A warning for foreigners filing joint taxes

My marriage broke down irretrievably over the last year, and since I’ve been in Taiwan for many years I have decided to stay here. One of the requirements for the APRC is three years’ worth of income tax statements from the tax office. Unfortunately, my wife and I filed jointly and online, which means that her name is listed as the primary taxpayer (本人, 納稅義務人) and I am just the “spouse” (配偶).

While I can get income lists for the relevant years (showing that 99.7% of our joint income came from me), I cannot obtain tax statements without her permission, which (need I say it?) she has chosen to withhold. It’s quite upsetting to find that I have no legal right to obtain a statement of taxes paid because (despite having paid my taxes) I’m not the taxpayer.

Basically, if you’re filing taxes with your wife and you ever want to be able to apply for an APRC, make absolutely sure you’re listed as the 本人 on your tax returns. I may be wrong, but I don’t think foreigners can be listed as the primary taxpayer if you file online, so that means making a paper return, or going to the tax office in person.

Happily for anyone else in my shoes, the NIA appears to have scrapped the requirement for the specific document referred to above. I think you still need to be able to prove your income, just not with that particular document only.