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OFWs in Taiwan wage campaign against 20% income tax rule

By Veronica Uy
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:17:00 09/23/2008

Filed Under: Overseas Employment, State Budget & Taxes, Labor

MANILA, Philippines -- Organizations of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Taiwan oppose the new tax regulation imposing a 20 percent income tax on foreign workers who stay and work at least 183 days there, INQUIRER.net learned Tuesday.

The new regulation of the National Tax Administration of Taiwan, which was officially released on Aug. 13 this year, takes effect next January, said Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants coordinator Gi Estrada.

Previously, the 20 percent non-refundable income tax was only for those who stayed less than 183 days in Taiwan, Estrada said.

The old tax system encouraged migrant workers to stay and work longer in Taiwan. But under the new rule, those who stay beyond three months would be taxed 20 percent of their income.

Estrada called the new tax system "oppressive" because the rate is too big and "discriminatory" because it applies only to migrant workers.

He said migrant workers with a monthly salary of NT$15,480 (about P23,000 at P1.45 per NT$) to NT$17,280 (about P25,000) only receive NT$6,195 (about P9,000) to NT$11,877 (about P17,000) after deductions during the first six months of their contract.

Deductions include recruitment and medical fees.

He said the new rule would further reduce the monthly take-home pay of a migrant worker in Taiwan.

Estrada said the 15 OFW organizations plan to gather signatures to recall the ruling.

Estrada said the organizations planned to dialogue with tax officials and urged all labor-sending countries to support their call.

The groups are also asking the Taiwan government to limit deductions on the minimum wage of foreign workers to 10 percent of their income.

Some of the organizations involved in the campaign are the : Aguman Kapampangan in Taiwan; Bicol Association; Bugkos; Kapulungan ng Samahang Pilipino; Federation of Filipino Communities in Taiwan; Filipino Bowlers Club; Filipinos Married to Taiwanese Association; Migranteng Ilonggo sa Taiwan; Migrante Taiwan; OFW Family Club, Taiwan chapter; Overseas Workers Bowling Association -Taiwan; Pundok Bisaya International; Samahang Ilocano; Samahang Makata International, Taiwan chapter; and Vis-Min Association in Taiwan.



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