February 17, 2019, 01:11:47 AM


Author Topic: Death and taxes :/  (Read 330 times)

Offline theman3285

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Death and taxes :/
« on: February 11, 2019, 09:14:54 AM »
Hi All - hoping for some advice

As a South African I'm liable to pay tax in Korea. I teach at a public middle school.

Last week my co-teacher contacted me to say I owe about 500,000 won in taxes, and told to pay immediately. Of course I was under the impression that my taxes were deducted automatically every month. I've been in Korea for three years (this is my first year at this school), and that's the way it's always been.

So what gives? Is the admin staff at my school really inept enough to not take enough taxes from my salary every month? We're at school this week for graduation, and I've asked for a paystub. Who knows if it'll materialise, and if it does, if it it'll be intelligible.

My co-teacher tells me it's the result of the tax 'adjustment period', when official taxes are calculated and some people are given money back and others have to pay more in (obviously I'm in the latter category).

What really confuses me is why my net salary this year has been the same as previous years (when no massive downpayment was required of me). i.e. My pre-tax salary is 2,500,000 (both at my current and previous school), and after deductions I get about 2,300,000 (again, at both schools).

So how can it be that one school deducted enough for taxes and the other did not? And how am I supposed to plan my financial future with any measure of accuracy if I'll be subject to a mysterious and sizeable bill every February?

Offline #basedcowboyshirt

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Re: Death and taxes :/
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 09:29:08 AM »
Hi All - hoping for some advice

As a South African I'm liable to pay tax in Korea. I teach at a public middle school.

Last week my co-teacher contacted me to say I owe about 500,000 won in taxes, and told to pay immediately. Of course I was under the impression that my taxes were deducted automatically every month. I've been in Korea for three years (this is my first year at this school), and that's the way it's always been.

So what gives? Is the admin staff at my school really inept enough to not take enough taxes from my salary every month? We're at school this week for graduation, and I've asked for a paystub. Who knows if it'll materialise, and if it does, if it it'll be intelligible.

My co-teacher tells me it's the result of the tax 'adjustment period', when official taxes are calculated and some people are given money back and others have to pay more in (obviously I'm in the latter category).

What really confuses me is why my net salary this year has been the same as previous years (when no massive downpayment was required of me). i.e. My pre-tax salary is 2,500,000 (both at my current and previous school), and after deductions I get about 2,300,000 (again, at both schools).

So how can it be that one school deducted enough for taxes and the other did not? And how am I supposed to plan my financial future with any measure of accuracy if I'll be subject to a mysterious and sizeable bill every February?

First - look at your paystubs to see whether or not you've been having tax deducted monthly.
You've been teaching for three years - why are you only just now asking for a paystub?

I have about 550,000 worth of tax I have to pay this, on top of the amount withheld from my monthly paycheque. Your school admin office can't calculate it exactly for every person - the monthly deductions are an estimate. Then during tax season they punch all the relevant values in and we get how much tax we owe or how much we will get refunded.

You're asking how it can be that one school deducted enough, while another did not. You can answer this question by looking at all your paystubs. The tax bill isn't mysterious (or sizeable, really. It's almost always under 500,000).

So, to summarize:

Look at your paystubs.

Also, did you submit your tax documents for deductions? Tax receipts, credit / check card use, medical, education, etc? That's another good way to lower your taxes by a few hundred thousand per year. Like you said, you've been teaching for three years, though. So I'm sure you must have done this.

Offline theman3285

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Re: Death and taxes :/
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 11:22:50 AM »
I have about 550,000 worth of tax I have to pay this, on top of the amount withheld from my monthly paycheque.

So you're saying this is normal procedure? I've honestly never heard of NETs suddenly having to pay a big tax amount at the end of the year after being partially deducted for tax every month. I understand why there would be minor discrepancies after the adjustment, but this just seems like gross negligence.

On a side note, how much does your school deduct for health insurance every month?

Offline TheDeek

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Re: Death and taxes :/
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 11:30:09 AM »
Hi All - hoping for some advice

As a South African I'm liable to pay tax in Korea. I teach at a public middle school.

Last week my co-teacher contacted me to say I owe about 500,000 won in taxes, and told to pay immediately. Of course I was under the impression that my taxes were deducted automatically every month. I've been in Korea for three years (this is my first year at this school), and that's the way it's always been.

So what gives? Is the admin staff at my school really inept enough to not take enough taxes from my salary every month? We're at school this week for graduation, and I've asked for a paystub. Who knows if it'll materialise, and if it does, if it it'll be intelligible.

My co-teacher tells me it's the result of the tax 'adjustment period', when official taxes are calculated and some people are given money back and others have to pay more in (obviously I'm in the latter category).

What really confuses me is why my net salary this year has been the same as previous years (when no massive downpayment was required of me). i.e. My pre-tax salary is 2,500,000 (both at my current and previous school), and after deductions I get about 2,300,000 (again, at both schools).

So how can it be that one school deducted enough for taxes and the other did not? And how am I supposed to plan my financial future with any measure of accuracy if I'll be subject to a mysterious and sizeable bill every February?

Yes a similar thing happened to me. Last year I had no extra to pay, this year about 450k. The admin staff apologized and said they hadn't been deducting enough and that next year they would be more careful. You/I would be paying this amount anyway so it doesn't make a difference other than the unexpected cost. Anyway, it is a pain but not unusual so don't worry about it too much.

Offline #basedcowboyshirt

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Re: Death and taxes :/
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 11:33:37 AM »
I have about 550,000 worth of tax I have to pay this, on top of the amount withheld from my monthly paycheque.

So you're saying this is normal procedure? I've honestly never heard of NETs suddenly having to pay a big tax amount at the end of the year after being partially deducted for tax every month. I understand why there would be minor discrepancies after the adjustment, but this just seems like gross negligence.

On a side note, how much does your school deduct for health insurance every month?

This is absolutely normal procedure. I've been doing this for almost nine years. So including this year, I've paid tax eight or nine times. I can't remember exactly. But I only received a tax refund twice. And every other year I've needed to pay more (except for my first year because I had no idea what was going on and I didn't know to ask for a paystub so that first year is a mystery).

Also, almost every other teacher I've known for the past few years has had to pay at least a few hundred extra. It's not unusual.

And I pay 97,000ish per month for health insurance.


Offline englishscholar

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Re: Death and taxes :/
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 08:03:29 PM »
OP, that you were taxed this year is most likely due to the fact that your school was taking advantage of your tax exempt status for the previous 2 years. As a South African citizen you are exempted from paying taxes for the first two years of living and working here. Your schools might have taken advantage of this and saved the school some money. The tax agreements here are different for citizens of other countries. What exactly were they deducting money for then? The amount does sound a bit large for someone that should not have been paying taxes for the previous two years.
That being said, I ran into a similar situation in the third year of working here myself. I tried to clarify what was going on since the school knew about the tax exemption status, but since not a single person at my school could speak English I was not able to get any information that would have been useful in understanding why this happened. I have been paying taxes regularly here since switching to a private academy which seem to reflect the appropriate amount I should be paying. I think it might be a bit of a mess there with the administration staff not knowing about this and taxing you for years where you should not have been taxed. They might have thought there was an error somewhere if they saw you weren't paying taxes for two previous years and decided to charge you for that now. Honestly, that's the only thing that makes sense to me and is probably what happened since neither I nor the people I asked about this knew anything about why this was the case.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 08:06:24 PM by englishscholar »