One ARC, two schools. Legal or not?

Work Permits, Employment Qualifications, Employer Problems
Forum rules
While the moderators are happy to help point people in the right direction for legal assistance and to attempt to keep these forums civil and tidy, please bear in mind that an Internet forum is not the place for providing or receiving legal advice or for the creation of any attorney-client privileges or obligations. Also keep in mind that Forumosa and the moderators cannot conduct comprehensive reviews of all laws or legal concepts referenced or discussed within these forums – laws and regulations are updated and amended, interpretations do change, and sometimes the legal landscape can change very fast. Forumosa provides these legal forums for general informational purposes only. By using these legal forums, you agree that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created between you and any other posters on these forums. DO NOT CONSIDER THE FORUMS TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR OBTAINING LEGAL ADVICE FROM A QUALIFIED LICENSED ATTORNEY.

One ARC, two schools. Legal or not?

Postby bobepine » 07 Nov 2005, 22:28

Things are different for me now, I just changed school. I work for a school that provides me with an ARC and I also work for another school.

My second school is deducting 10% taxes and they tell me that they will give me proper documents come tax time. My boss tells me that the law changed and that I am now allowed to work for several schools as long as I declare my earnings. Is that right?

The last I heard, non-ARC schools paid under the table. I know it's illegal and that's exactly why I ask this question. I do not want to find myself on the wrong side of the law if my boss declares any illegal earnings. I'd rather be well aware of my predicament so I can make my own decisions.

Thanks in advance,

bobepine

Edit: Above I wrote "they will give me proper doc... I should have written: they may or may not give me proper doc...
bobepine
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
 
Posts: 3290
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 29 Apr 2005, 09:47
Location: Kaohsiung



Postby ML McLean » 07 Nov 2005, 22:42

bobepine wrote:Things are different for me now, I just changed school. I work for a school that provides me with an ARC and I also work for another school.

My second school is deducting 10% taxes and they tell me that they will give me proper documents come tax time. My boss tells me that the law changed and that I am now allowed to work for several schools as long as I declare my earnings. Is that right?

The last I heard, non-ARC schools paid under the table. I know it's illegal and that's exactly why I ask this question. I do not want to find myself on the wrong side of the law if my boss declares any illegal earnings. I'd rather be well aware of my predicament so I can make my own decisions.

Thanks in advance,

bobepine


This just came up (again) where someone was working at one school legally with an ARC and everything. Same guy was substituting for another school, the day the FAP made a raid. Guy was busted. Deportation in 15 days and counting. If the second school is not on your ARC, you are illegally working. Now, we know in reality this happens all the time, it's part of the buxiban industry. Substituting is SOP in the industry. Which just so happens to be illegal and against the law.

What does that mean? Don't get caught. Jump out the window, hide in a broom closet, whatever. The other option is, get yourself legal with that other school. Make that other school sponsor you for a second work permit so that you have on your ARC, two schools listed there. You can have multiple schools sponsoring you a work permit on your ARC. If school balks, ask school owner if he wants you to break the law and risk deportation? In any event, split the costs if you have to or something but get yourself that other work permit.

YMMV if you are outside Taipei & Taipei County environment.

For those in the Taipei & Taipei County area, talk with us or Buxiban.com about your situation. There's a lot of on-going activity in these parts. We've been in touch with Buxiban.com about the unreconcilable disconnect between industry practices and current legal/administrative enforcement. The people who will be unfairly punished are the legal teachers.
Forumosan avatar
ML McLean
English Teacher with Headband (bǎng tóujīn de Yīngwén lǎoshī)
English Teacher with Headband (bǎng tóujīn de Yīngwén lǎoshī)
 
Posts: 181
Joined: 24 Feb 2005, 21:30
Location: Taipei, Taipei County



Postby bobepine » 07 Nov 2005, 23:19

Thank you for you prompt response. I was hoping you or Yellow Cartman would reply because I trust your experience and what you have to say. It's great to have you guys on Forumosa.

