South Korea's tax revenue fell 6.2 trillion won ($5.3 billion) in October from a year earlier as the government delayed the payment of some taxes by small merchants and firms hit by the pandemic, the finance ministry said Thursday.
The government collected 32.9 trillion won in taxes in October, compared with 39.1 trillion won a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Tax revenue increased every month between January and September from a year earlier as corporate tax income rose in line with the economic recovery and capital gains tax income gained amid a boom in the stock and property market.
But tax revenue fell on-yea in October as the government postponed the payment of some taxes by pandemic-hit people to early next year, the ministry said.In the first ten months of the year, tax revenue rose 53.7 trillion won on-year to 307.4 trillion won.
In the January-October period, the government's total income, including tax revenue, came to 489.9 trillion won, up 80.3 trillion won from the previous year.
The country's gross expenditures grew 40.7 trillion won on-year to 509.2 trillion won in the period as the government increased spending to help vulnerable people cope with the fallout of the pandemic.
As a result, the country posted a fiscal deficit of 19.3 trillion won in the 10-month period, smaller than a shortfall of 59 trillion won the previous year.
The ministry said if the current trends continue, the government's fiscal deficit for this year is expected to be smaller than its earlier projection of 90.3 trillion won.
The central government debt amounted to 939.6 trillion won as of end-October, up from 819.2 trillion won at the end of last year.
The ministry forecast the country's national debt to fall by 6.2 trillion won this year from its earlier estimate as it repaid part of the debt and scaled down the issuance of state bonds.
The government earlier said the 2021 national debt is expected to reach 965.3 trillion won, an amount equivalent to 47.3 percent of the gross domestic product.
The ministry said the growth of tax revenue is expected to slow in the fourth quarter due largely to slowed gains in stock and home prices.
In late November, the government unveiled 12.7 trillion won worth of support for pandemic-ravaged merchants and vulnerable people with excess tax revenue. (Yonhap)