Business tax sought from luxury maternity centers
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Control Yuan has decided to launch an investigation into the exemption of business tax granted to luxury postpartum nursing care centers.
August 12, 2013, 11:20 am TWN
The probe aims to plug what the watchdog deems a major tax loophole, thus helping generate more revenue for the government.
Three members of the nation's highest watchdog agency supervising government operations said that it would be unreasonable and unfair for the government and other taxpayers if luxury post-birth care centers that reap obscenely high profits pay no tax into the national coffers.
Most women in Taiwan stay at hospitals for several days after delivering babies, while the more affluent ones choose to use the services of health care centers that charge around NT$100,000 for monthlong post-childbirth care for both of the mother and her newborn.
As public health care institutions, such centers are free from paying any business tax.
However, there are now also luxury operations cropping up in the same field.
They charge a hefty fee of NT$500,000 — which can reach up to NT$600,000 after adding extra and luxury services like body slimming to help women quickly regain their pre-childbirth body shape plus other expensive services like plastic surgery or similar treatments.
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has been unable to collect any business tax from the operators who insist that their services fall in the category of public nursing homes that are immune to taxes.
But the three Control Yuan members noted that there is a need to revise the existing rules to ensure equality in taxation.
They will conduct an extensive probe to rectify the current situation.
MOF officials said that they will be glad to help the financially strapped government bring in more revenues from luxury consumption activities.
But they also explained that key still lies in the hand of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) which has to first define whether the luxury maternity care centers belong to the category of “healthcare service” or “commercial activities”.
They said the MOF is able to levy a business tax on such luxury service centers if the MOHW defines them as offering “non-medical services”.
The other option is to amend the current tax regulations as pursued by the Control Yuan, they added.