South Korea's tax revenue (Yonhap)
South Korea's tax revenue declined 2.1 trillion won ($1.9 billion) in November 2020 due largely to a fall in value-added and transportation tax earnings, the finance ministry said Tuesday.
The country collected 14 trillion won in taxes in November, compared with 16.2 trillion won the previous year, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
The fall in tax revenue was mainly attributable to a decline in value-added and transportation tax earnings, as the government has extended the deadline for tax payment or delayed the collection of taxes in arrears as part of tax support measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In November, the government's total revenue, including tax income, amounted to 28.2 trillion won, down 900 billion won from a year earlier. In the first 11 months of last year, the total revenue grew 2.4 trillion won on-year to 437.8 trillion won.
The country's total expenditures grew 6.9 trillion won on-year to 32.6 trillion won in the month due to the implementation of the fourth extra budget.In the January-November period, the total expenditures came to 501.1 trillion won, up 57.8 trillion won from a year earlier.
Accordingly, the country's fiscal soundness worsened both in November and in the first 11 months, the data showed.
The consolidated fiscal balance, the gap between total revenue and expenditures, posted a deficit of 63.3 trillion won in the first 11 months of the year, compared with a 55.4 trillion won shortfall a year earlier.
The managed fiscal balance, another key gauge of fiscal soundness calculated on a stricter term, logged a shortfall of 98.3 trillion won in the January-November period, larger than a 52.7 trillion won deficit the previous year.
As of end-November, the country's government debt rose to a record 826.2 trillion won, up 13.4 trillion won from a month earlier and up 127.3 trillion won from end-2019.
The ministry earlier forecast the country's managed fiscal deficit to reach 118.6 trillion won and its government debt to hit 846.9 trillion won in December.
South Korea is widely expected to see further fiscal shortfall and a rise in government debt, as it plans to keep expansionary fiscal policy this year to tackle the prolonged pandemic.
In December, the National Assembly passed a record 558 trillion-won national budget for 2021. The country plans to frontload 63 percent of the budget spending in the first half.
The finance ministry said the country's debt is expected to reach 956 trillion won in 2021, up 150.8 trillion won from a year earlier. The country's debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, a gauge of a nation's financial health, will reach 47.3 percent this year, sharper than just below 40 percent before the pandemic. (Yonhap)