Taipei 20th most expensive for expats according to Bloomberg

Here are the world’s top 20 most expensive places for expats (with the March 2021 ranking in parentheses):

  1. Hong Kong (2021 ranking: 1)
  2. New York, US (4)
  3. Geneva, Switzerland (3)
  4. London, UK (5)
  5. Tokyo, Japan (2)
  6. Tel Aviv, Israel (7)
  7. Zurich, Switzerland (6)
  8. Shanghai, China (9)
  9. Guangzhou, China (10)
  10. Seoul, South Korea (8)
  11. San Francisco, US (15)
  12. Shenzhen, China (12)
  13. Singapore (13)
  14. Beijing, China (16)
  15. Jerusalem, Israel (18)
  16. Bern, Switzerland (17)
  17. Yokohama, Japan (11)
  18. Copenhagen, Denmark (14)
  19. Oslo, Norway (19)
  20. Taipei, Taiwan (21)

What do you think of this list?

Renting a place, Taipei is dirt cheap if you don’t have a high standard. Buying a place however…what a joke, real estate is nuts here due to terrible value imo

Taipei is among the cheapest in the developed world if you opt out of driving/buying a home and you eat like the average local does

it depends how they define expats. if its an expat family that sends kids to TAS and lives in Jasper Villa in Xinyi, Taipei is very expensive.
i was friends with a british guy working off shore wind here. housing allowance of 85K, and 3 kids in TES, total cost just for housing and tuition 2.5 million ntd a year.
if its a family that sends kids to local schools and rents regular place…


Renting a place that’s suitable for a family with kids is still gonna be very high and definitely more than the cost of a house in their home country.


I agree with your point, a 3BR apartment will cost more, but there are apartments for 40K and apartments for 120K… it depends what and where you choose to live.

I feel like Taipei is in top 5, probably #1 or #2 for me. 40% income tax rate and 20% corporate tax rate, super expensive modern apartments to rent or buy, so I pay way more than if living the same lifestyle in Hong Kong or Singapore.

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if you own your own business, and still end up in the 40% tax bracket you pay yourself too much. most company owners here pay themselves low salaries to avoid too much taxes.

The Taiwan company dividends put me in the 40% bracket

I don’t use the small business method that most small businesses use here, but go through that audit process with only filing deductions for actual receipts, so my Taiwan company taxable income is quite high and then go through double taxation with dividends for a total tax of closer to 50%.


I think you need a better CPA to be honest.

well, let’s look on the positive side, if you pay that much tax your business is doing well :slight_smile: keep up the good work!

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The small business method isn’t compliant with US taxation and form 5471 comes with 500k USD fraud penalties plus jail time, so it wasn’t worth it. I had to convert the Taiwan books to US accounting practices and file based on that.


If your business makes real money in Taiwan it’s not quite that simple. The small fry can get away with a lot here, though.

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