Tax Laws and Regulations

In addition to the various tax laws, Presidential Decrees may be set in order to enforce the tax laws. The Minister of Strategy and Finance also enacts Ministerial Decrees to enforce the Presidential Decree, to make rulings and authoritative interpretations of the laws, and to enforce the decrees. In addition to the Presidential and Ministerial Decrees, the Commissioner of the National Tax Service may issue administrative orders and rules to ensure the consistent application of the laws. The courts of justice have the final authority in interpreting the tax laws, and the rulings and interpretations by tax authorities do not bind. Laws of national taxes are shown in the table below.

The Constitution also provides for the principle of local autonomy. Under this principle, local governments are given the right to assess and collect local taxes. The Local Tax Law, the Presidential Enforcement Decree on Local Tax Law, and the Ministerial Enforcement Decree on Local Tax Law are enacted under the Constitution.

Tax Administration

The Office of Tax and Customs at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance is responsible for planning tax policies and drafting tax laws, while the National Tax Service carries out the administration enforcement, which includes tax assessment and collection.

a. Office of Tax and Customs, Ministry of Strategy and Finance

The Office of Tax & Customs plans and coordinates overall national tax and customs policies. It is headed by the Deputy Minister for Tax and Customs, assisted by four Directors-Generals and fourteen Division Directors (ten for internal taxes, four for customs and duties). The divisions regarding internal taxes include Tax Policy, Special Tax Treatment, Income, Corporation, Property, VAT, Environment and Energy, Tax Analysis, International Tax affairs, International Tax Treaties Divisions.

b. Tax Tribunal

The Tax Tribunal, previously called the National Tax Tribunal, was established as an independent organization under the former Ministry of Finance on April 1, 1975 and is now composed of a General Affairs Division, a Supreme Judge, 6 Permanent judges, 14 non-permanent judges, and 12 Examiners. It is responsible for examining and judging tax appellate cases.

c. National Tax Service

The National Tax Service was established as an external organization for the Ministry of Finance on March 3, 1966, taking over the Taxation Bureau of the Ministry of Finance. It is mainly in charge of the assessment and collection of internal taxes. Headed by the Commissioner, it is responsible for establishing basic policies; and it supports tax administration by directing, supervising, and controlling the Regional, District, and Branch Tax Offices.

The National Tax Service consists of a Planning and Management Controller, a Data Management Controller, an Inspector, eight bureaus, three affiliated organizations, six Regional Tax Offices, 104 District Tax Offices, and 17 Branch Offices.

(1) Internal Organization

(2) Affiliated Organizations

(3) Regional Tax Office, National Tax Service

Under the supervision of the National Tax Service, the Regional Tax Office is responsible for the direct guidance and control over the activities of the District Tax Offices. In addition, a Regional Tax Office directly handles the assessment of specialcase taxes on certain taxpayers. There are six Regional Tax Offices nationwide, located in the cities of Seoul, Suwon, Daejeon, Gwangju, Daegu, and Busan.

(4) District Tax Office

A District Tax Office is the front-line organization responsible for the assessment, collection, audit, and investigation of all internal taxes.


excerpted and updated from the source