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April 30, 2017

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Night market peddlers will soon need to pay taxes on their business: Duh

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Night market peddlers are obliged to pay taxes, however, this will be enforced only after a mechanism for it has first been set up, said Economics Minister Woody Tyzz-Jiun Duh (杜紫軍) Friday.

Night markets have long been Taiwanese tourist attractions, yet not all peddlers have been paying their fair share of taxes. In other words, night markets are almost an underground economy operating outside the law.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) agreed that enforcing tax payments from peddlers is not an easy task, as they move around and do not have set work hours.

According to the MOF, retailers that operate in no set locations or without set schedules are not obliged to pay tax. Peddlers that operate in set locations or with government-issued business licenses are obliged to pay a 5-percent business tax. As these peddlers can be tracked more easily, the rule is enforceable in this case. The responsibility of tax collection falls on the National Taxation Bureau.

About 10 years ago, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) had a discussion over setting up rules to regulate peddlers, said Duh. But it was discovered later that peddlers run their businesses differently based on the region of operation. Variance in economic development, traffic and the local culture in each region has contributed to different operation mode for peddlers situated in Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taitung, and so on.

As such, instead of having the central government setting up the rules, local governments were tasked to draw up rules to govern peddlers. However, that job is yet to be undertaken.

1 Comment
August 25, 2014    curtisakbar@
Simple, just set a standard rate tax for all, regardless of income with variance due to geography and location. So mountainous peddlers in rural locations pay less compared to ones in the city or in tourist hotspots regardless of location (rural or urban). Have teams of inspectors that have the right to confiscate goods on the spot and they roam the night markets checking to see if vendors have their business tax license. No license leads to a fine and a requirement to purchase said license within X amount of time. Or the inspector can just impound all the goods on the spot if the peddler is obstructive, uncooperative and/or is a repeat offender.

Strike fast and hard with an iron fist, then others will soon fall in line and follow the new law.
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