The feast and Amusement Tax Law was first promulgated in April 1942 with a view to financing local governments and to improving social custom. The feast tax, however, proved too difficult to administer. Audit manpower in the competent authorities was insufficient to prevent tax evasion by consumers and restaurants for their mutual benefit. Further, few advanced countries have levied a feast tax. Thus, to improve the tax system and to lessen the difficulties in tax administration, the government abolished the feast and Amusement Tax Law in June 1980, canceling the feast tax as such and integrating it into the business tax; the Amusement Tax Law was enacted at the same time as the legal basis for the assessment of the amusement tax.
The amusement tax shall be levied on the prices of tickets sold or the fees collected by amusement businesses who provide any kind of on site equipment or activities for entertainment. In case no tickets are sold but drinks or entertainment devices are supplied to the consumers, the tax shall be levied on the amount of the charges. The scope of the tax is as follows:
- The cinema.
- Professional singing, story-telling, dancing, circus, magic, acrobatics shows and all kinds of performances in night clubs.
- Drama, music performances and amateur singing, dancing, etc.
- All kinds of skill competitions and contests.
- Dance halls.
- Billiard halls, bowling alleys, golf clubs and the like that are provided as a form of recreation for consumers.
Taxpayers of the amusement tax are those who pay the prices to enjoy the amusement. Providers or sponsors of sites, equipment or activities for entertainment act as collection agents. Taking the cinema as an example, those who watch movies are the taxpayers, while theaters who collect the tax-included tickets and pay the tax to the treasury are collection agents.
The Amusement Tax Law specifies maximum legal rates, and the collection rates shall, within the maximum rates, be prescribed by the provincial and the city governments, respectively, approves by the local assembly of the same level, and reported to the Ministry of Finance for its record.