From estate tax to beer, a dozen reforms passedA dozen tax reforms were passed on Monday at a cabinet meeting, dealing with everything from craft beer to family estates.
In one bill passed, restaurants and bars that make their own beer will no longer have to be licensed, as long as they pay the required tax.
Previously, only those with a beer manufacturing license were allowed to make and sell alcoholic beverages, even if it had an alcohol content of 1 percent.
According to the Finance Ministry, the government has relaxed the regulation in order to encourage the development of start-ups.
Inheritance rules were also eased. The lock-up period on estates, which prevented beneficiaries from selling more than 20 percent of the inherited businesses or changing the business line, has been shortened to seven years from 10.
They will also be allowed to reduce the number of employees at these businesses as long as the total payroll remains the same.
They had been required to maintain head count.
Those failing to abide by the rules will lose their tax credit and will have to pay interest on that credit. Small- and medium-sized enterprises with annual revenue of less than 300 billion won ($259.6 million) receive a tax credit of 50 billion won.
The government has gotten tough with tax violators.
Starting this year, those with unpaid taxes of 200 million won or more, despite having the ability to pay them, could spend as many as 30 days behind bars.
A new law has been created where the Korea Custom Service could immediately request the Justice Minister to ban foreign travel for those that have unpaid custom taxes of 50 million won or more.
Other changes include easing the burden on inheriting housing units that the person is actually living in. The tax credit on inheritance has been raised from the previous 80 percent of the housing unit price to 100 percent.
In addition, the maximum limit was raised from 500 to 600 million won.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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