Political finance

General

How are political parties and politicians funded in your jurisdiction?

Political parties and politicians are mainly funded by political donations received from individuals, political parties, civil associations and profit-seeking businesses. In addition, according to Political Party Act, the source of political parties’ funds and income are limited to party membership dues, political donations received in accordance with the laws, grants for parties, income from publications, promotional materials, conferring rights, or income assignment for the purpose of promoting its ideas or engaging in promotional activities, other income received pursuant to the Political Party Act, or any interest generated from the above funds and income.

Registration of interests

Must parties and politicians register or otherwise declare their interests? What interests, other than travel, hospitality and gifts, must be declared?

According to the Political Donations Act, political parties, political associations and persons planning to participate in campaign activities must establish an accounting book of income and expenditure, recording, in each instance, the time of each receipt and disbursement, the person or entity relevant to such receipt or disbursement, and the address of said person or entity, as well as the purpose for and the monetary amount of, or the value of (if an economic benefit other than money), each donated item on a daily basis for reference, and they must compile an accounting report based on the aforesaid data. Political donations given as articles valued at less than NT$2,000 do not have to be recorded.

A political party or political association must declare the accounting report to the relevant authority within five months of the end of each year. A person planning to participate in a campaign must declare the accounting report to the authority within three months of the polling day. The authority receiving the declaration must, within three months of the deadline, collate the declarations in a volume for enquiry, publish the income and expenditure balance sheets in the accounting reports in the government bulletin or newspapers and publish them on the internet. It is worth noting that, pursuant to the latest amendment of Political Donation Act, which will become effective on 20 December 2018, the period for the authority to publish the report has been lengthened to six months.

In addition, according to the Act for Property-Declaration by Public Servants, certain public servants must declare their property, including: the President; Vice President; Premier and Vice Premier of the Executive Yuan; president and vice presidents of the Legislative Yuan, Judicial Yuan, Examination Yuan and Control Yuan; political appointees; and certain senior advisers, policy consultants of the Office of the President, and others regulated by the Act. Property that must be declared includes real property, vessels, cars and aircraft, cash, deposits, securities, jewellery, antique articles, calligraphy and paintings, and other property exceeding certain values, rightful claims of creditors, debts and investments in various ventures over certain values. Moreover, such property owned by the spouses and underage offspring of public servants must be jointly declared.

Contributions to political parties and officials

Are political contributions or other disbursements to parties and political officials limited or regulated? How?

Political contributions or disbursements to parties and political officials are regulated in Taiwan.

According to the Political Donations Act, the total amount of donations contributed to a single political party or political association each year may not exceed the limits set out below.

By individuals

NT$300,000

By civil associations

NT$2 million

By profit-seeking businesses

NT$3 million

The total amount of all donations contributed to different political parties or political associations each year may not exceed the limits set out below.

By individuals

NT$600,000

By civil association

NT$4 million

By profit-seeking business

NT$6 million

In addition, the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act also stipulates the maximum amount of campaign funds for different elections, respectively. Nevertheless, the penalty for exceeding maximum amounts of campaign funds in this Act has been removed for the purpose of encouraging candidates to honestly report their campaign funds.

Sources of funding for political campaigns

Describe how political campaigns for legislative positions and executive offices are financed.

Public funds are provided to subsidise candidates who have received a certain number of votes, which are provided after the relevant election. Non-public fundraising is permitted. Nevertheless, according to the Political Donations Act, political parties, political associations and persons planning to participate in campaigns cannot collect political donations by issuing fixed-maturity bonds, indeterminate, interest-bearing or interest-free bonds or other securities to unidentifiable persons. The Political Donations Act regulates issues regarding such non-public fundraising for political events.

Lobbyist participation in fundraising and electioneering

Describe whether registration as a lobbyist triggers any special restrictions or disclosure requirements with respect to candidate fundraising.

There are no such special restrictions with respect to candidate fundraising.

Independent expenditure and coordination

How is parallel political campaigning independent of a candidate or party regulated?

According to the Political Donations Act, the individuals or associations that may accept political donations are limited to political parties, political associations and the persons planning to participate in a campaign. Therefore, parallel political campaigning is generally not permitted.