South Korea will deny visa extensions to non-Korean tax delinquents by making tax checkout mandatory for visa review, according to the government Monday.
The National Tax Service and the Ministry of Justice would extend co-sharing of records on all types of income tax liabilities of foreigners for reference before visa review. The double scrutiny that so far had been limited to the Ansan branch of Incheon immigration office since May last year would be expanded to 16 immigration offices from next month and all 38 offices across the country by next year.
A resident who has a domicile or resided in Korea for one year or longer is subject to tax on all incomes derived from sources both within and outside Korea. Tax dues from foreign nationals reached 180 billion won ($159 million) as of May because of lenient scrutiny.
Under tougher regulation, tax collectors would provide digital tax records to immigration authorities. Visas would be extended normally for another two to five years based on their tax status. Those with unpaid taxes would have their visa extended for six months or less to give them chance to pay up.
By Chun Jung-hong
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]