Working in Taiwan or not?

After a little advise.

If i am a British national married to a Taiwanese girl, resident here in Taiwan, and plan to earn income from work done for a UK company developing their website what are the legal and ethical responcibilities here in Taiwan?

The UK company will employ me part-time and i will pay UK taxes on the income as the amount would marginally exceed the basic UK allowance. This will be my sole income, do i also pay local Taiwan taxes on the income ? Should i declare this income in Taiwan ? Should i not pay taxes in the UK but rather taxes here ? Without a work visa here would that mean i am working illegally :shock: I mean i could get a OWP but for sitting at home doing a few web pages it seems strange ?

Someone told me that if you earn money overseas or get paid overseas it is not liable for tax in Taiwan, that somehow does not seem right and i am sure you are still going to get the Taiwan authorities asking how you manage to support yourself whilst living here !


Erm, basically as I understand it - and I’m sure there are people out there who know better than me - you are expected to pay taxes wherever you are resident.

If you are resident in Taiwan then you should pay your taxes here. As far as the UK government is concerned you are now an overseas contractor. Of course, whether the Taiwan authorities have any way of knowing about your income from overseas is a different matter…

I believe that if you choose, or are forced, to pay taxes in the UK then the question of also paying taxes here is down to whatever taxation agreements are in force between the UK and Taiwan. If the income is accepted as ‘tax paid’ by the Taiwan authorities then it’s all good, but if they don’t have a double-taxation agreement with the UK then you may still be liable for taxation here.

I dunno if there’s an inland revenue website, or what kind of information is available from other sources. You might try the BTCO, although you’ll probably get blank looks in return. I found the DTI quite helpful when I had similar questions a few years ago.

If all else fails then maybe try and get someone in the UK to call the IR as a putative employer of an overseas Brit.

Hope this helps.

Oh, and I believe that things can be complicated by the question of ‘domicile’ - where you intend to live in the long term, as opposed to a year or two being resident elsewhere.

There is information at

Income for work performed in Taiwan is taxable, without regard to the source. However, you can have income paid in your home country and the ROC can’t touch it unless it can be shown to have been earned in Taiwan. If your company hires you to work in Taiwan, you should pay taxes here. However, there are creative ways to be paid that do not entail direct payment for Taiwan based work.

If your wife claims you on her ROC tax returns, and earns even a marginal income, you are not likely to arouse any suspicions. (I lived in Taiwan for six years in a similar situation. I had US based salaries but no ROC source income, and accumulated about a hundred taiwan entry/exit stamps on a visitor visa before ever getting an ARC. No ROC official ever asked any questions about my finances. I had nothing to hide, but they never asked.)

Most people would not report the income your are asking about.

The OWP is easy and could come in handy for other things. Why not get it anyway (but not for the work you mentioned)?

(See my private message for more detailed advice. This is not legal advice, just some suggestions based on my own experience.)