Banking, Money and Taxes in Taiwan
The Taiwanese economy is among the largest in the world, and is underpinned by a reliable and efficient banking system.
Money in Taiwan
The currency used in Taiwan is the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD). The New Taiwan Dollar is subdivided into 100 cents. In common usage, Taiwanese money is often referred to as kuài or yuán, although this is not to be confused with the Mainland Chinese Yuán.
Notes: NTD 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and 2,000
Coins: NTD ½, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50
It can be difficult to exchange between foreign currency and Taiwanese dollars outside of the country, so foreigners entering or leaving Taiwan should convert their cash at a Taiwanese airport.
Banking in Taiwan
Taiwan has a sophisticated banking system and expats have a wide variety of options when it comes to managing their finances.
Internet banking is available, although some banks don't have English versions of their websites.
Banking hours can vary, but are generally 9am to 3.30pm, Monday to Friday, and some banks are open from 9am to 12.30pm on Saturdays.
Opening a bank account
Expats moving to Taiwan have many sound banking institutions to choose from. Local banks that are popular with expats include CTBC Bank, Bank of Taiwan and Taichung Bank. Alternatively, expats can open an account at a local branch of a foreign bank such as HSBC, Citibank or Standard Chartered.
While many expats go the foreign bank route, it is not always possible. Some employers (especially in the ESL world) insist on paying salaries directly into a Taiwanese bank account.
In order to open a bank account in Taiwan, expats will need an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC). Other documents that may be required include a passport or other proof of identity, and proof of residence. A minimum deposit is also required when opening an account, usually of around NTD 1,000.
ATMs and credit cards
ATMs are widely available and operate on a 24-hour basis. Foreign credit or debit cards (with Plus or Cirrus symbols) can be used to withdraw cash in Taiwan, but will incur charges. Similarly, using a card at an ATM operated by a different bank will incur charges.
Some ATMs also accept cards on the Accel, Star or Interlink systems, but some only accept Taiwanese cards. ATMs in Taiwan offer English menus, and have the facilities for transferring money and paying bills.
Credit cards are accepted by hotels and large retail outlets, but less so in smaller establishments. It is common practice in Taiwan to use cash whenever possible.
Taxes in Taiwan
Expats will be subject to a withholding tax on their personal income for the first 183 days of their stay in Taiwan; thereafter, they will be taxed according to a progressive scale. Expats are not taxed on their worldwide income while living in the country.
The tax year in Taiwan is from 1 January to 31 December.