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Understanding the Value-Added Tax (VAT) Provisional Declaration in Korea

Understanding the Value-Added Tax (VAT) Provisional Declaration in Korea


Navigating the Value-Added Tax (VAT) provisional declaration process in Korea can be quite a challenge, especially for expats and foreign businesses. This article aims to demystify this complex procedure and provide a comprehensive guide to help you understand and comply with Korean tax laws.

The VAT Provisional Declaration

1. Declaration and Payment Period

The National Tax Service (NTS) sets the schedule for VAT declarations and payments. Typically, businesses make their provisional declarations twice a year in April and October, which marks the middle of the business year. The payment deadline is the 25th day of the following month from the declaration date (the end of March and September).

2. Declaration Targets

The provisional declaration applies to all businesses subject to VAT, whether you are an individual or a corporation taxpayer. You can check whether you need to file or not, also you sole-proprietor can check the prepayment VAT bill if you paid in July.

3. Declaration Method

Businesses can make VAT provisional declarations online or mobile phone via the NTS website ( This process involves preparing necessary documents, calculating the correct VAT amount, and submitting your declaration.

4. Payment Method

VAT payment must coincide with the declaration. Businesses can make payments through banks, internet banking or credit card at a tax office.

5. Late Fees

Late declaration or payment can lead to additional charges. Late fees are calculated as a percentage of the unpaid tax amount, emphasizing the importance of timely declaration and payment.

6. Tax Deduction

During the VAT declaration, businesses should identify items eligible for tax deduction. Eligible items typically include VAT spent on business-related expenses.

Challenges and Complexities

The NTS has introduced cases of unfair refunds and false name detection, including:

  • A used car dealer unfairly deducting a large amount of recycling waste resource purchase tax through an abnormal high-value transaction using relatives.

  • Unfairly deducting purchase tax related to land acquisition and acquisition of non-business-related assets.

  • Evading taxes by borrowing the name of a person with no assets to register a business.

  • Evading taxes by disguising a long-distance resident with employees and wage income as a "Pretend president(바지사장)" to distribute income.

  • Registering multiple e-commerce businesses in the name of relatives to distribute income and evade related taxes.

Given the complexity of these procedures, it's crucial to understand them thoroughly. Seeking professional help if needed can ensure accurate declarations and compliance with Korean tax laws.


Understanding the VAT provisional declaration process in Korea is vital for both individuals and businesses subject to VAT. With clear knowledge of the declaration and payment periods, targets, methods, and potential challenges, you can navigate this system successfully.

If you have any further questions or need assistance with your VAT provisional declaration, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're here to help you ensure compliance and ease the process.


Q1: What is a VAT Provisional Declaration? A: A VAT Provisional Declaration is a process where businesses declare and pay their VAT for specific periods within the business year in advance, twice a year in April and October, respectively.

Q2: Who are the targets for VAT Provisional Declaration? A: All businesses subject to VAT in Korea are required to make a provisional declaration. This includes both individual and company taxpayers.

Q3: How can I declare my VAT? A: You can declare your VAT online via the National Tax Service website. This involves preparing necessary documents and calculating the correct VAT amount.

Q4: What happens if I miss the declaration or payment deadline? A: Missing the deadline can result in late fees, calculated as a percentage of your unpaid tax amount.

Q5: Can I deduct any items when declaring my VAT? A: Yes, businesses should identify and declare items if it's eligible for VAT deduction during their VAT declaration.


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