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“The Living Justice Forum Ⅷ”, held by the Taipei City Government, will discuss the rationality of the tax exemption standard for residential houses

To achieve tax fairness, the Taipei City Government proposes to amend the House Tax Act Article 15, paragraph 1 (9), restricting current residential house tax exemption standard to owner-occupied residential houses only. Two legislators of Legislative Yuan also propose the amendments of this article. The Finance Bureau will discuss whether this regulation should be amended in the afternoon of October 29, 2018.

According to the current House Tax Act, residential houses with taxable value equal or below NT$ 100,000 are exempt from house tax. The purpose is to help lower the living cost of low-income group. However, there is no other restriction. As long as the taxable value of a house is equal or below NT$ 100,000, it is exempt from the house tax. House owners who have many houses, whether they are in the same building or not, for owner-occupied residential purposes or not, can all take advantages of this tax exemption. The Ministry of Finance discovered this problem in 2004 and proposed to amend the law, but was not approved by the Legislative Yuan. The Taipei City Government believes that this tax exemption should be amended, but at the same time, owner-occupied residential houses should still get tax benefits. Therefore, it is recommended that this tax exemption still applies to owner-occupied residential houses. The two legislators' versions of the amendment are similar to the Ministry of Finance’s version in 2004, which is when applying the tax exemption standard, all houses owned by the same owner in the same building should be combined together to calculate the taxable house value.

No matter which version of the amendment, it all faces up to the problem of Article 15, paragraph 1 (9) of the House Tax Act and tries to provide a solution for tax fairness. In order to raise the cost of holding houses and to curb house speculation problems, there was already an Amendment of Article 5 of the House Tax Act to raise the tax rate on owner-occupied residential houses and non-owner-occupied residential houses in June of 2014. After that, it is now in particularly worthwhile to discuss whether the current tax exemption situations should be maintained. In the afternoon of October 29, 2018, for all who care greatly about tax fairness and justice, welcome to join us together with experts and scholars to discuss this issue in the Living Justice Forum Ⅷ.