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Tips for Foreigners in South Korea on Filing Local Income Tax

Living in South Korea offers many unique experiences, and understanding the nuances of local taxation is an essential part of navigating expatriate life effectively. For foreigners residing in Korea, filing local income tax correctly is crucial. Here are some key tips to ensure you manage this responsibility without stress.

1. Understand the Basics of Local Income Tax

Local income tax in South Korea is calculated at 10% of your national tax and is levied on the same income that is subject to national tax. This includes income from employment, business profits, and other sources. It's automatically calculated when you file your comprehensive income tax.

2. Know When to File

Local income tax needs to be filed along with your comprehensive income tax return. The typical filing period is from May 1 to May 31 each year. Ensure you mark these dates in your calendar to avoid last-minute rushes and potential penalties.

3. Gather Necessary Documents

Before the filing period, gather all necessary documents, which include your income statement, tax withholding certificates, and any other documentation that reflects income earned or taxes paid during the previous year.

4. Use Hometax

The National Tax Service's Hometax website ( is an invaluable tool for tax filing. It provides an English version that is particularly helpful for foreigners. You can file both your national and local income taxes through this platform.

5. Check for Deductions and Credits

Understanding what deductions and credits you are eligible for can significantly reduce your tax liability. Common deductions might include personal, spouse, and dependent allowances, as well as deductions for social security payments, pension plans, and medical expenses.

6. Seek Professional Help if Needed

If you find the process overwhelming or complex, consider seeking help from a tax professional. Many accountants in Korea provide services in English and can help ensure that your tax filings are correct and optimized for any possible benefits.

7. Stay Informed about Local Tax Laws

Tax laws can change, and staying informed is crucial. You can subscribe to updates from the National Tax Service or consult with tax professionals regularly to keep abreast of any changes that might affect your tax filings.

8. Prepare for Possible Audits

While audits are not common for every taxpayer, being prepared is wise. Maintain clear records of all your financial transactions and stored copies of your filed taxes. This will be helpful if the tax authorities ask for a detailed review.

9. Double Check Your Work

Before submitting your tax returns, double-check all entries for accuracy. Mistakes can delay processing or result in fines. If you use a tax filing service, review the forms they have prepared before submission to ensure everything is in order.


For foreigners living in South Korea, understanding and effectively managing local income tax filings is crucial. By following these tips and staying proactive about your tax obligations, you can navigate the tax season smoothly and ensure compliance with South Korean tax laws. This not only helps avoid penalties but also ensures peace of mind so you can focus more on enjoying life in Korea.

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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