The Korean government has postponed… by
one year… its plans to tax religious leaders and churches.
These people and houses of worship have been exempt from taxation on their earnings for
decades,… but some worry the delay raises the chance the tax reform will be pushed back
even further. Park Ji-won has more.
The Korean government′s attempt to impose tax on the earnings of clergy members will
be delayed for one more year. The government was originally scheduled to
start levying taxes on the nation′s clergy members like priests and monks from the start
of next year,… which is less than a week away.
But the finance ministry now says a tax on clergy earnings will start from January 2016.
The ruling Saenuri Party had been asking for an even longer delay,… reflecting demands
made by some protestant ministers. The ministry said it has decided to delay
its plans for one more year only,… out of consideration that some religious groups are
willing to voluntarily pay tax. “We want to pay tax,… as we live a life
of honorary poverty and hope. We′ll attempt to restore the essence of the clergy members.”
The Catholic Church in Korea has already been paying income tax voluntarily since 1994,…
and Buddhist sectors in the nation are supporting the taxation.
However,… considering local elections are locked in for 2016 and a presidential election
is set for the following year,… some are concerned the January 2016 start date could
be pushed back. Member of the clergy in Korea have enjoyed
tax-exempt status since 1948. Park Ji-won, Arirang News.