The Ministry of Strategy & Finance announced on Sept. 22 that Korea’s central government debt reached 544.3 trillion won (US$458.2 billion) as of the end of July this year, 9.1 trillion won (US$7.7 billion) more than a month ago, and 41.2 trillion won (US$34.7 billion) more than the same period last year.
According to its announcement, the central government recorded a total income of 226.6 trillion won (US$190.7 billion) and a total expenditure of 235.7 trillion won (US$198.3 billion) during the first seven months of this year, when the fiscal deficit, excluding social security, amounted to 30.9 trillion won (US$26.0 billion). In July alone, the consolidated fiscal balance totaled 14.8 trillion won (US$12.5 billion) in surplus, and the surplus, excluding social security, added up to 12.7 trillion won (US$10.7 billion).
Between Jan. and July 2015, the national tax income increased by 10.9 trillion won (US$9.2 billion) from a year earlier to 135.3 trillion won (US$113.8 billion). As of the end of July, the ratio of actual tax income to tax income target was 62.7 percent, 5.2 percentage points higher than a year ago.
The increase in the ratio was led by corporate and income taxes. With corporate business performances improving, 24 trillion won (US$20.2 billion) was collected in corporate tax until July, to show a 2.2 trillion won (US$1.9 billion) increase year-on-year. The ratio of actual corporate tax income to corporate tax income target was 54.5 percent at the end of July, 7.1 percentage points higher from a year ago. When it comes to the income tax, the collected amount increased by 4.5 trillion won (US$3.8 billion) to 35.5 trillion won (US$29.9 billion), and the ratio rose by 3.4 percentage points to 60.3 percent, as a larger amount of transfer income tax was collected based on an increase in real estate transactions. In the meantime, the value-added tax declined by 100 billion won (US$84.1 million) to 41.4 trillion won (US$34.8 billion) due to a decrease in imports.