My boss seemed pretty convinced that the law changed. He said the reason behind the change is they didn't want foreigners to escape paying taxes anymore.

I am printing your response along with your signature(very helpful)and I will have my boss read it tomorrow.

Thanks again. :notworthy:

bobepine
bobepine
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
 
Posts: 3290
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 29 Apr 2005, 09:47
Location: Kaohsiung



Work and tax

Postby Juba » 07 Nov 2005, 23:34

bobepine wrote:My boss seemed pretty convinced that the law changed. He said the reason behind the change is they didn't want foreigners to escape paying taxes any more.

That is what I have been saying all along - that the current regulations force foreigners into illegal work for which they may not dare to pay tax, (although in fact the tax office is only interested in getting your money and is not concerned whether your work is legal or not - touch wood). The outcome of which is, of course, a loss of revenue for the goverment.
Forumosan avatar
Juba
Thinking of Having Kids (xiǎng yào shēng xiǎo hái)
Thinking of Having Kids (xiǎng yào shēng xiǎo hái)
 
Posts: 3953
Joined: 12 Feb 2002, 17:01
Location: Taibei City not far from the Combat Zone.
7 Recommends(s)
2 Recognized(s)



Re: Work and tax

Postby brian » 08 Nov 2005, 09:09

In answer to the OP you definitely need a work permit from each of your employers in order to be working legally. The tax issue is pretty much a furphy. You are only working legally when you have the names of all of your employers listed on your ARC. If you are working for an employer not on your ARC then you are not working there legally, and it will be in your best interests to stop working there until such time as that employer submits a work permit application on your behalf. You can work legally while the work permit is being processed.

I can confirm that there is a current case of a legal teacher with ARC at one school being caught and pending deportation for working illegally (doing sub-work) in another school. By all accounts this teacher is a good teacher and in all other respects above board, but unfortunately he has been caught up in what seems to be a tightening of enforcement.

This is a first as far as I know of a foreigner with ARC being deported for outside work and is a reminder for everyone to ensure that you are legal. Sometimes those extra hours may be easy to get, but the consequences can be quite severe so it may not be worth taking on those extra hours.

Juba wrote:That is what I have been saying all along - that the current regulations force foreigners into illegal work for which they may not dare to pay tax, (although in fact the tax office is only interested in getting your money and is not concerned whether your work is legal or not - touch wood). The outcome of which is, of course, a loss of revenue for the goverment.


I don't agree that this forces teachers to work illegally. The tax matters are not really the issue as you don't get deported for that (yet!). As we all know the tax office does not care if you have more than one employer and that you are working illegally, as long as you pay your taxes. So you can pay taxes on a dozen illegal jobs and the tax office won't care.

You get deported for being caught working for an employer other than the one/s stated on your ARC not for tax issues. So anyone who really wants to keep his or her nose clean will avoid working illegally.

I hope that as the government tightens up on this that schools will start to feel the pinch in not being able to find sub-teachers and that they will put pressure on the government to come up with a solution. I won't hold my breath, but as long as teachers continue to work for employers not listed on their ARC's they are running the risk of being punished.
brian
Newspaper Copyeditor (bàoshè biānjí)
Newspaper Copyeditor (bàoshè biānjí)
 
Posts: 446
Joined: 04 Apr 2003, 10:49



Postby bobepine » 08 Nov 2005, 17:16

I took a print of your responses to my employer today and had an argument over it. He doesn't want to accept Mclean's information as valid because it's not from the labour bureau.

Just to be clear, yesterday(before I started this thread)I asked my boss why he was taking taxes off my cheque and he said that he would declare the hours either under his name, his wife's name or under my name. He was not being clear about it but it sounded like basically he would try to declare it under his wife or himself but if that became a problem, he would have to report it under my name.

