SEOUL, Jul. 12 (Korea Bizwire) — Over half of South Koreans believe the country’s current taxation system is unfair, a new report has found.
According to data released by Jeon Byung-mok, the director of the Korea Institute of Public Finance (KIPF) during a meeting held at the headquarters of the Korea Federation of Banks on Tuesday, nearly 40 percent of the respondents said the tax system in South Korea is ‘unfair to a degree’ while 7.4 percent said it is seriously unjust.
A mere 0.5 percent showed a great level of satisfaction with the way taxation is currently being implemented, while 39.3 percent said it is okay.
When asked whether taxes should increase to fund social welfare programs, a majority of respondents had an unfavorable opinion, with two in three South Koreans not willing to ‘take on an additional burden’.
The survey, which was conducted by an economic panel on a sample of 7,106 Koreans with an average annual income of 50.6 million won, also showed over half of the respondents said they felt the tax burden imposed on them was appropriate after comparing with other taxpayers under similar economic circumstances.
In the meantime, 35.6 percent felt they were paying more taxes than other individuals with similar earnings, while only 3.8 percent said they were paying less than expected.
When it came to comparing individual contributions through tax and social services provided by the government, nearly 45.7 percent said they felt they were getting their tax money’s worth in the form of social welfare provided by the government, while 43.7 percent were dissatisfied.
Though 34.6 percent said social welfare needs to be extended, two in three taxpayers weren’t willing to pay more to raise the level of social assistance in the country, with only 30 percent keen on a tax increase of below 5 percent.
South Korea has been falling behind Europe and other developed countries when it comes to improving the Gini coefficient, which is an indication of a country’s income inequality.
According to the data provided by Jeon, South Korea’s rate of improvement was estimated at 10.1 percent after taxation and redistribution, trailing behind the likes of Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S., which accounted for 42.5 percent, 32.4 percent, 32.1 percent and 22.8 in the order named.
Ashley Song (email@example.com)