The Korea Herald


Lawmakers seek delay for crypto taxation

By Park Ga-young

Published : Oct. 11, 2021 - 16:10

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The Upbit Market Index (Dunamu) The Upbit Market Index (Dunamu)
South Korea’s lawmakers are trying to push back controversial taxation on income from investing in cryptocurrencies, which is to be implemented from Jan. 1, 2022.

The opposition People Power Party was drafting a proposal that eases capital gain taxes on cryptocurrencies and is expected to submit the bill as early as Tuesday.

The People Power Party’s bill suggests a one-year delay for crypto gain taxation to 2023 along with a more generous tax redemption than currently planned. The lawmakers plan to revise the current law to impose a 20 percent tax rate for profits between 50-300 million won ($42,000-$251,000) and 25 percent for profits above 300 million won. This is in line with the Financial Investment Income Tax, which is to be implemented starting from 2023. 

The government is poised to levy a 20 percent tax on capital gain for cryptocurrency above 2.5 million won.

“It is not right to impose taxes first at a time when the legal definition of virtual currency is ambiguous,” Rep. Cho Myoung-hee of the People Power Party said. “The intention is to ease the tax base to the level of financial investment income tax so that virtual currency investors do not suffer disadvantages.”

In addition to Cho’s proposal, there are two other revisions under discussion at parliament.

The government however has stood firm on carrying out the taxation plan.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki downplayed the possibility of delaying taxation during a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday.

“It is difficult to delay taxation on virtual assets in terms of policy reliability and legal stability,” Hold told lawmakers.

Meanwhile, digital asset indexes show investment sentiment is reviving. The Upbit Market Index stood at 12,573.21 points, almost 32 percent up from September’s lowest point of 9,541.12 points. The index rose to a record high of 13,972.08 points on May 9 before plummeting to 6,233.81 points on July 20.

A market index by Bithumb, one of the country's four major cryptocurrency exchanges, also showed a similar movement in transaction volume and prices. The Bithumb Market Index, which provides an overall view of price changes in the virtual asset market, also rose 32 percent from Sept. 29 to Monday.

The Fear-Greed index by Dunamu, the operator of Upbit, entered a state of “enhanced interest” in the market. The index stood at 67.04 as of noon on Monday. Figures between 61 and 80 reflect a market witnessing increased transaction volume and a rise in prices in virtual assets.