And the winning e-invoice / e-bill is… [drumroll]

June 23, 2012  |  Asia, Featured Articles, Government

We were struck by something very interesting while doing research for an article on Taiwanese e-invoicing. Apparently, Taiwan has a uniform invoice lottery. What a great idea…

You can imagine that information like this catches an e-invoicing platform web editor’s imagination. How long has this lottery been around in Taiwan? Why is it there in the first place? How much money can you win? And what about the lottery and e-invoicing? We can’t wait to give you all the answers to these questions.

Boosting tax revenues

The Taiwan receipt lottery is a state lottery managed by the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The first Kuomingtang finance chief conceptualised the lottery in 1951 to promote requests for receipts. He hoped to prevent tax evasion by businesses. And it worked: a 75% increase from US$900.000 collected in 1950 to US$1.6 million in 1951. Nowadays, the lottery drawing falls on the 25th of every odd-numbered month. The total prize money comes to a total of US$20 million (after a 33% increase in 2011 to celebrate the lottery’s 60th birthday).

No need to worry about digitalisation

Many Taiwanese consumers have expressed worries about the coming of electronic invoices in their country. They are afraid to lose the opportunity to win prize money in the MOF’s uniform invoice lottery. Fortunately for them, nothing could be further from the truth. Su Chun-jung, director-general of the Financial Data Centre, puts the consumers’ minds at rest:

  • “People’s concerns about the lottery are actually unfounded. Receipts are just digitalised and the MOF data centre checks for lottery winners. Consumers can check their purchase information at a Uni-President convenience store 48 hours after the transaction is completed.”
  • “Computers at the data centre will notify winners automatically; in addition, prize money can go directly to the winners’ bank accounts if they provide their digital certificates and have an account on the MOF integration platform.”

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