What items of remunerations are tax exemptions in Korea?


To abide by the "Income Tax Law of Korea (“IITL”) ",  

The following elements, among others, are excludable from employment income

  • Meal costs of KRW 200,000 or less per month in case that the meal isn't provided by an employer.
    • The meal allowances should be stated in the employment agreement as a separate item individually and also in the company's internal policy of your company.

      For example, if an employee’s annual salary is KRW 12,000,000 inclusive of the meal allowance of Won 1,200,000, you can add the below wording in the employment contract.

  • Pre-arranged, fixed Car allowance for a personal automobile used for business purposes, up to KRW 200,000 per month.
    • If the employees use their privately owned/leased cars for business purposes and the company pays its employees the car allowances in accordance with the company’s established internal policy instead of reimbursing actual costs, the car allowance can be treated as non-taxable income to the employees for up to KRW 200,000 per month. Any amount over and above KRW 200,000per month will be treated as fully taxable income to the employees concerned.

      To secure non-taxation treatment of up to KRW 200,000 per month for employees concerned, the following 4 conditions should be satisfied:

      (1) Car allowances need to be stated in the employment contract

      (2) Car allowance should be based on the internal regulation of the company

      (3) The owners (lessee) of the cars should be the employees themselves.

      (4) The employee shall not get reimbursement for in-town transportation expenses separately.

  • The amount of money not exceeding KRW 200,000 a month, as a Childcare  allowance received from an employer in connection with childbirth of a worker or a spouse of a worker or childcare of a child of 6  years old and under (to be determined based on the date of commencement of the relevant taxable period) shall be non-taxable income. The allowances as such should also be stated in the employment agreement 

    In this case, if employees wish to apply for the allowance tax exemption, the company shall request them to provide evidence such as a 'family relation certification' or 'birth report.'

  • Reimbursement of business expenses, including social membership costs and entertainment expenses incurred by an employee for business purposes.

None payment of above allowances is not mandatory under the Labor Standards Act in Korea (“LSA”). 

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