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  • DeiseBoy
  • Waygookin

    • 16

    • March 24, 2014, 07:23:06 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
I'll be leaving Korea at the end of March after 5 years and I'm currently doing/getting all of the things that I need to do/get before leaving.

This obviously includes paying off any bills (phone, internet, utilities, etc.), although I won't be able to pay most of these off until closer to my departure date when the final bill can be calculated properly. I intend to bring the final bills along with receipts of my bank account's transaction history to the school so they can scan them as proof that these bills have been paid in full.

However, on top of this, my school is asking that I leave behind 700k won in cash to cover any expenses that may arise after I've left the country. When asked what these expenses might be, since I'll be paying all my bills, they could only specify "taxes or other things".

I asked if I could transfer money to their account should there be any unforeseen expenses after I leave but they seem insistent on me leaving the money and say it's due to government regulations. These regulations apparently also mean that they will hold on to the money until after the first semester is over.

They said I should leave my Korean bank account open so that they can transfer any remaining money into it when the time is over. This is also not ideal as I had arranged to have my final wages, exit allowance, severance pay, etc. sent to my home account so I could close my Korean account before leaving.

Has anyone else encountered this? It seems like an excessive amount of money to me and too long of a waiting period until it gets paid back. The only reason I can see why they don't want me to transfer money to them if needed instead is that they think I won't pay it once I've left Korea. Though I've never had any problems paying my expenses over the 5 years I've been with the school.

Just looking for any thoughts or advice about this situation. Thanks.


Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2019, 01:34:55 pm »
There's no need to do this. You can sort out your phone and internet bills probably a day or two in advance of leaving the country. The sticking point may be utilities, but you can call the electricity, gas and water companies as you move out to find out the exact amount owing at that moment and transfer it or pay it in cash to the landlord or an admin person from your school.

That leaves the possibility of you owing taxes, but even if they process a tax return for you in early 2020 for the two months you worked this year, I can't imagine you owing much money.


  • CaitV
  • Waygookin

    • 13

    • July 02, 2014, 02:58:38 pm
    • Gyeonngi-do
Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2019, 01:42:14 pm »
I'm not sure if it's different for hagwons, but this seems really shady to me if it's a public school. I never experienced this when I left, and I've never heard of it being the case with any of my friends.

The 900,000 won security deposit you pay at the start of your contract should be to cover costs in the event you wreck your apartment or don't pay your utilities. When I had to suddenly return to Canada, my school had no trouble returning the security deposit, and paying the severance to my Canadian account.

As for any unpaid taxes, I think if there are any the pension office would deduct it before paying out your pension return to your foreign account.

And holding money until the 1st semester is over? Does that mean they won't pay it until the summer?

I think you should talk to a recruiter, or maybe contact someone at EPIK or GEPIK (assuming you're public school) and ask them about these government regulations :/


  • DeiseBoy
  • Waygookin

    • 16

    • March 24, 2014, 07:23:06 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2019, 01:46:50 pm »
There's no need to do this. You can sort out your phone and internet bills probably a day or two in advance of leaving the country. The sticking point may be utilities, but you can call the electricity, gas and water companies as you move out to find out the exact amount owing at that moment and transfer it or pay it in cash to the landlord or an admin person from your school.

That leaves the possibility of you owing taxes, but even if they process a tax return for you in early 2020 for the two months you worked this year, I can't imagine you owing much money.

Well the officetel where I live has one of those utility bills that includes everything in one bill and is calculated based on the floor's average use of each amenity, not your own personal use. So on the day I'm leaving I'll ask them to calculate my final bill, go to the bank, and transfer the money there and then so it shouldn't be a problem after I leave.

My recent tax return for the whole of 2018, calculated at the end of January, was something like 60,000 won so that's why I can't figure out where they're getting this figure of 700k from for "taxes and other things".


  • DeiseBoy
  • Waygookin

    • 16

    • March 24, 2014, 07:23:06 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2019, 01:53:02 pm »
I'm not sure if it's different for hagwons, but this seems really shady to me if it's a public school. I never experienced this when I left, and I've never heard of it being the case with any of my friends.

As for any unpaid taxes, I think if there are any the pension office would deduct it before paying out your pension return to your foreign account.

And holding money until the 1st semester is over? Does that mean they won't pay it until the summer?

Yeah, I'm not inclined to leave 700k in cash to pay for "things". Yes, it's a public school and yes they won't be able to pay it back until the summer according to them to make sure there are no expenses left. Unfortunately, I'm one of the people who don't get their pension money back either.


Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2019, 02:47:30 pm »
sometimes the tax adjustments at the end of the year are off and it needs to be paid.  i had to pay one year because they didn't take enough out the previous year. 

they shouldn't be asking you to leave money though.  they are probably just worried that since you are leaving korea, that you won't pay what you owe.  just tell them to email you if they need money.  then it's up to you to decide if you are going to pay it or not. 

as for the other bills, you just pay those before you leave.  every place i ever moved out of, i always called up the dude to turn off the electicity/print me the final bill.


  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1420

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2019, 05:08:29 pm »
Iíve had past schools contact me for taxes and health insurance adjustments. But not nearly that much. What Iíd do is say you have to close your bank account here, which is true to avoid any tax issues or even scams. It is recommended to always close any financial accounts you arenít using.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 3903

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2019, 06:38:42 pm »
Yeah.... no!


