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June 29, 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.

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