Subbed with no work permit, school wants a taxpayer ID No?

I subbed for one week for a friend at a school. I was paid cash in November, but they are now asking me for a taxpayor ID no. I have a student visa an a resident ARC – what should I tell the school? I don’t have a work permit.


They should’ve asked for a work permit or applied for one in the first place. Just ignore them. They’re being silly.

If worst comes to worst, tell them your friend (the one you subbed for) will be acting as the “ren2 tou2” in whose name those taxes will be handled. Or even better, insist that one of their staff sign as the “ren2 tou2” (this course of action only if you enjoy a good show; they’re not likely to embrace the idea.) They should just put the money on his taxes and ignore the fact that there was a sub. But I sincerely doubt any tax was withheld anyway. Usually it’s easiest in this sort of situation to make some private deal with the friend – i.e., you give him 6% of the pay you get in cash to offset the tax he’ll have to pay on your earnings, or something like that – if it’s even enough money to bother about.

If the school is employing people illegally and paying cash, fudging it on the books is their problem. Tell them to grow up or ask one of the other 15 million buxibans in Taiwan how they do it.

It is not a good idea to tell buxibans to “grow up” as you usually have to be at least somewhat connected to be in the business. Anyway, even if they’re not connected, don’t make them lose face. You want to find an elegant Chinese way of making them unable to get what they want and feeling all the while that you’re doing everything in your power to help them get it (even though, naturally, you’re not).

I’m assuming that they do NOT have a copy of your passport, because if they did they would have your taxpayer ID number (unless they’ve changed, it used to be derived from your date of birth and surname). If they don’t have your passport, then of COURSE they are mistaken, and it wasn’t you subbing back in November, it must have been someone else using your name, what a cruel joke. You never signed that piece of paper, did you?

So, in order of my preference:

  1. Ignore her, maybe she’ll go away. Learn her phone number, don’t take her calls.
  2. Provide excuses. “Can’t make it Tuesday, sorry, going to be in Nantou.” “Oh, Thursday won’t work…” You’re not saying “no” so she doesn’t lose face, but you’re not fronting up there to deal with the problem either. (If there really IS a problem anyway.) This might not work as they might want the number over the phone, but I think they would need to have a copy of something – passport or ARC – for tax purposes. If they’re NOT going to use it for tax purposes then they don’t need it!
  3. Provide, by mail, what they want: a lovely photocopy (7-11 is great for this sort of creative work) of the details of a foreigner who doesn’t exist. Desktop publishing software is a marvelous thing. If they only want something to stuff in the file so they won’t get in trouble if the boss checks, this might do the trick. I’m sure that George Busch did a great job as a sub that day. :wink:
  4. Provide an alternate method of dealing with the problem (see above) preferably by phone if unavoidable.
  5. Ask for a “koujiao pingdan” (the statement of withholding) with a non-zero amount of withholding indicated. First, they have to go to the tax office to get this done (which is bothersome, so they may not want to), and they would have had to withhold tax (which they probably didn’t) so they may not want to do this. But you are completely within your rights (even in Taiwan!) to ask for a tax receipt if you’re signing off that you received money.
  6. Plausible deniability is probably the best – don’t admit you DID sub there, how would they prove it? If it comes down to it, you could suggest that if they are not willing to provide a koujiao pingdan, you would have to notify the Tax Administration. I would play this last game only with caution, because it would probably be more likely to backfire on you than to meaningfully affect them.

Just my NT$0.66, your mileage may vary. The foregoing comments do not imply approval of working without an appropriate government-issued work permit, but neither do they imply approval of a registered buxiban jerking you around and essentially taking advantage of you. :fume: