Filing Taxes Online...God bless 'em for trying

The alternate title for this thread is “How to waste time using a Taiwanese website.”

So every year I’ve always just shown up at the tax office with my tax withholding statement, ID, and a lost look. The nice lady behind the “foreigners” counter fills out everything for me and ten minutes later I’m on my merry way, trying to avoid the angry glares of the locals who must take a number and wait.

Today is a day off for me, and since I had nothing better to do on this rainy day, I took a look at the tax bureau website and was excited to see this…

Clicking on News item #1 takes you to the following (instructional?) video posted on You Tube…

Cool. However, it would have been nice if a website address, phone number, or ANY kind of helpful information had been included in the video or video description.

All is not lost, though, because I have the website open right before my eyes. I guess I should click on that e-Filing link. Here’s what comes up…

So even a hairy, big-nose Alien like me can download a program to file my taxes online, and also a Users Guide. Sweet! Let’s get downloading.

It turns out that the Users Guide and tax filing program can only be used with Internet Explorer. Let’s see, IE must be on my PC somewhere…I think I used it once before to download Firefox and Chrome. Ah, there it is!

The Users Guide is accessed through a Taiwanese version of PowerPoint called PowerCam. Here’s a screen shot from the Users Guide; it’s highly educational…

I’m not that concerned by the fact that the OS in the instructions is Windows XP. What does concern me, though, is the fact that the Users Guide provided on the English language section of the Tax Bureau’s e-filing site is in freaking Chinese.

Calm down, Steve. Surely the program itself must be in English. Apprehensively I run the program…

Ah, my worrying was for naught…

Yay English! I’m all set to file my taxes.

Uh-oh, remember that You Tube video?

Well, it seems that “File your taxes for 2012 tax year 05/01~05/31” does not mean what I assumed it to mean…

Anyway, I’ve learned my lesson. Tomorrow I will go to the tax office with my papers, I will thank the nice woman for completing everything for me, and when I’m passing those angry glares from the Taiwanese still waiting for their number to be called, I’ll shrug my shoulders and mutter “Cha bu duo.”

Don’t feel bad. Even my (Taiwanese) S.O. can’t figure it out. Gov’t departments here are generally helpful and efficient, but software/UI design is definitely not their strong point.

I translated the script for that ad… Looks like they made lots of changes afterward though. Kind of a crappy feeling. :-/

Ah, but that is just a wonder, isn’t it? Year after year I go in, and I think I’ve filled everything out properly, but no, every year I’ve made a mistake and they show me a way to save a bit more money. All quickly and efficiently done.

I just tried it and it worked :thumbsup:

Well, well, reading your post, I though that 05/01 was maybe a special date. So I tried on 05/15, I got the infamous “2013/05/15 is not a valid date” message and no way to get pass it :frowning:

Any ideas anyone or am I due for a visit to the Tax office ?

Am actually getting this same freaking issue. Not sure how can fix it but will try and call their office and see if there’s any way around it…

I was getting the same date error and even hiked across town to pick up paper copies of the forms. One of my husband’s colleagues (who tests software) said to try the following to fix the error. He said that it is happening because the tax office only tested their software on Taiwan-based computers.

“You need to go into Windows and change both the Date format and System Location to Taiwan.”

I just tried it - and it did fix the date problem so that the software actually opened this time. I have not had a chance to enter our data yet but at least now I can start…


Not sure if it was asked… couldn’t find it in the topics.

But since the print out from the software refuses to be scannable this year (the bar code for payment, I used this method twice before it was ok, this year, however I print the slip, go to 7-11 or FM, the bar code reader cannot read it) I want to try the online payment. I have the USB ATM that I use successfully with my TV (MOD payments), but I just can’t figure out how to use it with the tax software… is there some kind of driver I need?


Thanks in advance for any tips.

Yeah, I can’t seem to figure out how to use this thing also. There is something where they ask for your entry and exit dates. I left and came back 3 times last year and easily have over 183 days for sure. But I can’t seem to figure out how to add all my dates in there because they only seem to allow one. Also, the form I got from my work has a lot of Chinese on it and what they are asking for in English on the software isn’t matching up. Have all of the other problems from last year been fixed? I’m probably gonna give up and go to the tax office anyway, but this could be helpful for others.

Ok, I have successfully finished it this year too. Last two years were much easier.

The date I always pick the latest one, usually around the time, not even exact, and so far no one seemed to mind.
Generally you need only few things from the paper:
Company name
Companys Tong-Bian number
Tax amount
Witholding tax amount
The category of tax (usually should be only salary, but the paper has the code like B50 or something)

Then I always choose basic stuff (though I did have some investments this year). There’s lots of stuff you might not need to fill in, just click next then, don’t worry about it. Deductions are important though! make sure they’re checked properly.

Finally you choose to pay cash or online (there’s check too, but never tried this one). If you choose cash, the system will prompt you to print a receipt with bar code you can use to pay in 7-11. Last two years it worked great for me, this year bar code wasn’t working in 7-11 nor Family mart, even I tried printing in different ways. So I had to pay on-line… you need the USB ATM then, install the drivers on the computer for your ATM thingy, and then go to the website, where you give just your ID number and amount that the software calculated for you. Print the receipt as proof of payment.

Then print the envelope, the statement letter (sign this one), and copy your passport. Put the payment proof copy (! keep the original), and the letter and passport copy to the envelope, and mail it (address and all is printed, but you need to buy stamp, I suggest registered mail too).

Sounds complicated, but actually the software has all the clues in it. I was just frustrated because I didn’t install the ATM drivers first and it wasn’t working, and well also for some reason the bar code wasn’t working either. But all done now :discodance:

Good luck

Was picking up the forms in my local office in Xindian yesterday. If you previously filed they will burn a CD with your information and that can apparently be used with the software to automatically fill in some of the details, no idea if it works or not.

If you used software before you should keep the files to do it as well. Generally you save your filling records.

This time of the year again. I usually go to the tax office in person, but want to do it online this time. Since I am on a English Win 8 machine I need to get rid of the gibberish that is supposed to be Chinese characters. Their suggestion of going to Control Panel / Region etc. does not work. Annoys the hell out of me. Anyone solved that problem before?

Oh, problem solved. Needed to change “Change system locale…” under the “Administrative” tab too, for anyone who needs to know. :slight_smile: