3/20/2013

17 Percent Flat Tax for Foreign Nationals Residing in Korea: Korean Tax Amendments for 2013

As we all know, everyone loves to pay taxes.  Korea, over the past decade, has dramatically revised the Korean Tax Code to deal with changes in the nature of Korean business and Korean tax evaders. 

Some have criticized the National Tax Services (NTS) for being reactionary.  I do not, completely, agree.  I will be writing about a few amendments over the next couple of weeks that may not be welcomed news to many of the readers, but does reflect the fact that the Korean National Tax Services is a proactive agency that is vigorously attempting to become more transparent in audits and more proactive in the way that it deals with those the NTS considers tax cheats. Amazing your say, kind words coming from my fingers.

The NTS is one of the best government agencies to deal with and we encourage businesses to actively engage the NTS with questions and comments and you will see that the NTS is more than willing to entertain your questions and comments in frank manner.  The NTS is far from perfect, but overall it is much better equipped to deal with complex business issues than most other Korean government agencies.

Flat Tax Raised to 17 percent from 15 Percent for Foreign Employees
Good News and Bad News. The Amended Special Tax Treatment Control Law has extended the flat tax for foreigners until December 31, 2015.  We suspect because of favorable tax treatment laws in neighboring countries that the law will be extended past 2015.  The law, however, regrettably has increased the flat tax from 15 percent to 17 percent in line with raises in tax imposed on Korean nationals.  The new rate 17 percent rate is applicable to the 2013 tax year. 

Other articles that may be of interest.  
  1. Korea May Not Eat Apple's Double Irish with Dutch Sandwich Tax Strategy
  2. Tax Qualified Mergers in Korea: Amended 80% Rule for Triangle Mergers
  3. Korea Tax Tribunal on the Adjustment of Value of Imported Goods and Transfer Pricing
  4. Korean Individual Income Tax Rates: Incomes Taxes Rates on the Rise in Korea
  5. Korean Corporate Tax Rates:  Corporate Taxes to Rise in Korea
  6. Korea Islamic Bond Tax Bill is Doomed because of Fundamentalist Christians
  7. Tax Exempt Foreign-Denominated Bonds in Korea Coming to an End for Holders with Offices in Korea
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Sean Hayes may be contacted at: SeanHayes@ipglegal.com.

Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the only non-Korean to have worked as an attorney for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty.