My University Employer Won't Give me My Rental Receipts

ROC taxes, overseas payment of taxes, withholding rates, general tax liability issues, and other tax-related matters
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My University Employer Won't Give me My Rental Receipts

Postby Shimokitazawa » 31 May 2008, 04:46

I teach at a school in Taipei and have lived in school housing for the few years.

The school charges me each month for what I have recently learned is a "maintenance" fee and not actually rent. It turns out the university is just taking this money and not paying taxes on it and leaving the teachers to pay the tax on the dough. That is, the school refuses to give us rental receipts even though we are paying rent ("maintenance").

I owed NT $13,000 in taxes and my girlfriend told me that had the school given me my rental receipts, I could have actually received money back from the tax office (she worked it out on a calculator).

Do they (tax people) have any teeth or will "guanxi" on the part of the university officials (it's a private university in Taipei) and the tax people mean that nothing will ever ultimately be done to correct the situation?
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Postby bababa » 31 May 2008, 05:44

This is normal in Taiwan. You can claim rent as a tax deduction, but to do so you need the landlord's assistance. The landlord usually is not declaring the rental income, so will not give you receipts. However, IF you insist on receipts for tax purposes, the landlord will lose money; to make it up, he will have to charge more rent. The last place i rented, when i asked for reeipts the landlord said the rent would be 1,000 NT a month higher with receipts - thus negating any tax savings.
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Postby Bu Lai En » 31 May 2008, 10:44

But you don't actually need the receipts do you? I've got tax back, just by bringing in the contract.
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Postby Indiana » 31 May 2008, 10:46

I discovered this tax rule a few years back, and my landlord refused too. In fact, he used to rip up my lease when it was finished before starting a new one the following year. Crooked bastard.

Welcome to Taiwan. :noway:
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Postby Shimokitazawa » 31 May 2008, 16:40

Bu Lai En wrote:But you don't actually need the receipts do you? I've got tax back, just by bringing in the contract.


The lady at the tax office told me to bring in my contract and they will have a look at the wording. But the tax official already suspected and told me that the school was just pocketing the money and not paying tax on it and told me that they may not be looking at it as rent. After some investigation and having them look at the wording, the language used on the contract is maintenance fee.
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Postby Indiana » 31 May 2008, 17:39

Shimokitazawa wrote:She also cautioned me to sign my new employment contract with the university before they launched their investigation of the school as she expected they might try to "punish" me by not offering me a new contract once the Tax office started asking them questions.


Charming. And this says a LOT about the maturity level of the Taiwanese.

I am SO glad I left. :s
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Postby TainanCowboy » 31 May 2008, 20:55

Shimo -
It sounds like this lady at the Tax Office is pretty sharp. Cultivate your relationship with her. It could pay dividends.
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