If you’re selling digital services and products to customers down under, then you might be liable for Taiwan’s Goods and Services tax (VAT). This guide covers two very important parts of the system:
- Registering for the tax, and then
- Filing tax returns on time.
We’ve scoured the Taiwanese Ministry of Finance website to provide you with all the necessary information about VAT for international businesses in one place.
How to register for VAT in Taiwan
Okay, this is a two-part process for remote sellers. You must register for VAT, then register in the online e-Tax. (This portal is where you’ll file and pay the tax returns. More on that later!)
Two language things to know before you get started:
- The tax is called “cross-border electronic services”
- Your category is “Business Tax”
1. Register your business for VAT
Taiwan allows foreign businesses to register online. You will need to upload certain documents as files during the application process. So, before you get started, make sure you have electronic versions of the following:
- Official proof of your business registration in your home country
- Tax ID number from your home country
- A Chinese translation of the above document
Go to the page for VAT registration and click "Register as Member." When asked, be sure to select “self-assessed application.” This means you aren’t using a tax representative to register for you.
You’re also asked to specify at least one (and up to four) of products or services you sell. Simply choose from the drop-down menus provided.
The next section will give you basic information about how Taiwan operates its tax system with foreign businesses. It lets you know that, with your permission, all notices and other communication can happen via email (rather than snail mail). It also lets you know the basics of filing and payment requirements, but we’ve covered those in more detail below.
We recommend selecting “Agree” to this section, so that notification about your VAT approval and other messaging can go straight to your email inbox.
Finally, upload those files that we mentioned at the start. Here’s what you’ll see on the application page:
Once everything is filled out, you can click “I want to apply” at the bottom!
After your application is reviewed and approved, you should receive an 8-digit Taiwan VAT registration number. The website doesn’t state how long you should expect to wait, but if you have any questions, you can call them toll-free at 0800-000321.
2. Register with the e-Tax online portal
Once you have your Taiwan VAT registration number, it’s time for the next step. To be able to access the country’s e-Tax portal, you must register for an account number and password.
Again the great thing is, if you ever have questions, the Ministry of Finance encourages you to call them toll-free at 0800-000321.
How to file VAT returns in Taiwan
You must report in New Taiwan Dollars (NTD). The Ministry of Finance provides an exact exchange rate for each taxable period.
When to file and pay
You must file a VAT return every two months. That’s January-February, then March-April, and so on. The deadline is the 15th day of the month following the taxable period (15th of March, 15th of May, and so on).
BUT you should probably take care of this several days in advance so that your payment is received on time. Late payments incur a fine and also accrue interest.
Note: You must still file every quarter even if you made no sales in Taiwan! This is typically called a “Nil declaration” and it follows the exact same process as a normal return. (Just a little less data entry 😉)
How to file
Before you get started, you should collect all the information about your taxable sales in Taiwan during the previous quarter. The tax website suggests having these pieces ready:
- total sales and income
- total purchases and expenses
You can file online in your e-Tax portal account. You can log in here.
Note: You can fix any mistakes in your return after you've submitted it!
How to pay
As you probably guessed, you must pay in NTD, too! Once the conversion is taken care of, you can send the payment.
You should wire the money directly to the following bank account:
Account name: National Taxation Bureau of Taipei, Ministry of Finance
Account number: 045036070263
Though the website doesn’t say this explicitly, it probably doesn’t hurt to put your business name and VAT registration number in the “payment reference” field of the bank transfer.
What to do in between registering and filing?
Well, you must comply with all the rules for Taiwanese VAT! That means charging 5% VAT on all B2C sales in the country, among other things.
For further reading that will help you stay compliant and successful as a remote seller, check out our Taiwan VAT Guide for Businesses
Note: At Quaderno we love providing helpful information and best practices about taxes, but we are not certified tax advisors. For further help, or if you are ever in doubt, please consult a professional tax advisor or the Tax Agency.