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South Korea Tax Essentials: Withholding & Corporate, Income, Local Taxes


Navigating tax obligations in South Korea is crucial for businesses operating within its jurisdiction. Understanding the intricacies of withholding taxes and the process for corporate, income, and local income tax payments is essential for compliance and financial planning. In this blog post, we'll delve into the basics of these tax categories and provide insights into the procedures involved in fulfilling tax obligations in South Korea.

  1. Withholding Taxes: Withholding taxes are taxes withheld at the source of income by the payer and remitted to the tax authorities on behalf of the recipient. In South Korea, withholding taxes apply to various types of income, including dividends, interest, royalties, and services rendered by non-residents. It's essential for businesses to accurately withhold and remit these taxes to avoid penalties and ensure compliance with tax laws.

  2. Corporate Tax: Corporate tax is imposed on the taxable income of corporations operating in South Korea. The corporate tax rate is determined based on the company's taxable income, with progressive rates ranging from 10% to 25%. Corporations are required to file corporate tax returns annually and make timely payments to the tax authorities. Understanding deductions, exemptions, and tax incentives can help businesses optimize their tax liabilities while adhering to legal requirements.

  3. Income Tax: Income tax in South Korea is levied on the worldwide income of residents and the Korean-source income of non-residents. Individuals are categorized into different tax brackets based on their annual income, with progressive rates ranging from 6% to 42%. Employers are responsible for withholding income tax from employees' salaries and remitting it to the tax authorities. Additionally, individuals are required to file annual income tax returns to reconcile any discrepancies and claim applicable deductions or credits.

  4. Local Income Tax: Local income tax is imposed by local governments on the income earned within their jurisdiction. The tax rates vary depending on the location, with rates ranging from 1.5% to 10%. Employers are responsible for withholding local income tax from employees' salaries and remitting it to the respective local tax authorities. Businesses must ensure compliance with local tax regulations and accurately calculate and remit local income tax payments.


Navigating the complexities of withholding taxes and fulfilling corporate, income, and local income tax obligations in South Korea requires careful attention to detail and adherence to tax laws and regulations. By understanding the fundamentals of these tax categories and staying updated on regulatory changes, businesses can effectively manage their tax liabilities and mitigate compliance risks. Seeking professional advice and leveraging technology solutions can further streamline tax processes and ensure compliance with South Korean tax requirements.

For more details, please feel free to reach out at or If you would like a consultation with an English-speaking Consultant/Accountant in Korea, please schedule a call at: Schedule a Call with Jz


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