1. The Ministry of the Interior (hereinafter referred to as “the MOI”) establishes these Guidelines in accordance with relevant provisions of the Civil Code to allow for the establishment and supervision of national religious foundations.
2. Those meeting the following requirements may apply for establishment of a national religious foundations with the MOI:
(1) The main purpose or aim of establishment and scope of operation specified in the act of donation is to spread religious teachings or promote religious development.
(2) The name of a national religious foundations specified in the act of donation is sufficient to identify the main purpose or aim of establishment, which is to spread religious teachings or promote religious development.
(3) The total amount of property reaches one of the following:
A. For a national religious foundations to be established by the donation of real estate and cash, one donation of real estate other than that specified in the Act of Supervising Temples shall be made by each of seven special municipalities or counties (cities) and have a cash of NT$5 million or more. The total amount of real estate and cash assets shall not be less than NT$30 million.
B. The cash portion of funds at the establishment of a national religious foundations shall not be less than NT$30 million.
The value of real estate specified in Item 1, Subparagraph 3 of the preceding paragraph shall be calculated based on the present value announced for the year, if land, or based on the value specified in the tax statement issued by the revenue service office, if houses.
3. A national religious foundations shall be in the name of a foundations. For a national religious foundations established by the donation of cash, its name shall be marked as "foundation".
The name of a national religious foundations shall not be the same as that of other foundations or a name that easily misleads people into believing it is a government agency, or, a discriminatory or hateful name.
4. Those applying with the MOI for a permit to establish national religious foundations
Shall submit the following documents:
(1) An application form.
(2) Introduction, classics, and teachings of the religion; Chinese translations shall be prepared for documents in foreign languages.
(3) Donors' identification documents or juridical persons' or non-juridical persons' registration documents.
(4) The original act of donation or a photocopy of the will.
(5) An inventory of donated property and related evidentiary documents.
(6) Written documents regarding the appointment or employment of directors and supervisors by the donors or in the preparatory meeting.
(7) The meeting minutes of the 1st board of directors meeting (including election of the chairperson, resolutions on the annual operation plan, and budget).
(8) A list of directors and a photocopy of directors' national ID cards. A list of supervisors, where established, and a photocopy of supervisors' national ID cards. Where directors or supervisors do not hold Republic of China citizenship, a photocopy of their passports or residence certificates shall be submitted.
(9) Consent forms for directors. Consent forms for supervisors, where established.
(10) A list of seals or signatures of the national religious foundations and its directors.
(11) Written pledges by the donors to transfer donated assets to the national religious foundations
once the national religious foundations has been registered.
(12) An annual operation plan and budget.
(13) Evidentiary documents regarding the legal use of buildings and land where its headquarters is located.
(14) Other relevant documents:
A. If the documents specified in Subparagraphs 4 to 7, 9 and 11, Paragraph 1 are written in foreign languages, they shall be verified by the overseas embassies of the Republic of China, and Chinese translations shall also be prepared.
B. If donors are juridical persons or non-juridical person organizations, they shall submit the evidentiary documents regarding the donation of their property for the purpose of establishment of a national religious foundations upon approval or review of the relevant authority and the original minutes of their internal meetings; If the said documents are written in foreign languages, they shall be verified by the overseas embassies of the Republic of China, and Chinese translations shall also be prepared.
C. If property donated is real estate specified in the Act of Supervising Temples, a photocopy of the valid certificate of temple registration shall be submitted.
D. If directors or supervisors are civil servants specified in the Civil Servant Work Act, they shall submit a photocopy of the approval letter issued by the body of service or its superior authority regarding their post as directors or supervisors of a national religious foundations.
For the documents specified in Subparagraphs 4 to 12 and Item 1, Subparagraph 14 of the preceding paragraph, three copies of each document shall be submitted.
Additions or corrections of the documents specified in the preceding two paragraphs deemed necessary are to be provided by a stipulated deadline; where the said additions or corrections are not provided by the deadline, or where the said additions and corrections are deemed incomplete, the application shall be denied.
