What to do when ROC spouse doesn't file taxes?

ROC taxes, overseas payment of taxes, withholding rates, general tax liability issues, and other tax-related matters
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What to do when ROC spouse doesn't file taxes?

Postby ymz » 14 Apr 2005, 15:35

I'm a foreigner with ARC based on marriage to an ROC spouse. I was resident here for more then 183 days in 2004. I did not have ROC source salary income (legal or not) in 2004. My only ROC income was some interest from my bank account which was deducted less than NT$50 at 20%.

My problem is that my spouse, ahem, does not file ROC taxes. I am also told that married couples must file joint tax returns. My spouse insists on not filing a return this year too, and says I should just forget filing because the amount is small. But this year I will have ROC salary income, so this will end up being a bigger problem when tax time arrives next year. Also I am told that I will need to have tax returns to apply for permanent residence later.

Is there any way at all to legally file taxes without having to say anything about my spouse's income? I thought maybe just going ahead and filing an individual return, but if they see no salary income they will wonder why I am here, and my ARC shows it is based on marriage. Any ideas?

Also, since I was here more than 183 days before opening my bank account, shouldn't the witholding be less than 20%? What should the correct amount be, and any official web pages for this that I can take to the bank in case they want to argue it?
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Postby ymz » 24 Apr 2005, 16:57

Problem solved. My spouse will file taxes now. :fume:
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Postby xtrain » 24 Apr 2005, 17:20

tax office told me that since we have been married for less than 1 year, i could still file separately, as my wife has never filed either ... does this work for you?

as you say, they will know that you are married when they look at your arc. they said we must file together next year. wife doesn't make all that much money though, certainly less than the minimum.

some people in this situation just say their wives are homemakers (some are).
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Postby ymz » 24 Apr 2005, 20:29

No, we were married more than 1 year. That is the exception I found: you can file taxes separately the first tax year of marriage, and the tax year if you divorce or spouse dies. Maybe your advice will help someone else in this situation.
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Postby Traveller » 26 Apr 2005, 11:03

Whilst it is easier for the local spouse to do the tax filing, it is not necessary, it is quite possible for the foreign spouse to do the filing.
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Postby Dragonbones » 12 Feb 2008, 20:51

xtrain wrote:tax office told me that since we have been married for less than 1 year, i could still file separately, as my wife has never filed either ...


Ok, so I have this option (to file separately or jointly), at least this time, since we got married in October. The question that remains is, are we better off filing jointly or separately? My wife is a 4th-year university student, and has an extremely low income. Will adding them together lower our taxes by putting me in a lower income bracket? I searched and searched but couldn't find any info on this on 'mosa. Thanks in advance!
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Postby housecat » 13 Feb 2008, 00:20

I was married for seven years to a Taiwanese. He never filed taxes! After the first year of this, I "solved" my problem by asking any employers to pay me cash, off the books. This usually pleased my bosses very much. Then, if asked, I could say that I had no income and was supported by my husband.

My husband refused to pay taxes because his boss, also his aunt, under reported his salary, or perhaps he wasn't even on the official pay roll. I know he was listed as a stock holder in the company. Anyway, his tax return would have caused issues for his aunt when the double books revealed themselves. He said that if there was an issue, his aunt would "take care of it" which I took to mean she would pay off whoever came to question.

This is apparently business as usual for most businesses in Taiwan, and your spouse may be in a similar position.

I don't know what you say, or do, if you're the man because a man who lets himself be supported by his wife just don't look so good. But then, as long as the male head of household is foreign, perhaps they don't look so closely, or something?
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Postby xtrain » 13 Feb 2008, 11:02

Dragonbones wrote:Ok, so I have this option (to file separately or jointly), at least this time, since we got married in October. The question that remains is, are we better off filing jointly or separately? My wife is a 4th-year university student, and has an extremely low income. Will adding them together lower our taxes by putting me in a lower income bracket? I searched and searched but couldn't find any info on this on 'mosa. Thanks in advance!


well, you get a larger deduction by filing together (2 people versus 1). if the money she makes is really little (or nothing in terms of money that needs to be reported - wink, wink), it will likely benefit you.
you can probably also claim her parents as an expense (if other siblings aren't) and get a larger deduction.

i can't tell you too much more, as the form for joint filing has not been put into english yet, or that one hasn't made it out here to the sticks - i did all the previous filings, but since then, my wife's been translating it for me. no idea if there's more that can help you.
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