The article about the 5th extension was updated today with details of the removal of the 180 day limit, making it official that people on visa-exempt and tourist visas can now exceed the limit (but check your eligibility):
The updated message has specific case examples which to me make it very clear, but I do still wonder given how “all over the place” this policy update was just yesterday, with quite different messages from different offices and for different people - plus how the examples seem to contradict the criteria of the title that says for foreigners who already ate over 180 days.
The cases though go on the explain this is about total duration, and include 180 days and up, meaning people on a 90 day visa exemption now qualify automatically.
…but I don’t know if everybody is on the same page at this point yet.
Probably the authorities were looking for a face saving way out of all this confusion. Clearly, the original announcement was either wrongly drafted or they subsequently changed their opinion on what they wanted. So to resolve this in a face saving way they left the text of the original announcement, but then made clear what is really meant in the Q&A. Anyway, with the Q&A below the announcement it is now very clear what is and is not possible and the authorities should be applauded for the extension.
My guess is that there is something in one of the immigration regulations or laws which refers to the 180 day limit (for example, perhaps there is some kind of change in rights or status if someone goes over 180 days), which is why they’ve kept this limit in all the previous announcements. Presumably someone has realised that it isn’t realistic to maintain this stance in the current pandemic situation, and they’ve been figuring out a way to work around the issue.
The latest announcement says “According to the CECC’s decision on July 16, 2020, a special visa extension policy will be devised by NIA, in order to resolve the situation in which foreigners are exceeding the maximum stay period of 180 days and unable to extend their stay.”
I don’t think this kind of wording hast been used in previous announcements, so it seems to imply they are having to make a special change to deal with the 180 day issue.
Good read. I called immigration again and they confirmed that the q&a section is authoritative, meaning the 180 limit for visa exempt people who had a full 180 days (and did not reach it as of July 17, unless by explicit permission - I.e. special exemption application) is now extended to 210 days automatically given the special circumstances.
I am also with you on commendation for the compassionate way the government is handling the crisis. Even the fact they are being so proactive in issuing (and clarifying) notices in English in and of itself is a testament to that.
You only have to pay AMT if you have overseas income of more than NT$6.7million per year (and you’ve stayed over 183 days in a calendar year). This basically covers investment income, interest, capital gains etc from outside Taiwan, not salary.
If you are working while here in Taiwan (even if it’s for an overseas company), then that will likely be considered as locally earned income, and so would come under the local income tax regime rather than AMT. If you have already paid tax on the income in the country of origin, then there is most likely a way to credit the tax paid against your Taiwanese tax so you don’t get double tax.
Also different rules apply if you have Taiwanese passport (e.g. I don’t think the 183 day limit applies). Probably a good idea to check with a CPA if you’re unsure.
Some countries have suspended these types of tax residence rules based on how long people have stayed, given that many are stranded or delayed and have been unable to leave before they hit the limit, however so far I don’t think Taiwan has made any announcements along these lines.
I like how they are making the announcement with regularity. This is a big plus, as it lets us to whom it applies, be more easily able to make plans one way or the other, and provides a feeling of stability. If any government staff is reading this, all of this is very much appreciated.