The South Korean E-invoicing System in a Nutshell

Selin Adler Ring
January 17, 2021

Collection of real-time fiscal data is becoming one of the core public finance decision making tools. Transactional data provides a timely and reliable overview of the business sector, enabling governments to rely on analytical data in the decision-making process.

This is what has led many governments to adopt Continuous Transaction Controls (CTC) regimes that require taxpayers to transmit their transactional data in real/ near-real time to government services. South Korea was one of the first countries to appreciate the benefits of a CTC regime and mandated reporting of e-invoice data to the government for certain taxpayers as early as 2011.

Mandate scope expanded

The year after the first implementation, the South Korean authorities expanded the mandate scope and the e-invoicing system became mandatory for more taxpayers. 2014 saw another expansion of the CTC mandate to reach its current scope.

The current system requires any business that is a corporate entity or an individual whose aggregate supply value for the immediately preceding tax year is KRW 300,000,000 or more to issue an e-invoice to the recipient of goods or services subject to VAT, as well as to report the invoice data to the government.

The South Korean e-invoicing system mandates the issuance of an e-invoice to the recipient and reporting of this invoice data to the government portal within a day of its issuance. Before e-invoices are transmitted, suppliers must digitally sign them with a PKI electronic signature. E-invoices are reported in an XML format to the National Tax Agency (NTS) Portal. Due to the near-real time reporting time-limit, the South Korean e-invoicing system falls under the category of CTC.

South Korea has implemented a comprehensive e-invoicing system from the beginning and as a result there haven’t been any major changes to the requirements or practices. This is a big relief for taxpayers in South Korea compared to other CTC jurisdictions where there are constant changes.

In addition to the benefits for taxpayers, a considered CTC regime is also less burdensome for the state as the implementation costs of the constant regulatory changes can be significant.

More and more governments are considering the adoption of CTC regimes and should look to South Korea as a success story for this approach which has worked well for both the government and taxpayers.

Take Action

Please get in touch to discuss how Sovos can help your business comply with CTC regime reporting in South Korea or other jurisdictions subject to e-invoicing mandates.

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Author

Selin Adler Ring

Selin is Regulatory Counsel at Sovos. Based in Stockholm and originally from Turkey, Selin’s background is in corporate and commercial law, and currently specializes in global e-invoicing compliance. Selin earned a Law degree in her home country and has a master’s degree in Law and Economics. She speaks Russian, Arabic, English and Turkish.
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