South Korean Government Proposes Tough New 22% Tax on Crypto Trading

Crypto trading profits could be liable to a 22% tax should the Korean National Assembly approve the newly tabled proposal.

AccessTimeIconJul 22, 2020 at 11:32 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:34 a.m. UTC

The South Korean government has proposed obliging crypto investors to pay more than a fifth of their profits to the state.

  • The Ministry of Economy and Finance tabled a proposal Wednesday to introduce a 22% tax – including the 2% local income tax – on crypto trading profits above 2.5 million KRW (~$2,000).
  • If approved by Korea's National Assembly, the tax rule will come into force in October 2021.
  • The new tax rule will also apply to non-residents and foreign companies who trade on Korean exchanges.
  • The news was originally reported by CoinDesk Korea.
  • Traders will be obliged to keep accurate records of their crypto activity and file with the National Tax Service at the end of the tax year on May 31.
  • Profits will be based on the difference in the asset's won price at the time of acquisition and time of sale – if the trader doesn't know the acquisition price, it will be assumed to be 0 won.
  • The government says the new tax rule is needed as many other countries have also introduced their own regimes for cryptocurrencies.
  • Cryptocurrency trading profits in the U.S. count as capital gains, where individuals can pay up to 25% in tax.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.