5. The act of donation of a national religious foundations shall specify the following items:
(1) Purpose, aim, and name of the organization, headquarters and subsidiary branches.
(2) Type, total value, and custodial plan for donated property.
(3) Scope of operation and its managerial strategies.
(4) Quota, qualifications, selection process, tenure and appointment (dismissal) of directors and, where applicable, the chairperson and supervisors, and response to the expiration of term of office other than reelection (reappointment) of the chairperson.
(5) Structure and powers of the board of directors and description of how resolutions are adopted.
(6) Duration, where a duration of existence has been set.
(7) Date of formulation.
For national religious foundations established via a will, where the will does not specify any or all of the preceding, the executor shall draft the acts of donation that do.
6. In accordance with Article 59 of the Civil Code, a permit shall not be issued where any of the following situations apply when an application for establishing a national religious foundations is made,For those who have already been granted a permit, it shall be revoked or abolition in accordance with Article 34 of the Civil Code:
(1) The purpose or aim of establishment is not to spread religious teachings and promote religious development or is not for the public good.
(2) The purpose or aim of establishment or scope of operation is counter to laws and regulations, public order, or public morals.
(3) Where no pledge concerning property donation has been made, or where said pledge is not carried out for a national religious foundations.
(4) The scope of operation is not in line with the purpose or aim of establishment.
(5) One of the scope of operation is profit-seeking.
(6) The total amount of property donated is insufficient to achieve the purpose of establishment and operation purpose
(7) Other violations of laws and regulations.
7. When the MOI issues a permit to establish a national religious foundations, it shall issue to the applicant a permit and two sets of the applicant’s documents bearing its seal.
8. When the MOI issues a permit in accordance with Article 7, it shall append a note indicating the following:
(1) A national religious foundations shall, upon receiving the permit, apply to the relevant district court for registration, After completing the said registration, it shall furnish a photocopy of the certificate of registration to the MOI for reference.
(2) A national religious foundations, having completed registration, shall apply with the revenue service office for the district in which its main place of operation is located for registration as a withholding agency. It shall then provide the MOI its tax code number for reference.
(3) The donors or will executors shall, after completing the registration of the national religious foundations with the relevant district court, transfer all donated property to the national religious foundations and have it registered in the national religious foundation＇s name or that of its account at a financial institution. It shall also report the same to the MOI for reference.
(4) Within 30 days of the occurrence of a change in the establishment permit of a national religious foundations, approval shall be sought from the MOI. Within 30 days of receiving MOI's approval, the national religious foundations shall report motion to the relevant district court. Within 10 days of receiving the new certificate of registration, the national religious foundations shall provide a photocopy of said certificate to the MOI and withholding agency which its main place of operation is located for their reference.
9. A national religious foundations shall establish a board of directors in its act of donation. Board members shall apply for a permit with the MOI in accordance with Article 59 of the Civil Code. They shall also apply for registration with the district court having jurisdiction over the area where its headquarters is located.
For those established via a will, the executors shall apply for the permit.
10. Property of a national religious foundations shall be kept or used in the name of the national religious foundations and supervised by the MOI. A national religious foundation’s funds shall not be entrusted or loaned to directors, supervisors, other individuals or non-financial institutions.
Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, national religious foundations may, without prejudice to the interests and upon the resolution of the board of directors and approval of the MOI, loan to other religious foundations with donations or affiliations to assist them in engaging in necessary operation activities specified in the act of donation.
11. National religious foundations shall engage in operation activities in accordance with the purpose or aim of establishment and the act of donation with property donated, interest accruing, and income generated after registration.
Property donated shall not be used. If the total amount of property exceeds the minimum amount of property donated set by the MOI, the excess may be used to engage in necessary operation specified in the act of donation upon approval of the MOI.
When a national religious foundations uses property donated, which causes the total amount of property to fall below the minimum amount of property donated set by the MOI, the MOI shall order the national religious foundations to make up the sum required within
stipulated deadline. If the national religious foundations fails to do so, the MOI may abolition its permit.
