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Filing taxes as an expat living in Taiwan

· Taiwan,Taipei,Living Abroad,Travel Advice,TESOL

The dreaded tax season has come and gone in America. Though this year I did not take part in the sea of paperwork and confusion over whether or not to use 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ form. In fact this year...taxes were relatively easy.

I just filed my taxes in Taiwan today actually. (The due date is the end of May.) Though I'm not sure what the process is for Taiwanese citizens. For foreigners, it's pretty simple.

Here are the steps:

1) Take documents that your job give you stating your income and taxes for the year to the tax office in your area. Also take your passport, bank account information (if you want direct deposit) and ARC (Alien Resident Card.)

2) Proceed to the foreigner tax office, grab a giant purple form and fill out the boxes about your ID number, birthday, address, etc.

3) Wait your turn, you take a seat, and hand over all your documents to the person at the counter. They do some number crunching and then inform you about how much you will get back, when it will be deposited, and where it will be sent (your account or a check to your abode.)

Total process, about 15 minutes. I'll be getting a pretty good chunk of money back (a little less than one month of pay.) This is mostly because when you start working here, the first 180-something days you are taxed at 18% income tax. After that, it drops to 5%, but you get a large percentage of the earlier months tax back when filing. I wonder what filing is like in other countries. Guess I'll find out some day.