[Letters] Foreigner tax break in danger

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[Letters] Foreigner tax break in danger



So the government is considering ending the tax break for foreigners. There are two problems I see here.

First, the government stated the tax break was to attract foreigners to Korea. Any guesses as to what will happen to foreign teachers no longer getting the tax benefit? China is getting stronger in its attraction to foreign teachers but the take-home pay while working there was less than in Korea. Without the tax break, China is closing the gap and looking more attractive. There may be an exodus of foreign teachers.

The other effect the tax change may have flies directly in the face of what the government hopes to stop: the spending of money on private tutorials. Foreigners may opt to find the 30 percent loss of income by hiring themselves out to Korean parents who pay well and it is undisclosed, therefore untaxed, income. This will only exacerbate an already dire situation.

A word about those who weep at the unfairness of foreigners getting tax benefits; foreigners don’t get near the benefits of ordinary citizens. We can’t buy a phone, get credit cards, enter some saunas and many other things that ordinary Koreans take for granted. I love living here in Korea and overlook many of the insurmountable conditions here, but the tax break is one thing that helps.

David Woelke, Busan
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