From My Archives

This was written in January of 2011. Luckily, KNUE did help and deducted the taxes. But as per usual it wasn’t easy for them to comply with a reasonable request, one that most employers do automatically

Well, no one likes taxes, but when we’re rational we realize the need.

My complaint today isn’t that I have to pay taxes, but that my employer doesn’t automatically deduct them from my checks. My previous employers, including the university in Korea, always did this. At KNUE no deductions are taken. Then at the end of the year, i.e. now we must go online and pay them. The problem is first we need to go to the bank and get an electronic signature transferred to a USB. Then on between Jan. 15th and 17th (can it really be that there’s just one weekend for everyone in Korea to do their taxes?) we must log on and figure out our taxes.

The coordinator gave us bilingual instructions. Well, that was fine, until I took them to the bank to complete step one: getting the electronic signature. I learned from my bilingual seemingly on the ball clerk in Seoul, that my information was wrong. First I must sign up for internet banking and the website has no English. I don’t need to get the mysterious electronic signature. Since the coordinator has led me astray before I believe the banker more. So an hour later, I’ve got what I need and the hope that this weekend I can figure this out. I was told that the Korean IRS website is all in English.*

In Japan you they had tax forms in English. I’ve posted a query on an expat website to see if the Japanese IRS has English pages. In Japan they had information in many languages pertaining to taxes. The American IRS has websites in Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean. It does seem that a government would want to make this process easy to get more compliance.

This is going to be a major hassle.

*N.B. I see that there is English information on the Korean IRS website. Again, the problem is with my employer not the government. My apologies.


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