Understanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (근로장려금) in South Korea

In South Korea, the Earned Income Tax Credit (근로장려금) is a crucial financial support mechanism designed to assist low-income working individuals and families. This program aims to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for workers by supplementing their income. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the 근로장려금, including eligibility criteria, application process, application period, conditions, and payment dates.

1. 근로장려금 (Earned Income Tax Credit)

The 근로장려금 (Earned Income Tax Credit) is a government initiative aimed at providing financial support to low-income earners. The program helps reduce the economic burden on working individuals and families, encouraging them to continue participating in the workforce. By providing additional income, the 근로장려금 enhances the standard of living for beneficiaries, helping them meet their daily needs and achieve financial stability.

2. 근로장려금 기준 (Eligibility Criteria for Earned Income Tax Credit)

To qualify for the 근로장려금, applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria. The 근로장려금 기준 (Eligibility Criteria for Earned Income Tax Credit) includes the following:

  1. Income Level: Applicants must fall within a certain income bracket, which varies depending on their household size and composition. For instance, single-person households, dual-income couples, and families with children have different income thresholds.
  2. Age: The applicant must be at least 18 years old.
  3. Residency: The applicant must be a resident of South Korea.
  4. Employment Status: The applicant must be employed, self-employed, or engaged in other income-generating activities.

Meeting these criteria ensures that the 근로장려금 reaches those who need it most, providing targeted financial support to low-income workers.

3. 근로장려금 신청 (Applying for Earned Income Tax Credit)

The process of applying for the 근로장려금 is straightforward and can be done through various channels. The 근로장려금 신청 (Applying for Earned Income Tax Credit) involves the following steps:

  1. Preparation: Gather necessary documents such as identification, income statements, and employment verification.
  2. Application Submission: Submit the application through the National Tax Service (NTS) website, mobile app, or local tax office.
  3. Review and Verification: The NTS reviews the application and verifies the information provided.
  4. Approval and Notification: Applicants are notified of the approval status, and successful applicants receive details about the payment.

The 근로장려금 신청 process is designed to be user-friendly, ensuring that eligible individuals can easily access the financial support they need.

4. 근로장려금 신청기간 (Application Period for Earned Income Tax Credit)

The 근로장려금 신청기간 (Application Period for Earned Income Tax Credit) is typically set annually by the National Tax Service. The application period usually occurs in two phases:

  1. Regular Application Period: The primary application period typically takes place from May to June. During this time, eligible individuals can submit their applications for the previous year’s income.
  2. Supplementary Application Period: If individuals miss the regular application period, a supplementary period is often available later in the year, usually from September to November.

Applicants should be aware of these periods to ensure they apply on time and receive their benefits without delay.

5. 근로장려금 조건 (Conditions for Earned Income Tax Credit)

In addition to the eligibility criteria, there are specific 근로장려금 조건 (Conditions for Earned Income Tax Credit) that applicants must meet to receive the benefit:

  1. Income Reporting: Applicants must accurately report their income, including all sources of earnings, to the National Tax Service.
  2. Compliance with Tax Obligations: Applicants must be in compliance with their tax obligations, including filing tax returns and paying any owed taxes.
  3. Household Composition: Changes in household composition, such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child, must be reported to ensure the correct calculation of the benefit amount.
  4. Employment Continuity: Applicants should maintain continuous employment or income-generating activities during the eligibility period.

Adhering to these conditions is essential for receiving and maintaining the 근로장려금, ensuring that the benefit reaches those who genuinely need it.

6. 근로장려금 지급일 (Payment Dates for Earned Income Tax Credit)

The 근로장려금 지급일 (Payment Dates for Earned Income Tax Credit) are set by the National Tax Service and typically occur after the application and review process. The payment dates are usually as follows:

  1. Initial Payment: After the regular application period, initial payments are made between September and October. This payment covers the full amount of the earned income tax credit for the previous year.
  2. Supplementary Payment: For those who apply during the supplementary period, payments are made by the end of December.

These payment dates ensure that beneficiaries receive their financial support in a timely manner, helping them manage their finances effectively.


The 근로장려금 (Earned Income Tax Credit) is a vital program that provides much-needed financial support to low-income workers in South Korea. By understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, application period, conditions, and payment dates, individuals can take full advantage of this benefit. The 근로장려금 helps reduce poverty, improve the quality of life for beneficiaries, and encourages continued participation in the workforce. For those who meet the criteria, applying for and receiving the 근로장려금 can be a significant step towards achieving greater financial stability and overall well-being.

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