Average Salary and Tax Structure in South Korea for Expats

Average Salary in Korea

As per the article published in The Chosunilbo, the average annual salary per worker was estimated at 25.15 million KRW. In terms of region, the average wage of workers in Ulsan, where many giant enterprises are based, was 31.51 million KRW, the highest figure nationwide, whereas Incheon, the lowest, was merely 21 million KRW.

So expats on an average are offered around 2.5 million KRW per month before deduction of taxes.

Tax Deductions from your Korean Salary

Pension (국민연금)       4.5% of your salary
Health (or Medical) Insurance (건강보험) 2.665% of your salary
Income Tax (소득세) Under 12 Million Won – 6%
Under 46 Million Won – 15%
Under 88 Million Won – 24%
Over 88 Million Won – 33%
Residence Tax (주민세) 10% of your Income Tax


Sample Salary Structure in Korea

Pre Tax Salary (Annual)       30,000,000 KRW
National Pension 1,350.000 KRW
Medical or Health Insurance 799,500 KRW
Income Tax 1,081,970 KRW
Resident Tax 108,197 KRW
Annual Income After Deducations 26,660,333 KRW
Monthly Take Home 2,221,695 KRW


Additional Info

  • The Korean fiscal year runs from 1 January to 31 December
  • When you finish a one-year contract, you receive an extra month’s regular salary as Severance Pay.
  • Your air ticket fare for your arrival gets added to your first months salary and your air ticket fare for your departure is paid to you at the end of your contract or is added to your salary in equated monthly installments.
  • Rent free housing is provided. Paying for Maintenance and Utilities is your responsibility.
  • Additional allowance offered by some Korean companies could be meal allowance, automobile allowance, education expense (for learning Korean Language or for the education of your kids).

This is just a general idea of what the deductions could be and how much you will get in hand at the end of the month. But for exact details about your salary and monthly take home you need to get in touch with your HR or Consultant for your Korean Company and ask them to provide a detailed break up of your salary along with a dummy paycheck with all the details listed about the expect monthly deductions.

For more details visit National Tax Service, Korea.