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(LEAD) S. Korea's tax revenue rises 19 tln won in Q1

Finance 10:50 May 11, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in paras 3, 10)

SEOUL, May 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's tax revenue increased 19 trillion won (US$17 billion) in the first quarter from a year earlier due largely to an increase in the collection of income and corporate taxes, the finance ministry said Tuesday.

The country collected 88.5 trillion won in the January-March period, compared with 69.5 trillion won the previous year, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The tally came as capital gains tax income rose amid increased housing transactions and stock trading. Corporate tax income also rebounded as firms logged robust first-quarter earnings.

In March, tax revenue rose 7.9 trillion won on-year to 30.7 trillion won.

(LEAD) S. Korea's tax revenue rises 19 tln won in Q1 - 1

In the first quarter, the government's total revenue, including tax income, amounted to 152.1 trillion won, up 32.6 trillion won from a year earlier.

The country's gross expenditures grew 17.4 trillion won on-year to 182.2 trillion won as the government increased financial support to vulnerable people hit hard by the pandemic.

As a result, the country posted a fiscal deficit of 30.1 trillion won in the first quarter, smaller than a shortfall of 45.3 trillion won a year earlier, the data showed.

The managed fiscal balance, a key gauge of fiscal soundness calculated after excluding accounts on social security funds, logged a shortfall of 48.6 trillion won in the quarter, compared with a deficit of 55.3 trillion won the previous year.

The country's central government debt amounted to 862.1 trillion won as of end-March, up from 819.2 trillion won at the end of last year.

In the cited period, the government sold bonds worth 50.4 trillion won, some 27 percent of the planned yearly debt sale of 186.3 trillion won.

South Korea is widely expected to post a fiscal deficit this year as it seeks to keep its expansionary fiscal policy to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, the country's national debt grew by the largest-ever amount of 123.7 trillion won to a record 846.9 trillion won. The debt is expected to reach 965.9 trillion won this year, according to the finance ministry.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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