Today, I've asked why would he be deducting taxes from me if he doesn't declare it under my name and his answer was that he's being considerate for me because that way I pay less health insurance? He says my premium for insurance will go up if I exceed 60k per month. The thing is he never gave me the choice. And yet, if I agree to go with his gimmick, I will not know who will be reported as the recipient for my earnings. In other words, I won't even know if the government will have records of me working illegally.

I asked how am I supposed to get a tax return on illegal earnings and he answered that come tax time, he would give me a tax receipt. But how could he do that if the earnings are under his wife's name? It is my biggest concern because I was pretty sure it is illegal either under my name, nevermind someone else.(your responses in this thread supported that)

So I asked, How am I supposed to get my tax return if it's declared under your wife's name? His answer is "I will pay that to you myself." I replied with the following question "Then are you or are you not going to give me a tax receipt and why bother deducting if you are going to pay it back to me?" I had a confused/irritated look on my face at that point. That's when he got upset and raised his voice and said "sometimes it's a matter of mutual trust." He didn't make sense and it's not language barrier, he lived in the States for 30 years and he speaks perfect English. Going from giving me tax receipts to refunding my taxes personally to trusting his uncle policeman...Below I tell more about my experience with this school and I think I'm justified to not feel trusting.

So I said to him that it's not a matter of trust, it's a matter of legality. If he declares that I'm working for him, I feel I'm put on the spot with black and white evidences and I could get deported, not to mention that so would my wife because she has a spousal ARC. Furthermore, read below, I never even meant to work there illegally.

His response to that worried me even more...He mentioned that I shouldn't worry because his uncle is head of the foreign affairs police...
:eek: I got upset and told him I couldn't care less what connections he has to bend the law and that I preferred not being involved in such illegal activities. That really upset him and he started attacking me personally saying things like I'm not being considerate and I can't see that he was just trying to help me. He says I'm "choking" him with this argument of legality because all he was doing is trying to help me not exceed the 60k tax bracket. You'd think he would tell me that first, he's not making sense. He's freaking me out going from declaring things under my name to declaring it under someone else's name. Mostly if he declares it under my name. But he talks as if he's unsure who will be the recipient of my earnings. "It depends" he says...

How is taking the chances of being deported and having 10% tax taken off my pay helping me? I'm not worried about the tax money, as far as I knew, I was originally supposed to be legal there.

Sorry for the long post, here's the whole story. I started working there 2 months ago and I signed a contract for 26hrs/week. My contract stipulates that I have 60 days "bind-free". Meaning if within the first two months I don't like it, the contract is void. I never had 26 hours, I got 15... and...

I passed the medical, handed all the necessary paper work for the ARC process and so did the other teacher who started at the same time.(The school opened August 29th, 2005)I worked three contracts with my previous school but changed school half-way into the third one. I'm in good terms so they agreed to hold off cancelling my ARC until the new one was processed.

6 weeks later, my previous employer is starting to stress because as far as I knew and told her, my ARC should have gone through already. She mentioned that she was hiring someone and that she was giving me 3 weeks to sort things out. When I asked my new employer the status on the ARC process, he said it was being processed. When I asked why so much time, he mentioned that he was having difficulties getting his permits for his new classes so he had to wait. Turns out in the same 10 minutes conversation, my ARC went from being processed to not even mailed yet... Meanwhile I have three weeks left legal in Taiwan, and my medical expired so I had to go for a second medical.(Good for 30 days)

It was a stressful period and right at that time I was offered a job elsewhere with a good school. I accepted the work with the condition that they would process my ARC immediately. It took two weeks, I got my ARC this week but now I"m worried to lose it because of that same school who never processed my ARC in the first place. The fact that the ARC wasn't processed at all also means that I was not legally working the whole time but unaware of it.

