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Lee Talks Of Korean Unification Tax

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

16 August 2010


While relations with North Korea are still very difficult, South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak, in his Liberation Day speech, has suggested that preparations should be made for the reunification of the two countries, including the introduction of a unification tax.

While putting forward ideas of how reunification could be effected through constitutional and economic changes, President Lee also pointed to the extremely large financial burden that would have to be faced and dealt with in merging the two economies, particularly given the under-developed state of North Korea’s economy.

Reflecting on what some believe to be inevitable given North Korea’s current precarious political and economic state, he reiterated that reunification is bound to happen at sometime in the not too distant future. It is, he said, therefore imperative that South Korea begins to contemplate measures to prepare for it - such as devising plans for a unification tax.

It has been foreseen for some time in South Korea that medium and long term contingency plans for reunification would need to be made. President Lee’s references in his speech are seen as a call for the government and citizens to draw up how a unification tax could be structured.

TAGS: tax | Korea, North | Korea, South | tax reform

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