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December, 30, 2016

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In Taiwan with US citizenship?Uncle Sam wants you to pay up
The China Post news staff

Many lawmakers have vowed to veto what they describe as an "unfair" agreement that Taiwan signed last week to facilitate a U.S. tax evasion crackdown reportedly set to target up to 5,000 Taiwanese who are also American citizens.

The lawmakers said the freshly-signed agreement on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) allows the U.S. government to collect data on "non-cooperative" clients from Taiwan's banks, but does not require the United States to reciprocate the favor.

Questioning Finance Minister Sheu Yu-jer over the fairness of the FATCA agreement at the Legislature's Finance Committee meeting Thursday, the lawmakers vowed to block the pact, which requires the Legislature's approval.

Sheu told the lawmakers that Taiwan would seek to sign a tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) with the United States.

The FATCA agreement is expected to affect 4,000 to 5,000 Taiwanese with U.S. citizenship, according to the Ministry of Finance.

At present, Taiwan's financial institutions have only provided the United States with the number of "non-cooperative" clients and the amount of money in their accounts, but they have not provided personal information on the clients themselves.

The Banking Bureau under the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said that, under the agreement, the U.S. government would be entitled to ask for more detailed information on clients who do not cooperate with requests for information.

Under the agreement, local financial institutions that refuse to provide the information that the U.S. government asks for would be subject to a 30 percent punitive withholding tax on U.S. source payments paid to the financial institution or its clients.

During the Thursday meeting, the finance minister admitted that the FATCA agreement enabled information flow only in one direction.

But Sheu stressed that Taiwan had to cooperate with the United States in order to avoid the U.S.' punitive measures. He added that so far, 113 countries had joined the FATCA program.

To be continued with

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•  Video game flick 'Assassin's Creed' is anything but fun
As 2016 comes to a close, focus must be on the people
The China Post new staff

2016 started with hope and is now ending with little of it.

Demonstrations have rocked the capital at frequent intervals in recent months over labor disputes, marriage equality, pension reform proposals, food imports from Japan and numerous other issues.

With the exception of marriage equality, progressive government action has been slow — and even then it came following a critical mass demonstration.

For its part, the government has taken a low-key approach to many of these disputes — arranging hastily-announced public forums, convening special committees with strange procedural guidelines and dispatching ministers to provide overly technical explanations that were most likely aimed at lowering citizen participation.

Premier Lin Chuan said the Cabinet should be seen as a team "working to solve problems." He brushed aside suggestions that he should step down despite low polling figures and promised that people would begin to experience "perceptible" changes once the government's budget was passed and policies in the pipeline were implemented.

To be continued with

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Video game flick 'Assassin's Creed' is anything but fun
By Lindsey Bahr, AP

In "Assassin's Creed " a death row inmate is saved by a shadowy organization because they need him to unlock the memories of his 15th century ancestor Aguilar to find the location of an apple that contains the genetic code to free will because Marion Cotillard wants to end violence ... or something. There have surely been sillier film premises, but even in a year that gave us "Independence Day: Resurgence," I'm hard pressed to think of anything as convoluted and, in the end, as joyless and unrewarding as this.

Yes, "Assassin's Creed" is attempting to give a serious narrative origin story to the popular video game, ostensibly setting up interest in possible future films. But it's hard to even feign interest in this one, let alone what might come next. Director Justin Kurzel's film embodies the worst tendencies of modern blockbusters to feel not like a full movie, but a tease for what's to come — a television pilot on the big screen. It's become the de facto operating mode for franchise storytelling, where instead of relying on a natural interest, the studios force audiences to want more by simply not giving them a full story in the first place.

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Bilingual News
The China Post news staff ,記者王莞甯/鉅亨網

在國內休閒運動風氣越來越盛行之下,柏文 (8462-TW)(健身工廠) 指出,將積極開發 12 歲以下兒童體適能市場,預計 2017 年 2 月開出第 1 家「Sklub 兒童體適能俱樂部」。

柏文說明,健身工廠主要服務年齡 13 歲以上的消費者,接下來同時要開拓 12 歲以下兒童體適能市場,預計明年 2 月在高雄市開首家兒童體適能俱樂部,成為國內第 1 家、也是唯一提供全年齡層專業體適能服務的業者。

在持續拓點的帶動下,柏文 11 月合併營收 1.61 億元,創單月新高,年增幅達 50.94%,觀察各營收比重,休閒運動及娛樂服務 (包括健身工廠會籍使用費、「肖跳」彈跳床和「滾吧」保齡球等休閒運動服務) 占比 62.83%,運動保健服務 (教練課程) 占 29.90%,入會費 (含手續費) 占 5.79%,而其他 (包括芳療課程、商品銷售) 占 1.48%;累計前 11 月合併營收 15.34 億元,年增 41.31%。

健身工廠已陸續增加淡水、豐原、草衙、板橋、岡山、中科、新店和新時代等 8 處據點,隨著新設據點效益逐月提升,後市營收成長可期。

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