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Friday, June 17, 2005

Taxes (and Other Stuff)

Lunch breaks running all over town, collecting tax money, cancelling residency cards, buying things, etc. etc. Sounds like fun, doesn't it. That's what I get to start doing today. Of course, today's trip is all about the tax money, so I'm not going to complain to much about that.

While I'm thinking about that - for anyone coming here from Footprints web page because you are interested in teaching in Taiwan, a bit of advice: Unless you are going to get here before July 1, wait until next year to come (or come in November or December when there is not so much of the year left). In order to get your full tax money back the following year, you must work at least 183 days (or something like that) of one calendar year. If you get here after the summer starts, you won't get tax money back for all the work done between the day you arrive and Dec. 31 (or something like that). This really sucks because, as far as I know, for the first six months you are here, 20 percent of your pay is withheld. You only pay about 6 percent in tax, which means most people get back about $2000US after one year of working here. If you come after July, though, you lose the 20% and your refund will go down quite a bit.

Did that make any sense at all? I hope so. If not, and you are curious about what I am trying to say, just email me and I will try to make clearer.

Today I go file a fast tax return form (or something like that). Basically, I fill out a form saying I've worked this much this year, have it stamped by my company and by a Taiwanese friend who can vouch for me, and then next week I will be able to go and collect my money. How nice. Hope it works out that smoothly. I've found that the tax process has been quite painless each time I've done it before, so I have high hopes (even as I start knocking on my wood chair).

I'm leaving here in less than eight days now. It does not seem real.

Something else that does not seem real, but I'm really hoping I can find a way to make it real:

One of my former students is going with his mom to the US in July (a few days after I go). When they get back, they will go to the mainland to meet up with his dad. Then they are going to rent a van and drive through the kekexili region of Tibet - a place I have wanted to go to since watching a movie about the place earlier this year (I wrote a bit about it shortly after seeing the movie: Anyway they will keep driving right on to Lhasa before flying back to GuangDong (or wherever the dad has his factory - it is in one of the eastern cities). I would either fly from Lhasa to Urumqi, or take a bus out. The problem is, I just don't know if I will be allowed to do this. I know westerners have to get a permit to go into Tibet, and then more special permits to travel outside of Lhasa. On top of that, most of those coming in must either fly in or join tour groups. On top of that, I would be coming in with some Taiwanese citizens. Anyway, I think the boy's mom is looking into the possiblity for me. I am praying that it will somehow work out.


Blogger les said...

Wow, you're so lucky you can get your taxes back so soon. Can you explain this to me... Are you getting your 2005 taxes back this week?

the reason I am asking, is because I will get my *2004* taxes in October, and then likely my *2005* taxes back NEXT October (2006!!!). I have to wait so long, and I really don't want to because I won't even be in the country. If there's any way I can speed up the process then I'd love to.

1:55 PM  

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