Leaving Taiwan (Paying 'Phantom' Tax?)

Not sure if this is the right place to ask but here goes!

So I met a guy last night who told me he’s been living in Taiwan for close to a year now and that he’s headed back home in a few weeks’ time. The thing is, the buxiban he’s been ‘working’ for hasn’t had any classes for him for an entire year. He’s been sustaining himself with private tuition jobs.

Pretty sure this isn’t allowed but of course I didn’t say it right in his face. I did mention though that when going through immigration at the airport, they’ll check if you’ve paid your tax and that may be a problem when that happens, and he admitted he had not thought of that.

Anyone knows of cases like this that has happened? What would happen upon exiting Taiwan?

I’ve never heard of this specific situation, but there’s a few possible outcomes, depending on circumstances.

If the buxiban really hasn’t had any classes, then they should not have paid him. You are always supposed to file taxes if you have an ARC, but if you have a net income of 0, then obviously you won’t owe any money. So, the first outcome is that they check his tax situation, see he owes nothing, and there are no issues. They could also see that he owes nothing but never filed, in which case I think the maximum penalty is that they restart any time towards his APRC. I had a friend who owed taxes and the penalty was that he had to pay and they restarted the time towards his APRC. This may have changed though.

The other possibility, which I think would be small, is that they see he had zero income from his ARC provider and start questioning where he got income from. If they could prove that he was doing privates (which I don’t know how easy/hard it would be to do) then they could ban him from returning to Taiwan for a period of time.

They do not check tax at the airport. There is no exit stamp, that ended last century.

Why do people scaremonger like this?

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Hm, how else would they know if you haven’t paid your tax and not allow you to leave Taiwan?

I’ve seen multiple cases of people claiming they’ve been stopped because they hadn’t paid their taxes.

If I’m wrong I’ll apologize. Can anyone corroroborate?

If you’re ARC is still valid they wouldn’t even know you’re doing a runner.

Also, why are we in the moving to Taiwan forum? This is more moving away…

Yeah wasn’t sure about where to open this thread in. Any moderator is welcome to move it, sorry about that.

Well, his ARC expires the day he leaves so technically, it’s no longer valid

The airlines are required to check your ARC when you check in for your flight. I’m pretty sure they will notice the expiration date. I’m not positive what questions they ask in such a case.

Either way, none of this really matters if the person doesn’t plan on returning to Taiwan.

That’s what I thought.

Also, according to him, he intends to return to Taiwan a month later purely for leisure which was I told him problems might surface. Not planning on coming back for good probably won’t be an issue.

Exactly. The Entry/Exit bureau has no legal power to stop you leaving and to be honest could care less about your tax status.

Not unless he applies for a new ARC. They might require a tax certificate in that circumstance. But if you enter visa free again the Entry/exit bureau has zero interest in your tax status unless there’s an outstanding warrant or you are on a blacklist due to an overstay or illegal working.

It would be an issue if applying for a new ARC; the NIA does require proof of tax payment. If coming back only to visit, I don’t think it would be an issue. Technically they could not let him enter the country, but it’s highly unlikely.

So, not sure about TW, but not being able to leave due to taxes owed is no joke. E.g. HK wont let you leave if you have taxes unpaid.

But, I would expect that a significant time must have passed between the due date of your taxes and when they put i place a exit ban…


True, but if the person’s situation is really as described, he has no taxable income and therefore no unpaid taxes.

They used to require an exit stamp in your passport from the tax office here. But those days are long gone.

Right, but I am thinking more of the situation in which the guy left Taiwan with say 1mil in unpaid taxes and then returns 5 years later for vacation… Do Taiwan put exit bans in these kinds of situations?

Who the hell has 1 million in unpaid taxes? No kindy teacher I ever met…:joy:

You get stopped when you leave if the tax office actively puts an exit ban on you. This probably only happens if you don’t pay any taxes for years and you are being investigated for it.

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You’re going to have to owe a lot of taxes for this to happen.

The only thing that comes close to this that I personally knew of was a person that part owned several chain restaurants. One of the other part owners said they were doing the books and making the requisite payments for taxes and so on. Eventually the tax department did an audit and it came out he owed quite a lot of sales, income, and business tax. He was advised by his lawyer to leave the country immediately as the prosecutor’s would seek to confiscate his passport (and possibly detain him) the following Monday. After leaving the investigation continued and he was placed on an Interpol warning list but nothing was enforceable.

Before anyone asks no he did not do this on purpose. He was duped by the other part owner. He lost quite a substantial amount of money and even the franchise headquarters (both in Taipei and the US) refused to help him in any way to try and resolve the matter. I had my own dealings with the part owner that ripped him off and all I can say is they deserve to be in jail for a very long time. But white collar crime doesn’t really work like that. Here or most other countries.

I think I know the person you are talking about.

The other part owner was his wife, right?