Tax

Note: Everyone has a different situation. Please consult an accountant before relying on content from this section. Terms.

How do I apply for the tax relief for Foreign Special Professionals?

As a Gold Card holder working in Taiwan for the first time, for the portion of your salary over NT $3 million, half of it can be excluded from your effective income for your first three years of residence. eg if your salary was NT $6 million, you only pay tax on NT $4.5 million.

There is a special form accessible from both the Alien e-Filing system and the paper-based tax return application.

If I have worked in Taiwan before, can I apply for the tax break?

Generally no, with some exceptions. The relevant regulations are here. You can see in Article 3 that you need 3 ticks to be eligible:

  1. First time coming to work
  2. It’s special professional work
  3. No household registration (only applicable to ROC nationals) and not a tax resident for the prior 5 years

With the exception that:

“If a foreign special professional has been previously approved to reside in the R.O.C. before his/her employment engaged in the professional work in the R.O.C., and such approval is not given on the ground of his/her engagement in the professional work, he/she shall not be subject to the first-time approval requirement…”

Which is unclear.

In 2019, an interpretation was issued on this matter. An attempt to explain it is below, but this has not been validated by official sources.

If you came to Taiwan in 2015/2016/2017 and had a single 3/2/1 year work contract that ended in 2018 and you became a Gold Card holder in 2018 and got a new contract … for financial year 2018 (and 2019 and 2020) you can claim the Gold Card tax break.

You are not eligible under this interpretation if:

  • You worked in Taiwan before 2015
  • Your contract didn’t extend into 2018
  • You had multiple contracts between 2015 and 2018.
  • You became a gold card holder in 2019

When do I become a tax resident of Taiwan?

Tax residency in Taiwan is separate to immigration/visa residency and is based on the number of days you are physically in Taiwan.

  • If you are in Taiwan for 183 days or more, you are a tax resident and must file taxes in Taiwan
  • If you are in Taiwan for more than 90 days but less than 183 days you are not considered a tax resident but must still file a tax return in Taiwan
  • For stays in Taiwan of less than 90 days per year, there are only limited cases you need to file a tax return.

Further information is available from the National Taxation Bureau.

When do I file tax in Taiwan?

The financial year is January 1st to December 31st. Tax is filed each year from May 1st to the end of the month.

2020 benefits from an extended deadline due to the COVID-19. You are allowed to fill tax until the 30rd June 2020.

How do I calculate my tax?

A useful tax calculator is available here, if you need a rough estimate and can’t work the official website.

Where can I go for help with my taxes?

The National Taxation Bureau provides free professional taxation consultation sessions in English and Japanese. During “tax season” there are dedicated English language counters for tax filing at National Taxation Bureau offices in major cities.

My salary is paid by an overseas company, where do I pay tax?

In general Taiwan, and sometimes also in the overseas country.

If you stay in Taiwan for more than 90 days in a year, money you get for work you perform residing in Taiwan is considered Taiwan-sourced income. This is true regardless of whether your salary is paid to you in an account in Taiwan or overseas. Therefore, you will pay tax in Taiwan at the standard rates. You may refer to the National Tax Bureau’s explanation, or the Income Tax law.

However, paying tax in Taiwan does not necessarily free you of your tax obligations in other countries. You should research the international tax agreements between your country and Taiwan. In many cases these, in addition to foreign tax credits in some jurisdictions, will prevent you from paying a double tax burden.

As always, please seek professional advice.

Last Updated: October 12, 2020