  • oglop
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1892

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2019, 07:53:24 pm »
what utter nonsense. if they don't pay you 100% of your wages, file a complaint with the MOEL and they'll sort it for you

did that recently with unpaid wages. received them within 3 weeks of submitting the petition


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

    • 410

    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
    • Gouda cheese Be Best cheese
Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2019, 11:07:18 pm »
I'd fight it tooth and nail. When I left, I got my ticket and severance and the next teacher had to pay the 30.000won utility bill. 8)
Fiat voluntas tua- All that you want is allowed


  • DeiseBoy
  • Waygookin

    • 16

    • March 24, 2014, 07:23:06 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2019, 07:41:45 am »
I intend to tell them that 700k is way too much for any expense that may or may not come up after I leave. I'd really like to close my bank account before going as well.

Does anyone know if we're required by the government to leave it open for the first semester after we leave as they are saying? Or do you think it's just an excuse so that they can easily transfer the remainder of the 700k they think I'm leaving with them into it?


  • CO2
  • The Legend

    • 4378

    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Gunpo
    more
Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2019, 07:57:04 am »
I'd fight it tooth and nail. When I left, I got my ticket and severance and the next teacher had to pay the 30.000won utility bill. 8)
Electrifying. Must have been a shock.
The joys of fauxtherhood


  • debbiem89
  • Super Waygook

    • 484

    • August 30, 2016, 09:42:49 am
    • South Korea
Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2019, 08:16:36 am »
I have heard of this before, never as much as 700k though. My friend left and had to pay a lump sum for health insurance and taxes.

How do you pay your taxes usually? In my current school I paid it every January in a big lump sum up until this year (I just requested they change it to monthly) so I guess if you are similar then you will owe some taxes too.

To be fair I don't actually blame your school for being wary of you sending it once you leave. So many foreigners just pick up and leave without settling bills/phone contracts etc, I don't think it's a personal slight.


  • hangook77
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1065

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2019, 08:40:42 am »
700 is ridiculous.  You are paying everything yourself and taxes for January and February are going to nil especially if the education office takes it out every month.  (Though in 2017 the education office didn't take anything out and I owed 2 million.  Increasingly, I think taxes must be going up somehow.  Never had to pay this amount before.)  There will be no other expenses if you have everything paid in full by the time you leave.  Maybe leave behind 100,000 won.  I wouldn't do it and I'd get into a shouting match with them if they tried to hold back my money as it is thievery. 


  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1420

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2019, 09:25:52 am »
I intend to tell them that 700k is way too much for any expense that may or may not come up after I leave. I'd really like to close my bank account before going as well.

Does anyone know if we're required by the government to leave it open for the first semester after we leave as they are saying? Or do you think it's just an excuse so that they can easily transfer the remainder of the 700k they think I'm leaving with them into it?

Absolute bullshat. No close your bank account and tell them that itís not in the contract.


  • DeiseBoy
  • Waygookin

    • 16

    • March 24, 2014, 07:23:06 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2019, 10:34:52 am »
I have heard of this before, never as much as 700k though. My friend left and had to pay a lump sum for health insurance and taxes.

How do you pay your taxes usually? In my current school I paid it every January in a big lump sum up until this year (I just requested they change it to monthly) so I guess if you are similar then you will owe some taxes too.

To be fair I don't actually blame your school for being wary of you sending it once you leave. So many foreigners just pick up and leave without settling bills/phone contracts etc, I don't think it's a personal slight.

But the health insurance cost comes out of my wages before I get paid and my final payday is the same day I stop working at the school so there should be no more health insurance cost after that point.

As regards the taxes I pay in a lump sum every year. I just did it at the end of January for the previous year and it was only 60,000 won so any taxes for just February/March should be pretty minimal.

For your last point, that's why I'm bringing in proof of payment of my bills to the school for them to scan, the day after I stop working (final bill, receipt, transaction history, etc.). I'm staying in Korea an extra day so that I can go around and close everything before I go.


  • Savant
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1917

    • April 07, 2012, 11:35:31 pm
Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2019, 02:39:32 pm »
Yeah.... no!

This! If all the bills are in your name then tell them to F*** off.

If you need to pay additional tax then the tax office would send a letter to your home address.


Re: School asking me to leave a large sum of money behind to cover expenses
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2019, 09:31:09 am »
there will be a health insurance payment of 90 000 won or around that in March for the previous month

there will be two months of tax probably about 200 000 won or so

your own bills (internet, phone etc) can be paid off by yourself before you go, so no worries

As regards the taxes I pay in a lump sum every year. I just did it at the end of January for the previous year and it was only 60,000 won so any taxes for just February/March should be pretty minimal.

doesn't sound right.  60 000 won for the tax adjustment in a lump sum payment? no.  for that amount, you are paying each month.  i paid a lot on my credit card, debit card, have medical expenses etc and i still paid 1.3 million in a lump sum amount.

in short, 700 000 won is too much.  suggest 300 000/350 000 won which should cover it.  i understand they need to cover themselves if you leave the country, even though you've worked there a while and they probably trust you.

I wouldn't do it and I'd get into a shouting match with them if they tried to hold back my money as it is thievery. 

don't do this