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Major Taipei property speculator indicted on tax evasion charges

2012/12/22 18:46:22

Taipei, Dec. 22 (CNA) Taipei prosecutors indicted one of Taiwan's biggest property speculators and his wife Saturday for evading taxes related to nearly 2,000 real estate transactions.

Huang Yung-yi and his wife Kuo Chih-fen were charged with violating the Tax Collection Act and forging documents in evading NT$2 billion (US$68.8 million) in taxes related to property sales in Taipei and New Taipei by using proxies, according to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office.

Prosecutors said Huang and Kuo bought and sold 1,919 homes and shops worth NT$26.4 billion between 2003 and 2011 in the names of 51 family members and friends to avoid paying sales tax and corporate and personal income taxes.

Huang admitted to most of the offenses during questioning, prosecutors said.

Of the 51 people whose names were used as the buyers and sellers in the transactions, 43 were given deferred prosecutions while eight were not indicted.

Prosecutors uncovered Huang's scheme last year after discovering that he sold a large number of homes and shops in prime areas in Taipei, mostly in Daan, Xinyi and Zhongzheng districts, and in New Taipei under the names of others.

Huang set up a company to execute the scheme in 2007 after finding that property speculation in Taipei was lucrative, prosecutors said.

They said Huang's rampant speculation contributed to the soaring housing prices seen in the greater Taipei area during the years he was buying and selling properties.

(By Wang Chao-yu and Scully Hsiao)