Taiwan: Taiwan's Luxury Tax On Property Under Review
22 August 2013
Posted by: Author: Mary Swire
Author: Mary Swire
During a review of the luxury tax on the property market that has been in operation for more than two years, since June 2011, Taiwan's Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford confirmed that the Government has no intention of its abolition, although it could be subject to such a review every two years.
His statement came at the same time as doubts have been expressed whether the tax has been successful, with property prices still increasing more than incomes in Taiwan. Zhang expressed the view, however, that the tax has had a positive impact on the property market in curbing short-term property speculation and, thereby, reducing home prices below what they would have been without it.
The prime target of the luxury tax has been properties purchased for speculative purposes (rather than as a family home), and then sold on within a short period. Under its current terms, the owner of a property suffers a 15 percent tax on its sale price if it is sold within one year of its purchase, falling to 10 percent if sold during the second year.
The Government has already, in the past, admitted that the tax's current structure, as it applies to real-estate, does not catch those wealthier speculative investors who can afford to wait for longer than two years before taking their profits.
In fact, an evaluation report on the luxury tax commissioned by the Finance Ministry has recommended that the Government should extend the luxury tax to cover properties resold within three years, or even four years, while also considering levying an additional tax on buyers who already own three properties or more to deal with those wealthy investors.
According to the report, there are some 660,000 people who own more than three properties in Taiwan, who "should be taxed to prevent property hoarding for future speculation."