Multiple Job Legality and Taxation questions

Not positive I’m in the right forum. Because I am asking about both taxes and ARC etc I stuck it here. Please feel free to move it or flame me if you think I’m stupid.

I am about to juggle my jobs in a big way. Right now I am working for Job A, and I do some freelance writing as well.

  • Job A pays between 60-80k gross per month (I do various things for the company, each paid at a different rate. Also,my ARC is with Job A as an editor, so I did not need to do a health check). This job is taxed at 10%.
  • The freelance job pays around 12-19k per month. This job is taxed at 20%. When I complained to the tax admin at the company they said it’s the tax rule. I think they’re just too lazy to figure it all out so they just stuck the high tax rate on to cover their arses. I do get a witholding statement from them - so even though it seems like a large tax rate (is it?) I’m willing to deal with it.

Now I am thinking of changing to a new setup:

  • New Job B will be a steady salary of 72k a month, so I imagine it’ll be taxed at 10%. Job B is a teaching job and I would drop job A’s ARC and get a new one with job B.
  • I’ll continue the freelance work at the same 12-19k per month and 20% tax rate.
  • I’ll continue with Job A as Job A lite. Monthly income will be around 18k. I imagine that job A will switch to taxing at 20% as well.

Now the sources of my unsurety:

  • New Job B will be about 32 hours per week (it’s a complicated setup).
  • Because the freelance work is freelance work there are no set hours.
  • Changing Job A to lite version will only put me there 2-3 times a month for about 5 hours each time. In other words, if I turn it into a weekly average, only 2.5-~4 hours per week.

Question 1:

  • Will I need to leave the country to change the ARC (as I will be changing from editing to teaching)?
    Question 2:
  • Do I need a work permit for Job A lite? What about for the freelance job?
    Question 3:
  • Is it reasonable for the three places to tax me at the rates I mention above (new Job B: 10% / freelance company: 20% / Job A lite: 20%)?
    Question 4:
  • Any advice on record keeping (taxes for A, B, and freelance. Hours for same, etc.)?

Thanks for your help!


I would be happy to give you my views on all of this, but in my opinion the situation is much too complicated to discuss here. Additionally, from what you have said I really don’t have enough background information to evaluate your situation …

I am in the Taipei area, so you are welcome to contact me by email if you want to sit down and talk.

As a first step, you might want to visit the local Foreign Affairs Police Office and get their general “attitude” on what you can do, and what you can’t do …

Vim, I’m curious about your situation as I do the exact same thing. I teach full time and do editing and article writing for a magazine company (actually I DID do that as I just quit the editing job).
On another one of your posts you mentioned that you do NOT have a working permit from the editing job. But you DO pay taxes on that job, right? So I’m assuming that you get one of those tax receipts from your editing job?

I JUST found out that I am supposed to have a working permit (for the editing job) by law. THe company failed to mention that, even when I asked specifically about it. Recently they told me that they had called the Labor Affairs Bureau to get more information …they’ve now informed me that I just needed permission from my teaching job (the one that sponsors my ARC). Is this true, or am I being fucked around? THe last thing I need is deportation because of this company’s ignorance. I quit the job because of this situation, but since I paid taxes this is easily traceable.

So, my question to you is this: Since you don’t have a work permit from your editing job and you DO pay taxes, is it not possible for the government to prove you worked illegally?
I am in the process of having my arc/work permit renewed from my teaching job…I haven’t heard anything yet, but I am worried to high hell that there could be problems because I don’t have a work permit and I worked there for about a year.

IF they take the trouble to get records from the Tax people.

In the past, they never have. But that doesn’t mean they never will.

I’ve said it before: the day they connect the computers from Immigration/Visas, Taxes and the Council on Labor Affairs, you’ll see a mass exodus of foreigners from Taiwan the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt. :slight_smile:

Yup… what SHE said.

That is if “Ironlady” refers to the previous poster’s gender, and not to an affinity for torture devices.

