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September 20, 2017

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Ma promises to resign if subject to taxes in States

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- If President Ma Ying-jeou is indeed subject to U.S. taxes, he will take political responsibility by resigning, the Presidential Office said yesterday.

Next Magazine yesterday released a report claiming that the president has to pay taxes to the U.S. under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), saying that Ma is poised to turn himself into an "international laughingstock" by becoming the first R.O.C. president subject to U.S. taxes.

That the president of Taiwan has to pay taxes to the U.S. is an unacceptable shame to this nation, and more importantly, Ma has been dishonest, making all sorts of excuses to evade the fact that he became head of state while holding a valid Green Card, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang said in response to the Next Magazine report. "If Ma has a sense of shame and responsibility, he ought to step down immediately."

Former DPP Chairmen Frank Hsieh and Yu Shyi-kun made similar remarks while speaking to the press.

The Presidential Office would like Su, Hsieh and Yu to promise that they will apologize to the nation for their unfounded remarks, Presidential Office spokeswoman Garfie Li said.

Next Magazine, IRS Beijing

A Next Magazine reporter apparently sent an email to IRS Beijing, claiming to be a Green Card holder named "Mark Y. J. Ma" born on July 12, 1950, and asked whether or not he — "Mark Y. J. Ma" — is subject to tax payments under FATCA.

The magazine explained that the inquiry was explicitly written using the president's Green Card details.

IRS Beijing reportedly responded by saying that even if a person's Green Card expires, "it doesn't necessarily mean that (the person is) no longer (a) U.S. resident for tax purposes" and that the person "is required to report and pay (U.S.) tax on (his or her) worldwide income regardless of where (he or she) lives," unless that person has voluntarily renounced his or her Green Card status "in writing" to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or if that status has been "administratively terminated" or "judicially terminated" by the USCIS or a U.S. federal court.

Response to Report, 'IRS Reply'

According to sources, the president applied for a Green Card under the name "Ying-jeou Ma" as opposed to "Mark Y. J. Ma."

Furthermore, the president was born on July 13, 1950, not July 12, 1950.

Experts said that legal action can be taken against the reporter for attempting to impersonate the head of state.

Sources said that IRS Beijing wrote a "general response" as opposed to a specific response to "Mark Y. J. Ma," judging from the content of the reply.

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