How to Not Get Taxed in Korea

This post will specifically focus on those who are working in Korea from the USA. I hope to someday discuss getting money back on taxable items purchased in countries, but I’ve yet to successfully manage it. With this information you can save over $800 but you have to start the process before you leave. So this is “How to Not Get Taxed in Korea!”

What is it

The Korean and US governments have a deal so that someone working in Korea does not get double taxed. Unfortunately this deal only works for 2 years, but most people only teach for a year or two anyways. Once you have been accepted into a position somewhere in Korea you can request a document from the US IRS for around $80. You will have to take this document with you to Korea and give it to your employer.

Korean taxes are not terribly high for teachers to begin with. It’s about 3.3% of your paycheck. However, I’ve done the math and this can amount to over $800 within the course of a year. That’s worth it to avoid!

How to Get it

You will need to fill out form 8802 from the IRS website. You must fill out this form in order to get Form 6166 which will be the document you need to give to your employer. It’s a little confusing. Try to fill it out the best you can. I was nervous but it all worked out. Be aware that the shipping time on the Form 6166 is pretty long. It took around 3-4 weeks so plan ahead if you can.

What About US Taxes

You will still need to file your US taxes. However, the liklihood that you will be taxed on any of your earnings in Korea is low. I do not know the exact numbers, but you normally need to make over $100,000 in a year to be taxed by the US government when you’re working in Korea.

What if I’m not American? 

Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and South Africa have similar deals with Korea. I found this page from Korvia to be somewhat helpful. I hope this helped you learn how to not get taxed in Korea!

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