By Park Hye Ri
The immediate tax refund limit for foreign tourists at post duty-free stores from next year will be doubled.
Minister of Economy and Finance Choo Kyung-ho on Nov. 27 told an emergency meeting of economy-related ministers and another on policy toward exports and investment that foreign tourists who buy duty-free goods will receive higher benefits to stimulate their shopping and overall tourism in the country.
Under the post duty-free tax system, tourists from abroad can receive refunds for value-added and special consumption taxes, both of which are added to the prices of goods at duty-free shops when departing the country. The tax refund limit for foreign visitors who buy goods from such stores is KRW 500,000 for an immediate tax refund and KRW 2.5 million combined.
Minister Choo said that from Jan. 1, the limit will be doubled to KRW 1 million for an immediate tax refund and KRW 5 million combined.
The benefit is more than what the government initially planned. In September, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced an increase in the tax refund limit from KRW 500,000 to KRW 700,000 as part of its strategy to attract more Chinese tourists.
In July, the finance ministry also announced in its 2023 tax law revision that from next year, it will halve the minimum standard amount for a canceled refund from a duty-free shop to KRW 15,000 from KRW 30,000.