They’re giving me tax receipts. I can’t figure out how the labor people could ever know I’m doing work for them (it’s freelance from home, so I couldn’t even be caught in their office). So based on this and previous advice I’ve seen I’m learning to stop worrying and love the legal system here, instead of biting my teeth.

I have also heard arguments from semi-reliable sources that “work” means supervised labor, and freelancing from home is “all right” as long as you pay taxes. But it is a very gray area. Best to keep your ear to the ground. If you can stay long enough to get one of the magical Article 51 (3) work permits, so much the better, but that isn’t easy either. It does effectively free you to freelance without having to marry an ROC national, though.

I’ve fronted up with the tax girls every year for a decade with multiple (I mean I had to fill out two or three tax forms to list all the tax withholding slips I was attaching) slips and there was never a problem from their end (but having said that, I left Taiwan in mid-2004).

Well, I can only hope what you (Ironlady) said is true. If indeed the computer systems are linked between the tax office and the Council of Labor Affairs then I could be in a bit of a pickle. Unless of course doing Freelance work doesn’t count as “work”. Geez…what a mess the bureaucratic system is here! I’ve been here 4 years and this is the first time I’ve had 2 tax slips in a tax year and the first time I’ve ever worried about having problems with it…
It seems that most people actually get caught working two jobs (one illegally) when they’re at school and the police conduct a raid. And like you said VIm, as a Freelancer, I am never in that office which means I could never be caught through a raid.
But, until I get my arc/work permit renewed I’ll be holding my breath…

OH, and another question I’m hoping someone could answer. Is it possible to earn money and pay tax on that money without actually having a job??? For example, having RRSPS, would one receive a tax slip for something like that??? If so, it would make it less likely that my situation causes any flags to go up.

If you’ve been on an ARC for all of those 4 years, you’re just one year away from an “Open Work Permit” under Article 51. Courage!!

So Vim, , when you fill out your tax form are you including the tax receipts from BOTH jobs? I did this for the first time this year as it is the first time I’ve had two seperate incomes. I then went in about two weeks ago to get another sheet of paper proving that I had paid my taxes. This paper is then used to renew my arc. But since the numbers on that will not match up with my tax receipt from my arc job I’m thinking it might cause some issues for me…

Where does one find a copy of “Article 51”? Online at all??[/quote]

Regarding the question about withholding, this is a truly confusing area as withholding is done at different rates depending on the type of income and whether you qualify for the lower resident tax rates, or whether you are from a country Taiwan has a double taxation agreement with. If you look at the top section of the withholding statement you’ll find what they claim your type of income is. Salary and professional services (e.g. freelance work) are completely different types of income and have different rates of withholding.

The one thing to keep an eye on is to make sure the withholding statements correctly identify whether you qualify for the lower resident tax rate. This part is on the withholding form below the tax id number box, and if I recall correctly this part of the form is only in Chinese. Basically if you’ve been in the country more than 183 days this year or last then the boxes indicating that should be marked appropriately. Some employer’s accountants are too lazy to check the foreign worker’s actual status and will assume your arrival date is whenever you started working for them.

To make sure that you are having withholding done correctly, you will want to visit your local district’s tax office and check with the withholding desk to see that the correct rates are used. They usually don’t speak English so take someone with you if your Chinese isn’t up to the task. You will want to prepare as following beforehand:

  • Whether you have been in the country more than 183 days either this year or last to qualify for the resident tax rate.

  • If not considered a resident, are you a resident of a country Taiwan has a tax agreement with?

  • For each job you receive income for a clear description of the type of work so that they can properly classify the type of income.

(If you happen to be in Zhongshan district the tax office there is at the corner of Nanjing and Songjiang Roads in the Asia Trust Building. The withholding desk is on the 9th floor just to the left when you walk in the office.)

This refers to the Employment Services Act Article 51 which outlines certain cases where someone can apply for an open work permit which then covers any employment you take: … wevta1.htm

Even better is the Article 48 exemption for foreign spouses.

Any update on this situation?
Did youz guys get your work permits?