30
Jun

Government expands measures to cut back underground economy
 
Receipts will be compulsory for any cash transaction of more than 100,000 won ($98.60) from the second half of the year.
 
Currently, service-sector businesses are only required to give a receipt for transactions of 300,000 won or more or if requested by the customer.
 
Cash receipt regulations were introduced in 2005 as a measure to reduce the underground economy and tax evasion. The government offered a 20 percent income-tax deduction on the amount of total cash spending by a taxpayer if proven with receipts.
 
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance yesterday published revisions of the laws to take effect in the second half of 2014.
 
“The ministry published a booklet that contains 160 laws that will be reformed from the second half and plans to distribute them at city halls, ward offices, community centers, tax offices and public libraries, so people can have easy access to the booklet,” said a spokesman for the ministry.
 
Businesses that refuse to follow the regulation regarding receipts, including those in the healthcare, food and hospitality and educational services industries, will face fines.
 
The National Tax Service (NTS) said businesses will have to issue cash receipts within five days of transactions and if they don’t, they will be fined 50 percent of the amount of the transaction as a penalty.
 
Customers who do not receive cash receipts can report to the NTS. The NTS plans to reward consumers that report violations by giving them 20 percent of the transaction amount, within the limits of 5 million won per year and 1 million won per case.
 
The revision also states that public institutions and private companies will not be allowed to collect resident registration numbers in principle without legal grounds from the second half of the year.
 
In other regulation changes, air bags will be required for the front seats of all taxis. The death rate of taxi drivers in accidents is much higher than for the general population because there are no air bags installed in taxis.
 
Furthermore, the changes in regulations of food trucks, which was a focus of the debate in March, will be loosened from July.
 
Until now, converting small trucks into food trucks was not allowed, but when the ongoing revision to the Enforcement Decree of Automobile Management Act is completed, making structural changes in small trucks for the purpose of selling food will be permitted.
 
Additionally, tightening of the regulation that mandates total airfares be disclosed by travel companies, including fuel surcharges, will be made to avoid confusion among consumers.
 
Travel agencies and airline companies currently exclude fuel surcharges in the totals described.
 
Companies will have to combine domestic and foreign airport facility fees, fuel surcharges and the basic airline fare, the ministry said.
 
 
Source: Korea Joongang Daily

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