Korea, Republic of

Overview

Last reviewed - 02 December 2019

Korea is bordered by China to the northwest and Russia to the northeast, separated from Japan to the east by the Korea Strait and the East Sea (Sea of Japan), and separated from Taiwan to the south by the East China Sea.

An independent Korean state or collection of states has existed almost continuously for several millennia. Between its initial unification in the seventh century (from three predecessor Korean states) until the 20th century, Korea existed as a single independent country. In 1905, following the Russo-Japanese War, Korea became a protectorate of imperial Japan, and, in 1910, it was annexed as a colony. Korea regained its independence following Japan's surrender to the United States in 1945. After World War II, a Republic of Korea (ROK) was set up in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. The Republic of Korea (South Korea or Korea) is divided into nine provinces, with Seoul as the capital. The official language of South Korea is Korean, and the currency is the won (KRW).

Since the 1960s, South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth and global integration to become a high-tech industrialised economy. In 2004, South Korea joined the trillion dollar club of world economies and currently is among the world's 20 largest economies. Initially, a system of close government and business ties, including directed credit and import restrictions, made this success possible. The government promoted the import of raw materials and technology at the expense of consumer goods and encouraged savings and investment over consumption. Korea adopted numerous economic reforms following the global crisis, including greater openness to foreign investment and imports. Growth was recorded at 2.9%, 3.1%, and 2.7% for 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively. South Korea’s per capita income was 22.9 times the level of North Korea in 2017.

Samil PwC has over 3,000 devoted professionals, with approximately 600 dedicated tax professionals and the largest tax practice in Korea. Our multidisciplinary team of tax professionals includes experts with tax, accounting, law, economics, and finance backgrounds. Many of our professionals have previously worked for various governmental bodies in the areas of national tax, customs, and local tax administration. Our senior professionals also regularly assist the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the National Tax Service in establishing tax policies and implementing the relevant regulations.

Samil PwC has dedicated teams of professionals specialised in transfer pricing, global tax structuring, customs and international trade consulting, and international assignment, as well as human resource services. Industry-focused and product-specialised teams with deep expert knowledge, experience, and know-how are the true hallmarks of Samil PwC's Tax Practice.

Quick rates and dates

Corporate income tax (CIT) rates
Headline CIT rate (%) 22
Corporate income tax (CIT) due dates
CIT return due date Interim tax return: within two months from the end of the interim six-month period;
Annual tax return: within three months from the end of the fiscal year.
CIT final payment due date Along with the filing of the returns (payment in instalments is allowed in certain cases).
CIT estimated payment due dates NA
Personal income tax (PIT) rates
Headline PIT rate (%) 42
Personal income tax (PIT) due dates
PIT return due date 31 May
PIT final payment due date 31 May
PIT estimated payment due dates Monthly
Value-added tax (VAT) rates
Standard VAT rate (%) 10
Withholding tax (WHT) rates
WHT rates (%) (Div/Int/Roy) Resident corporation (individual): 0 (14% for individual, 14% for distribution of profit from securities investment trusts to corporation) / 14 (14% for individual, 25% for interest from a non-commercial loan) / 0 (20% for individual);
Non-resident: 20 / 20 (14% for interest derived from bonds issued by domestic corp.'s, etc.) / 20
Capital gains tax (CGT) rates
Corporate capital gains tax rate (%) Capital gains are subject to the normal CIT rate.
Individual capital gains tax rate (%) Capital gains are subject to the normal PIT rate.
Net wealth/worth tax rates
Headline net wealth/worth tax rate (%) NA
Inheritance and gift tax rates
Inheritance tax rate (%) 50
Gift tax rate (%) 50

NA stands for Not Applicable (i.e. the territory does not have the indicated tax or requirement)

NP stands for Not Provided (i.e. the information is not currently provided in this chart)

All information in this chart is up to date as of the 'Last reviewed' date on the corresponding territory Overview page. This chart has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this chart without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this chart, and, to the extent permitted by law, PwC does not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this chart or for any decision based on it.