Employment income deduction
The following amount shall be deducted from the amount of gross income in the current year to work out the adjusted gross income for salary or wage earners.
|Amount of gross income (KRW thousands)
|Over (column 1)
||Deduction amount on column 1
||Marginal deduction rate (% on excess)
Pension premium deduction
National pension contributions paid by a taxpayer based on National Pension Law, Veteran Pension Law, Civil Service Pension Law etc., is fully deductible.
Special tax credits/deductions
Various special tax credits are available, including but not limited to the following:
Tax credits for dependants
The tax credits amount to KRW 150,000 per child for up to two children and KRW 300,000 per child for the third and more.
Tax credit for charitable contributions
The tax credit rate is 15% for the donation amount up to KRW 20 million and 30% for the excess.
Tax credit for education expenses
The tax credit rate is 15% for education expenses with certain limits (KRW 9 million for each dependant attending university or college, KRW 3 million for each dependant attending preschool to high school, no limit for the taxpayer).
Tax credit for insurance premiums
The tax credit rate is 12% for qualified insurance premiums paid for the following types of insurance (beneficiary can be either the taxpayer or the dependants who have no income for the year): life insurance, life insurance for the handicapped, damage and accident insurance, fire and burglary insurance, and insurance similar thereto. The maximum tax credit is KRW 120,000 per annum. The national health insurance and unemployment insurance premiums shall be fully tax deductible.
Tax credit for medical expenses
The tax credit rate is 15% for medical expenses paid up to KRW 7 million, but only if they exceed 3% of total employment income. However, medical expenses paid for taxpayers aged 65 or older, or the handicapped, are not subject to the KRW 7 million limit for the tax credit.
Tax credit for individual pension premium
The tax credit rate is 12% for the pension premium paid up to KRW 7 million per annum. However, the tax credit rate becomes 15% for the taxpayer whose income is less than KRW 40 million per annum.
Mortgage interest deduction
A deduction for housing and long-term mortgage interest is available to wage earners who do not own a home, or who own only a house of a certain size, and who have subscribed to a particular savings program for home ownership.
There are other itemised deductions available under the Special Tax Treatment Control Law. A taxpayer also must submit supporting documents to claim the following deduction:
- A deduction for expenditures paid by credit cards, cash receipts, debit cards, or check cards up to a certain limit depending on the nature of expenses and level of employment income.
Korean tax law provides all resident taxpayers with the following standard personal deductions from individual taxable income.
- For the taxpayer: KRW 1.5 million per year. Non-residents of Korea are allowed to claim only the personal deduction for themselves.
- For a spouse who lives with the taxpayer and has an adjusted gross income of less than KRW 1 million per annum: KRW 1.5 million per year.
- For each eligible dependant who lives with the taxpayer and has an adjusted gross income of less than KRW 1 million per annum: KRW 1.5 million per year.
- Handicapped person in the taxpayer's household: KRW 2 million for each handicapped person. The handicapped person may be the taxpayer, spouse, or other dependants.
- Person aged 70 or older: KRW 1 million for each taxpayer, spouse, or dependant aged 70 or older in the taxpayer’s household.
- Female taxpayer: KRW 500,000. To qualify for this additional deduction, the female taxpayer should be a head of household with dependants but no spouse or should be a married woman, and the qualifying female taxpayer should have an annual taxable income of KRW 30 million or less (approximately KRW 40 million in total annual compensation).
- Single parent: KRW 1 million. In case a single parent claims the female taxpayer deduction above, only the single parent deduction of KRW 1 million is allowed.
All business-related expenses, such as moving expenses, travel expenses, automobile expenses, and certain amounts of entertainment expenses, are tax deductible. Alternatively, reimbursements for such expenses can be claimed by the business as deductible expenses and need not be included in the individual's taxable income.
Business losses excluding rental losses are deductible against employment income, pension income, other income, interest income, and dividend income in order to calculate the tax base. Unused losses can be carried forward for ten years. However, rental losses are deducible against only rental income and unused rental losses can be carried forward for ten years.
Capital losses are deductible only against capital gains. Unused losses may not be carried forward.