Study on Tax Exemption and Reduction for Religious Bodies in Korea - Proposals for improvement in the systems of tax exemption and reduction for religious bodies under the Local Tax Law -

지방세법상 종교단체 비과세·감면의 연구

  • 박상봉 (동의대학교 상경대학 회계학과)
  • Received : 2012.08.01
  • Accepted : 2012.12.09
  • Published : 2012.12.31

Abstract

In Korea, religious bodies are being given tax benefits like tax exemption and reduction in accordance with the Local Tax Law. By the way, there's no difference between tax benefits given to religious bodies and other kinds of non-profit corporations. In other words, tax exemption and reduction for religious bodies are being made without considering the very nature of the bodies. This is causing lots of problems. Currently, tax supports to religious bodies are mostly focusing on tax items related to their property, considerably diverting from the ultimate purpose and objectives of tax exemption and reduction for religious organizations. This is not also weakening local finance, but also diverting from the basic intent of so-called the induction system that if necessary, tax supports are given, but they have to be minimized. To solve these problems, comprehensive actions need to be taken, for example, reducing tax benefits given to religious bodies' property and motivating the bodies to make a variety of donations like in developed countries. Now, religious bodies should change their consciousness of tax liability that is imposed by the Local Tax Law. And the government should be more systematic in the collection and management of data that are necessary to levy taxes on religious bodies. If required, the government show the data to religious bodies, convincing them to positively fulfil their tax liability without complaint. This study discusses the current state and problems of existing local tax systems in relation to religious bodies and then propose how to improve the systems. If the systems of tax exemption and reduction for religious bodies under the Local Tax Law can be improved, it would contribute to improve the finance of local autonomous bodies.