Anyways, the point is I never even meant to work there illegally, I was supposed to be sponsored by that school but I gave up on them because I wasn't trusting it served my interests if it meant going on a visa trip for both my wife and I and also because we agreed on 26 hours per week, not 15. I explained that to my boss when I decided to get my ARC elsewhere and he said if it came down to a visa trip he would pay for it but I doubt he would have paid for my wife and what about loss of revenue? That's without mentioning that many teachers are shorted on their pay. If they complain the boss will pay but if they fail to notice it's their loss. Also, I didn't enjoy the classes so much. Sounds irrelevant but when you've only been working for a school for only a month or two, it all adds up.

I wait 6 weeks for my ARC to find out it hasn't even been mailed to Tapei yet, I almost have to go on a visa trip, he talks about putting my hours on his wife's name, he takes 10% of my pay and tells me he'll give it back to me himself. He mentions some head of foreign affairs uncle of his and he lies about my ARC being processed. Then he says: "Sometimes it's a matter of mutual trust"... :loco:

Ideally I'd like to go to the foreign affair police and explain my situation. I don't need my 10% back, I just want to be able to legally declare my earnings under "special circumstances" if possible. Can it be done? Will I just be deported if I go to foreign affairs and talk to them about this?

Any advices would be appreciated and thanks for reading this immense post.

bobepine
bobepine
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
 
Posts: 3290
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 29 Apr 2005, 09:47
Location: Kaohsiung



Postby bobepine » 08 Nov 2005, 20:01

I just had a follow up conversation with my boss on the phone and he said that if the law calls for an Arc then he will apply for it. He's supposed to do his homework and we will talk tomorrow. I don't think I even want the job anymore even if it was legal. I do not appreciate this situation one bit. Did I mention that the first three meetings I had with that man, he made me wait a total of 90 minutes and of course he blamed it on traffic. I don't know why I took this job in the first place. Somebody hit me.

Problem is now he just opened a school and I hate to make it hard on him by leaving. I already gave up one class for my new school and he teaches it himself at the moment. Every kids in both those classes have signed up after a week trial. It was the school grand-opening and I demoed for a week. 100% of the kids signed up and paid the tuition and they are still there after 2 months.

The good thing if I choose to keep the job, I suppose he can easier justify my earnings if he actually did apply for the ARC.

"What to do when you live in a shoe?"

bobepine
bobepine
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
 
Posts: 3290
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 29 Apr 2005, 09:47
Location: Kaohsiung



Postby Yellow Cartman » 09 Nov 2005, 00:53

That's a lot of issues bobepine. You've basically summed up the major issues that most English teachers face with buxiban owners looking to scam the system. Unfortunately, their doing so is at your, the english teacher, expense.

Most of the time, nothing bad will come of it but objectively speaking, it's not kosher.
Trillian: You idiot! You signed the order to destroy Earth!
Zaphod: I did?
Arthur: He did?
Trillian: Love and kisses Zaphod? You didn't even read it, did you?
Zaphod: Well, I'm president, I don't have a lot of time for reading.
Trillian: My whole planet destroyed because you thought someone wanted your autograph!
Forumosan avatar
Yellow Cartman
Overpaid Foreign Athlete (duō fù xīn shuǐ guò gāo de wài jí yùn dòng yuán)
Overpaid Foreign Athlete (duō fù xīn shuǐ guò gāo de wài jí yùn dòng yuán)
 
Posts: 3419
Joined: 23 May 2004, 22:20
Location: Greater China Area and beyond!
1 Recognized(s)



Postby brian » 09 Nov 2005, 07:18

Bobepine I believe that there is a relatively straight forward resolution to your problem.

From my understanding you were previously working legally, and I assume that you therefore have tax records that showed that you were paying taxes prior to this new job. If you can show that you have paid taxes religiously since you arrived then you will have no trouble at the tax office.

Furthermore it is my understanding that the second school is a new school that opened in August 2005. From my understanding of the work permit situation schools need to have been in operation for at least a year before they can qualify to apply for work permits for foreigners. If so, then this school will not legally be able to employ you this year.

