Two moviegoers browse through screenings at a ticket machine in a cinema located in Seoul. (Yonhap)
South Korea’s Finance Ministry is set to announce a legal revision bill next week that includes tax deductions on movie tickets and a raise to the tax exemption for company meal plans for middle-class workers.
Under the current tax law, the government offers a 30 percent tax cut on cultural expenses for middle-class workers whose annual salary is less than 70 million won ($53,300). Eligible workers can receive up to 1 million won in tax deductions for book purchases, museum tickets, performances and concert tickets, as well as newspaper subscriptions.
The government plans to add movie tickets to this list, helping middle-class workers enjoy diverse cultural activities while supporting the film industry, which has suffered a direct hit from COVID-19 restrictions.
“I will design a new tax system so that large amounts of capital and consumer choices can flock to the film industry,” said South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol last month at a banquet with representatives from the movie industry.
The amendment is also planned to increase the limit for tax-free company meal plans from 100,000 won to 200,000 won. If the amendment passes, it would be the first time the limit has been raised since 2003.
Meanwhile, the government is also looking to amend the income tax base brackets for middle- and lower-income classes, while expanding retirement income deductions and eligibility for school expense tax credits.
By Lee Seung-ku (firstname.lastname@example.org