It has been found that the US bank where the defense cost of the US military forces in Korea is deposited is making use of it to earn interest. Under the circumstances, the Korean government is expected to start a process sooner or later to examine whether or not the interest earnings are subject to taxation.
“We have officially confirmed that the Community Bank, where the defense cost share is deposited, took interest earnings from the deposit,” said a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, adding, “According to the US government, 0% of the earnings have been transferred to the US Armed Forces in Korea or the Department of Defense.” The representative continued by saying, “we also have confirmed for years with the USFK that the share is controlled in a zero-interest account of Community Bank, and this point has been made clear yet again during the most recent negotiations for defense cost sharing.”
This means that the account itself yields no interest, but the Community Bank is taking some interest by making use of it. At present, the Community Bank appears to do so by re-depositing the fund in the Seoul branch of the Bank of America or the like. At least some controversy may be raised as to whether or not it is appropriate.
In the meantime, the US government is refusing to get involved in this matter. “The issue has to be dealt with, in compliance with the related law, by the Korean government and the bank itself,” it explained.