Working and Business > Income Taxes

Foreign Nationals Exempted from Taxes

Foreign Nationals Exempted...

Some Foreign Engineers and Teachers/Professors are exempted from paying income taxes on their employment income in Korea.

Tax Exemption for Foreign Engineers:
A foreign engineer who meets certain criteria may be exempted from paying income taxes in Korea for a period of up to five (5) years.
To claim taxation exemption:
The foreign engineer must file a written application for tax exemption status to the tax office no later than the 10th day of the month in which s/he has been paid. This is something the engineer should discuss with her/his employer initially and with which the employer can provide assistance.

Tax Exemption for Teachers and Professors:
The majority of foreign instructors are taxed on their wage and salary income following the process applicable to all resident taxpayers. However, some may meet the non-taxation requirements under tax treaty provisions. The tax exemption would be for two (2) years normally (3 for China).
To claim taxation exemption:
Persons wishing to receive non-taxation treatment must submit the "Application Form for Non-Taxation of Wage and Salary Income Pursuant to Tax Treaties" and the following documents to the school (the payer of the wage and salary income). The school must then submit the documents to the competent district tax office by the 9th day of the month following the month the first wage and salary income payment was made. All documents*, including the application form, but be prepared and submitted in two copies.
* Required documents for submission
1. Certificate of residency
2. Copy of employment agreement with the school
3. Copy of documents proving the instructor's qualification for non-taxation

To confirm your status, you should check with the NTS and/or with a tax account.

For more information or to ask questions, you can contact the NTS via:
- International Tax Resource Management Office of the NTS at (82-2-397-1444).
- Foreign taxpayer advocate service - questions asked online
- English 'helpline' - 1588-0560 (82-2-1588-0560)

K4E Note: The above is based on information on the National Tax Service website. It is intended as general information only. For more details, readers should visit the NTS website.
Amendments to the tax laws/rules are often adopted in January of the year in which they will take effect. We do our best at K4E to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and up-to-date.  Should you note any errors or ommissions, please let us know at

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Last Updated on 2015-01-27

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