12. Property of a national religious foundations shall be kept and used as follows:
(1) Deposits at a financial institution.
(2) Purchases of public debt, treasury bonds, savings bonds, bank debentures, negotiable certificates of deposit, bankers’ acceptance bills, commercial paper guaranteed and issued by a bank or bills finance company.
(3) Purchases of movable property and real estate for operation use.
(4) Purchases of corporate debt guaranteed by a financial organization and fixed-income beneficiary certificates issued by domestic securities investment trusts in line with the principles of security and reliability.
(5) Purchases of stock with the shareholding ratio of a single company not exceeding 5% of the company's capital.
If a national religious foundations property donated or gifted is stock, it may be kept in the form of stock.
13. The use of property specified in Subparagraphs 4 and 5, Paragraph 1, Article 12 shall be within 30% of the total amount of property minus the minimum amount of property donated as set by the MOI with the mechanisms for investment assessments, management, and stop-loss points set and resolved by the board of directors and approved by the MOI.
14. After a national religious foundations has received its establishment permit, the MOI shall supervise the following in accordance with Article 32 of the Civil Code:
(1) By the end of January each year, a national religious foundations shall submit to the MOI for its reference the operation plan, budget and other relevant documents designated by the MOI; within five months after the end of each year, it shall submit to the MOI for its reference the previous year's executed operating report, final accounts, balance sheet, financial statements, certificate of deposits, and other relevant documents designated by the MOI.
(2) The MOI may assign officers to inspect a national religious foundations regarding its organization and management, compliance with permit requirements, preservation, keeping and use of property, finances, and performance of public welfare.
(3) When engaging in operation, a national religious foundations shall use property donated and income in accordance with laws and regulations, It shall not make distribution of any remaining funds.
(4) Other matters stipulated by laws and regulations.
15. A national religious foundations may, based on the operation needs and upon resolution of the board of directors and approval of the MOI, contribute down to 20% of its total income of the year to a operation development fund or reserve and recognize it as the expenses of the year.
The operation development fund or reserve referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be deposited in the specific account at a financial institution and may only be used upon approval of the board of directors and the MOI.
16. Where one of the following circumstances applies, the MOI may call for corrections and set a deadline for doing so. Where corrections are not made by the deadline, and where the seriousness of the situation merits, the MOI may, in accordance with Article 34 of the Civil Code, abolition the establishment permit of a national religious foundations and report the same to the relevant district court:
(1) Violation of laws and regulations, the act of donation or a will.
(2) Management or operations not in line with the purpose or aim of establishment.
In accordance with Paragraph 1, Article 33 of the Civil Code, the MOI may levy a fine of a maximum of NT$5,000 against any director or supervisor who refuses to abide by the MOI's supervisory directives or who obstructs inspectors. For those who violate the laws and regulations or act of donation, such that the rights and interests of the public interest or the national religious foundations are harmed, the MOI may act in accordance with Paragraph 2, Article 33 of the Civil Code and seek that person’s dismissal by the court, and may also take other disciplinary measures.
17. Where the board of directors, acting in line with the act of donation, elects to disband the national religious foundations, the MOI shall revoke and abolition the establishment permit or work with the relevant district court to announce its disbandment, and proceed with the disbandment and dissolution of the national religious foundations in accordance with the Civil Code, the Non-contentious Matters Act, and related legislation.
In accordance with Article 44 of the Civil Code, after a national religious foundations has been dissolved, remaining assets shall be assigned according to the provisions of its act of donation, or the will. Remaining assets shall not be assigned to any natural persons or profit-seeking organizations. Where no provision of the act of donation or the will exists, remaining assets shall be assigned to a local self-governing body in the place where the national religious foundations is located.
18. The MOI shall regularly conduct risk assessments on a national religious foundations anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing (AML/CFT) as a basis for supervision.
To conduct risk assessments, the MOI may ask national religious foundations to cooperate to provide relevant data and attend AML/CFT training.