The Taxman cometh

What is the tax situation if I have a working visa and ARC from one company but am working part-time for another company which insists on declaring and paying tax on my salary?

In a nutshell: According to the ROC Income Tax Law, you should pay income tax on income earned for services rendered in the ROC.

If you do so, you will have no problem.

Your second job is illegal. Why on earth are you paying tax on it?


Although your second job may be illegal from the point of view of the Council of Labor Affairs, as I have stated above, according to the ROC Income Tax Law, you should pay income tax on income earned for services rendered in the ROC.
If you do so, you will have no problem.

As for whether or not you have a Work Permit, the tax authorities simply don’t care.

Thats a funny thing that many people are not aware of.

Most tax authorities in countries around the world don’t care if you have a permit or not, why should they, they are getting money from you.
They are busy enough dealing with tax dodgers rather than hunting down people for immigration services.

I paid tax in the states and in Australia in this manner although my work permission was rather shady to say the least.

Yeah, but my point is that if you’re not worried about breaking the law by working illegally, why would you worry about breaking the law by paying taxes? If I was (heaven forbid) working illegally and they told me to pay taxes I’d be like “you’re not even giving me a work permit, you’re hiring me illegally, you undoubtedly lie about the number of students here so that you can cheat on your own taxes, but you want me to pay tax?!?”.


Hence, “The Fear”…

What sort of liability is there on our part, for illegal actions performed by our employer? This may sound a little naive, but (how) are foreign workers supposed to know and understand the details of the contract (i.e. working permit) submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs? I don’t, my colleagues don’t, my employer doesn’t, and I’m sure that most beaureacrats don’t, as everything seems open to (re)interpretation…

Also, the notion of “contract” (i.e. agreement) in Chinese society seems so different to what I had become accustomed to in the West. In my professional experience as an Architect, a contract has always been an express agreement for an exchange of “services”. But the rigid and tortious legal nature of a western contract doesn’t seems to gel here.

Without wanting to start up a topic on “misunderstandings relating to agreements”, there is certainly a Fear that information may be witheld from foreigners, and so a misunderstanding or misinterpetation is always on the cards. Is this a risk that we should simply accept? Is there a simple and safe way for foreigners to operate in Chinese society? Is legal representation always necessary?

And who gets the bigger slap on the pee-pee for breaking the law: a foreigner - for working beyond the limitations of a contract, whether it be a work permit or a commercial agreement - or a boss for breaching contract by providing misleading information to his employees, or for fudging the figures he presents to the government?

By the way, here’s my earlier post on “The Fear”. Apologies, as I’d submitted it in a similar topic regarding the legalities of providing consulting services, and haven’t worked out how to hyperlink. “Fear, The”: Unpleasant emotion caused by bad expectation. Examples of “The Fear”:

  1. Unhealthy paranoia due to imminent shafting from a Taiwanese beaureacrat.
  2. Catalepsy as a result of any form of (unwelcome) question from ANY Taiwanese bureaucrat.

Ed: With reference to definition 2, the word “unwelcome” is a tautology, as any question in the abovementioned situation would clearly be unwelcomed; it is therefore redundant.

Taiwanese bureaucrat /n: Any administrator who demonstrates four of the following seven characteristics: oppressive, insensitive, inflexible, Taiwanese, oppressive, insensitive, inflexible.
With respect to bureaucracy, four of these words are also redundant.

Catalepsy /n: state of seizure with loss of sensation and consciousness accompanied by sudden internal fluid movement in a downward direction.


Big Babou.