Taiwan: Tax-Exempt Status for Military, Teaching Professionals May Be Abolished

(May 19, 2010) On May 10, 2010, a bill first tabled in 2002 that prescribes cancellation of the current exemption from income tax of active military personnel and teaching professionals passed its first reading in Taiwan's Legislative Yuan. If passed by the legislature after a third and final reading, the bill will affect an estimated 371,000 citizens and bring in some NT$11.2 billion (about US$357 million) in revenue to the government, to be divided among the Ministry of National Defense (MND), the Ministry of Education (MOE), and the Ministry of the Interior. The projected revenue is less than what the ministries were expected to receive under the 2002 version of the legislation. (Days Numbered for Military, Educator Tax-Exempt Status, TAIWAN TODAY, May 11, 2010, available at [Source: China Times].)

To overcome opposition to the bill from the military and teachers, the MND and MOE have proposed returning part of the revenue to such persons by means of additional benefits, salary increases, and similar measures. According to an MND spokesperson, most MND employees “will not have their bottom lines affected by the proposed bill … as the ministry will find other ways to compensate them.” (Id.) The proposed legislation would affect article 4, items 1 and 2, of the Income Tax Law. (So-te Shui Fa (as last amended on May 27, 2009) [in Chinese and English], Law & Regulations Database of the Republic of China, available at