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Retail investors angry over new stock tax scheme




A petition circulates calling for the withdrawal of the government plan to impose a new tax on stock investments. (Cheong Wa Dae website)
A petition circulates calling for the withdrawal of the government plan to impose a new tax on stock investments. (Cheong Wa Dae website)

Market concerns grew over a new tax plan on any financial investment, Thursday, with some criticizing that the scheme imposes a heavy burden on retail investors seeking small profits.

The government unveiled a set of capital gains taxation of up to 25 percent on annual capital gains worth over 20 million won ($16,600) starting from 2023, while lowering the stock transaction tax. 

With individuals expressing concerns online, a petition demanding the withdrawal of the new tax scheme on the Cheong Wa Dae website had received more than 3,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon. 

“In Korea, ordinary citizens have two major ladders to enter the mid-upper social circle: real estate investment and stock exchange. Since June 17 when the government rolled out stricter regulations in the real estate sector, we have lost one ladder and now the officials are trying to get rid of the other,” it said. 

Meanwhile, financial experts agreed on the need for the scheme considering global trends, but expressed worries as to some side effects derived from the new tax plan. 

“The government’s expansion of tax on shareholders goes in line with major economies’ efforts to address tax inequality issues in the global stock market, but controversy remains over double taxation since the government tries to levy tax on both capital gains from stock investment and stock transactions,” said an official at the Korea Financial Investment Association.

By Choi Jae-hee (cjh@heraldcorp.com)
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