Am I working illegally? And what does it mean?

I’ve read many times about the “only work at the address on the ARC” but for some reason it never struck me: I work at 2 different addresses with only 1 address on my ARC. Is that automatically illegal? The two branches I work at are run by a husband and wife team. I don’t know if that makes any difference. So am I illegal?

Also, what does this mean? Besides risk of deportation, does it affect getting back my taxes? What does it really mean, or potentially mean?

yup, it’s illegal to work anywhere that isn’t on your ARC. Do they file tax for the two places seperately, or on your main amount. Sure the tax will be ok. Make sure that they aren’t lying about how much you are earning…if it is too low you can not apply for a APRC one day.

What is an APRC?

Also, I have no idea how they “file taxes”. Frankly, they just give me cash in a brown envelope and say they took out 20%. Is that a red flag? How do I make sure they are reporting the proper amount of money?

Also, I’m planning on breaking my contract and quitting. Does this give me leverage over them? Or does it give them leverage over me?

Once you have been here for 5 years you can apply for an APRC…it’s like permanent residency. So you can work anywhere you like, even at a Starbucks. BUT you need to earn more than double minimum wage (minimum wage is about NT15 000, so you need to make more than NT30 000)

I paid my taxes legally for 5 years…then changed schools. The taxes werent taken off my monthly pay, but my boss assured me that I can just go pay it once a year. I went to the tax office and only had to pay a couple of thousand. Turns out they only said I earn NT22 000!!! AAAAAAAAAARGH.

Taxes for the previous year are filed between March and May…If you have been at that school for more than a year, you should have done it at least once.(pay taxes that is…)

Thanks for the advice. I don’t intend to stay here for 5 years. I’ve only been here 5 1/2 months and I intend to quit within the next 2 months. I haven’t paid taxes here before or anything. Total noob. But your advice and help is appreciated.

I work at one school for about 13-16 hours a week. The other school for about 3 hours a week. Will this really affect me? How do I find out how much they are claiming for my taxes, or even how they are claiming me, since I’m only supposed to be working for the one school and not the other? Any thoughts?

You need to ask them for proof of their payment of your tax money. Many employers say they are paying tax, but they are not.

Get copies of the paperwork from them for their payment of your tax. If they hum and haw over it, keep on their case about it until they produce. If they haven’t paid it yet, getting on their case may give them the impetus to get on the move and pay it. If not, I would tell them that you intend on going to the tax office to get copies yourself. Just stress that you like to keep your paperwork in order and need something in writing regarding where your 20% is going. That’s not an unreasonable request to push for. Not in Taiwan, where you can’t trust anyone to do the right thing when it comes to your money.

Dumb question:

Could I just go to the tax office myself and bypass the bosses? It’s like pulling teeth to get them to acknowledge I exist, much less talk together. Asking them to do something I know they will moan and complain about, maybe even get suspicious about, isn’t something I want to do right now unless there is no other way.

[quote=“Anubis1000”]Dumb question:

Could I just go to the tax office myself and bypass the bosses? It’s like pulling teeth to get them to acknowledge I exist, much less talk together. Asking them to do something I know they will moan and complain about, maybe even get suspicious about, isn’t something I want to do right now unless there is no other way.[/quote]

That’s not a dumb question, it’s a really good one. I suppose you could, but I have no idea if the tax folks would be able to dig up the info you need without a tax number…but I could be wrong. Does anyone know for sure about how that works?

But actually, come to think of it, the info on your ARC should be enough for them to dig up your tax info…and I guess that if nothing has been paid in your name, you can have them call the school to put pressure on them to pay it.

You CAN go to the tax office yourself with a friend to find out the situation. Really, you need to be doing the math yourself about how much you’re paid and how much you’re owed. You can’t know about the tax if they aren’t giving you monthly receipts for taxes paid.

Chances are great that they are NOT paying your taxes, or are not paying them for your entire salary–they’re under-reporting the amount you’re paid. If this is the case, you could be asked to pay the difference! Yes, you can aske the tax office to ask your employer to pay the difference, but if the tax office finds out that they are deliberatly under-reporting your salary (can you prove this? If you’re simply paid with an envelope, there should be an amount written on the envelope and they should have a second book that you sign when you accept this cash, right? You may have to be able to copy that–a very closely guarded illegal book) the school will be fined. I don’t know how much, but I think it’s quite a lot. What they are guilty is tax evasion.

All this is to say, if you’re planning to leave your JOB in a couple months and get another job in Taiwan, it might be a good idea to straighten this thing out. If you’re leaveing TAIWAN, maybe it isn’t worth it. Chances aren’t that great that you’ll actually get to collect your tax rebate anyway, and you could end up having to pay what the school has not.

Thanks for the advice. I think heading to the tax office is the best idea.

Yes, I do sign something. They staple a record of my working hours to my clock-in sheet. I sign it and they hand over an envelope with my money in it, plus they write how much money is in the envelope. However, they don’t sign the envelope or anything. It just has the number written on it. So I guess that could be kinda shady.

Thanks for your help. I do have friends around here. I’ll be asking them for their advice, especially about the tax situation. I don’t ask them for help much because they all have the Taiwanese mentality. Everyone breaks the law a little, so it’s no big deal, and they also believe in the worker being loyal to the boss comes first. So I’ve been slow to ask for help until I know I have some real need.

I do intend to leave Taiwan soon after I’m finished with this job. So I’m trying to figure out what is best. Long court battles or even mediation sounds less than savory, especially since I just want to get out. I also want to do what’s right. Thanks for everyone’s advice. If you can think of anything else, just post away.

Small update:

My boss told me they only give out tax receipts/records (or the equivalent) once a year and nobody gets anything except right before filing taxes. Is this normal? Or is this a red flag?

Looks like I’ll have to head to the tax office myself if I want any records or concrete proof of anything.

It’s normal. :sunglasses:

Latest update:

Nothing much to report except I’ve been on island over 183 days and they still took out 20% taxes. Also, they cheated me out of 2 hours of work (didn’t get paid). The boss lady is rather subtle. She didn’t bring my time sheets this time which listed 70 hours (I calculated), but I got paid for 68 hours of work. Not something I recognized when I didn’t have my calculator (though I did notice the lack of tax reduction).

If you want to check my math: I arrived in Taiwan on May 1. Started working on May 7. Left for Hong Kong on May 29, returned May 30 and have been here ever since. My math says if you take out 2 days for my visa run, I accumulated 183 days around November 2 or so. What say you?

IN a typical Taiwanese work environment, they are supposed to take out 20pct of your paycheck until you have gone past the 183 days, then they can recalculate what you have already paid in according to the tax table and you may pay very little tax for the rest of the year. And at the end of the year they give you the tax papers you need to go file. At least thats what they did with me. The law is that if you stay less then 183 days in the tax year (jan 1st to Dec 31st) you pay a flat 20pct of your earnings, but once you go over, you pay the same as a local person per the tax table.

Its normal to get a receipt of taxes paid only once a year ( I think they only pay this once a year and not monthly to the government).

So, are you saying they are cheating me then? Because I’ve gone over 183 days and I’m still paying 20% taxes. Or more properly, they are still withholding 20% of my pay, claiming taxes. Thanks for the legal info, but I’m more interested on the “what does it mean for me” sense of things.

Also, how does one tell the CLA that they have sent notice? I plan on giving notice around Friday and offer to stay until December 5 or 6. Since these folks seem shady in many ways, I think it’s best to cover myself as much as possible. However, I don’t quite understand the proper procedure or manner to go about doing it.