It is also my understanding that you have obtained an ARC through a third school. If so then this is what I suggest you do:

1. Get all documentation together including contracts and tax slips from your past employer as well as contracts and pay slips for the second and third employer.

2. If you don't have it already, try to get something in writing from the second employer that show the tax deductions made.

3. Speak with the CLA about all of this as I believe that they will support your decision to leave the second employer in favor of the third.

4. Finally, speak to the tax office.

I really believe that this is the best course of action.
brian
Newspaper Copyeditor (bàoshè biānjí)
Newspaper Copyeditor (bàoshè biānjí)
 
Posts: 446
Joined: 04 Apr 2003, 10:49



Postby bobepine » 09 Nov 2005, 23:46

brian wrote:Bobepine I believe that there is a relatively straight forward resolution to your problem.

From my understanding you were previously working legally, and I assume that you therefore have tax records that showed that you were paying taxes prior to this new job. If you can show that you have paid taxes religiously since you arrived then you will have no trouble at the tax office.

Furthermore it is my understanding that the second school is a new school that opened in August 2005. From my understanding of the work permit situation schools need to have been in operation for at least a year before they can qualify to apply for work permits for foreigners. If so, then this school will not legally be able to employ you this year.

It is also my understanding that you have obtained an ARC through a third school. If so then this is what I suggest you do:

1. Get all documentation together including contracts and tax slips from your past employer as well as contracts and pay slips for the second and third employer.

2. If you don't have it already, try to get something in writing from the second employer that show the tax deductions made.

3. Speak with the CLA about all of this as I believe that they will support your decision to leave the second employer in favor of the third.

4. Finally, speak to the tax office.

I really believe that this is the best course of action.


Thanks Brian, your post helps. For one it made me realise that I have no pay stubs or receipts showing that I paid the taxes. That alone is an important issue.

I think your course of actions is likely the "right" way to handle this situation and it's not said that I will not do that.

I'm in Taiwan here and people do things a certain way just like people do in other countries. I don't want to have any troubles but I also do not really fancy causing troubles to others. I just hope that at the end of the day it will make a difference.

According to the information I get from this thread, it's impossible for a new school to have proper licences in order to hire foreign teachers. I never heard that before. In any case, the reasons explained by my boss regarding the delays with the ARC process does coincide. In addition to that, today I asked the other teacher at my school if he got his ARC yet and his answer was "looks like I'm going to Hong-Kong".

I'm glad I got my ARC sponsored by another school to say the least. I got my boss to sign a formal resignation letter today and he did. He was reluctant to say the least...but he finally signed it.

I plan to declare my hours comes tax time and I will bring along all the relevant documents, work contract, tax receipts, ARC and previous tax declarations. If anyone had similar experiences or if anyone thinks this is a bad way of handling this situation please reply or pm me.

Regards,

bobepine

PS. Thank you to a special someone for the very helpful phone call this morning. :notworthy:
bobepine
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
Presidential Advisor (zǒng tǒng gù wèn)
 
Posts: 3290
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 29 Apr 2005, 09:47
Location: Kaohsiung



FRIENDLY REMINDER
   Please remember that Forumosa is not responsible for the content that appears on the other side of links that Forumosans post on our forums. As a discussion website, we encourage open and frank debate. We have learned that the most effective way to address questionable claims or accusations on Forumosa is by engaging in a sincere and constructive conversation. To make this website work, we must all feel safe in expressing our opinions, this also means backing up any claims with hard facts, including links to other websites.
   Please also remember that one should not believe everything one reads on the Internet, particularly from websites whose content cannot be easily verified or substantiated. Use your common sense and do not hesitate to ask for proof.
Next




Proceed to Legal Issues at Work



Who is online

Forumosans browsing this forum: No Forumosans and 1 visitor

The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn't, matters not a jot. The possibility is always there -- MONICA BALDWIN