The National Taxation Bureau of Taipei, Ministry of Finance states that if a taxpayer fails to file an individual income tax return in accordance with Article 71 of the Income Tax Act, the itemized deductions shall not be used after the tax payable has been assessed by the taxing authority.
The Bureau explains that when a taxpayer files for the individual income tax return, he/she may choose to use standard deduction or itemized deductions in accordance with the provisions of Subparagraph 2, Paragraph 1, and Article 17 of the Income Tax Act. Accordingly, if the actual expenses, with documents, (including the expenses of the taxpayer, his/her spouse and dependent family members) that qualify for the itemized deductions exceed the amount of standard deduction, the taxpayer may use the itemized deductions. However, according to Paragraph 1, Article 17 of the same Act, if a taxpayer who should file a tax return but fails to do so, once the tax payable is assessed by the taxing authority, the provisions of the itemized deductions should no longer apply.
For example, when a taxpayer calculates the 2019 individual income tax
by using itemized deductions, he/she does not file a tax return because the taxpayer believes that there is no tax due, but tax deficiencies are assessed by the National Taxation Bureau based on standard deduction. The taxpayer applies for re-examination of his/her initial use of using itemized deductions. The Bureau maintains the original assessment on the grounds that the said taxpayer has not filed the tax return in accordance with regulations and the assessment has been on record.
The Bureau states that if taxpayers want to use itemized deductions, regardless whether there is tax payable, they shall file a tax return in accordance with regulations. Otherwise, once the National Taxation Bureau has assessed the tax payable, the taxpayer no longer can change to use itemized deductions. If taxpayers have doubts or are not familiar with the tax laws and regulations, they can call the National Tax Bureau toll-free service hotline at 0800-000-321 or contact the jurisdictional taxing authority.
（Contact person: Section Head Liu of the Second Legal Affairs Division; Telephone: 2311-3711 ext. 1931）