I’m in what seems to be a rather peculiar and unclear tax and visa situation. I have an ARC based on my status as a graduate student, and I receive a small amount of pay from a publisher in Taiwan for whom I perform services on a freelance basis. The publisher deducts 20% in taxes from my pay, and sends me a receipt which I’m supposed to sign and return. The only relevent information I’ve received from my employer so far is: “foreingers without an I.D. number 統一證號 are taxed 10% or 20% of their income (10% for payment over 20,000 and 20% for over 10,000).”
My question are:
- Am I working illegally, and if so, how can I avoid running into any trouble or jeopardizing my student status and scholarship?
- My employer needs a tax number for me, either my passport number or my ARC number (they say it’s up to me). Which one should I give them?
- Along with each invoice, my employer sends a receipt which I am supposed to sign and return to them. Should I do as they ask?
- I’ve already been here for several years, most recently with a multiple-entry visa. Shouldn’t I have around 6% of my pay withheld (as in the past) rather than 20%?
- Apart from my scholarship, my official income is very low. Should I apply for a tax refund, and will the full amount be refunded? Or would applying for a refund just draw unwanted attention to my grey income and status?
- Could I just fill our a few papers and get formal permission to do a little freelancing while retaining my student status?
Many thanks for your words of wisdom!