Taipei, March 15 (CNA) Taiwan authorities on Wednesday froze NT$11.84 million (US$383,600) in bank deposits by Uber Technologies Inc., a U.S.-based ride-hailing company, and seized its Taipei office equipment in lieu of taxes.
The action was taken after the National Taxation Bureau reported that Uber had not paid taxes for 2015 and was in arrears to the amount of NT$51.24 million, the Taipei Branch of the Administrative Enforcement Agency said in a statement.
To preventing Uber from hiding its assets, the agency said, it froze the company's bank accounts containing a total NT$11.84 million and seized its office equipment.
The agency said it also served notice that Uber must soon submit a financial report and a plan to pay its tax arrears.
Uber suspended its services in Taiwan with effect from Feb. 10 due to staggering fines for violations against the laws regulating transportation services in the country.
The company was deemed to be illegally operating transportation services in Taiwan because it was registered in the country as a provider of information services.
However, arguing that it was not a taxi service, Uber refused to comply with the government's demand to register as such a business.
As of late December 2016, Uber had accumulated fines of NT$68.45 million for 481 violations, while its drivers had been fined a total of NT$20.83 million.
Since the maximum fine for the operation of illegal passenger transportation services was raised to NT$25 million on Jan. 6, Uber has been found guilty of an additional 48 violations, which have resulted in an estimated NT$1.1 billion (US$35.38 million) in fines.
(By Liu Shih-yi and Elizabeth Hsu)