SEJONG -- South Korea's finance ministry said Sunday that it has finalized the details on a tax code overhaul whose main features are the levying of an additional tax on owners of multiple homes, a move intended to curb rising housing prices, and the raising of the highest corporate income tax rate.
Late last year, the National Assembly approved a bill that, starting in April, will impose an additional tax of up to 30 percentage points on owners of multiple homes.
The parliament also passed a bill under which corporations with taxable income exceeding 300 billion won (US$277 million) will face the maximum income tax rate of 25 percent.
Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF)
As part of efforts to rein in rising housing prices, the government is also juggling an option to reintroduce tougher real estate tax laws that can be used to control rising home prices and curb speculation.
Related to this move, a special committee under a presidential fiscal reform panel is expected to soon start talks on ways to control real estate prices, government sources said.
The tax code revision also centers around offering more tax incentives to smaller firms and startups, as well as to job-creating industries, according to the ministry.
Tax deductions of up to 11 million won will be offered to firms that hire regular workers, and a special tax cut will be extended to smaller venture startups over a three-year period, the ministry said.
Separately, the tax code revision allows the Korea Customs Service to have real-time information on South Koreans who buy goods worth more than US$600 -- the maximum duty-free allowance for a traveler -- in credit cards. (Yonhap)