South Korea Expands Mandatory E-invoicing Scope

Selin Adler Ring
February 15, 2022

South Korea has an up-and-running e-invoicing system that combines mandatory e-invoicing with a continuous transaction controls (CTC) reporting obligation. This mature and well-established system, launched over a decade ago, is seeing its first significant changes in years.

Presidential Decree No. 31445 (Decree) has recently amended certain provisions of the Enforcement Decree of the Value-Added Tax Act. Among other changes, the scope of e-invoicing has been expanded and a new timeline and threshold limits introduced. This means that more taxpayers in South Korea must comply with e-invoicing rules in accordance with the timelines.

What is the new timeline and threshold limits for e-invoicing?

In South Korea, e-invoicing has been mandatory for all corporate businesses since 2011. From 2012, individual businesses (entrepreneurs) have also been required to comply with e-invoicing obligations if they meet the threshold limits which have been updated a couple of times over the years. Currently, an individual business whose aggregate supply value (including transactions that are tax exempt) for the immediately preceding tax year is KRW 300,000,000 or more, is required to comply with the country’s e-invoicing rules.

After the recent amendments, the current threshold is now lowered to KRW 200,000,000 and the new threshold limit will be applicable from 1 July 2022. The tax authority has already communicated further adjustments, announcing that from 1 July 2023, the threshold will be reduced further to the limit of KRW 100,000,000. The Korean tax authority aims to enhance the transparency of tax sources by requiring more businesses to comply with the e-invoicing rules.

What´s next for e-invoicing requirements in South Korea?

The expansion of the scope of e-invoicing obligations does not come as a surprise. Like in many other CTC jurisdictions, transactional data collected from a larger number of taxpayers provides greater insight to the tax authority about VAT, market trends and more.

Due to its success and maturity, e-invoicing in South Korea continues to inspire other countries in the Asia Pacific region. The Philippines tax authority is in the process of launching an e-invoicing pilot for the country’s 100 largest taxpayers from 1 July 2022. When designing their e-invoicing system, the Philippines tax authority had several meetings with its South Korean counterparts to benefit from Korean expertise and experience. Therefore, the Philippines is introducing a relatively similar CTC system to the Korean one.

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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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