Saturday, February 25, 2017

$500 ahead of budget

The news from my place of work is that I owe yet another W780,000 in taxes. Having paid W1.6-W1.7 million only a few damn months ago, I'm unpleasantly surprised at being broom-handle-fucked again—a surprise that can be chalked up to the age-old "the foreigner is always last to know" dynamic that exists in most Korean companies.* I should have known that this hit was coming, but no one could be bothered to tell me.

So that's pissing me off right now. The good news, though, is that I'm going to end calendar February about $500 ahead of where I should be. My budget predicts I'd have about W7.2 million in the account, but I'm currently at W7.8 million, which will defray the cost of paying yet more goddamn tax within a three-month period (i.e., end of November to now). Seriously—who pays this much tax twice in a row? My boss has offered the services of his accountant to me; I've said yes, even if it means paying a nasty fee. Perhaps the accountant can prevent me from being tax-raped several times throughout the year.

Another thing to consider is that, beyond 2016, I did not include, in my budget, any income from KMA and Seoul National. This year, that extra income will add up to another 2 or 3 million won, which will cover any future attempts at fiscal buggery.** My budget runs through 2020, beyond the point when I turn fifty. There's no KMA or SNU listed in that entire time frame, which means I have an invisible safety net. If I do get paid for a previously unlisted gig, I simply type those numbers into the budget in an ad hoc manner, month by month, to stay current. The result is a budget that remains, despite all these slings and arrows, ironclad.

So we're still on the path, folks. We're angry, but we're still on the path.

*In this particular case, the finance office spoke to a staffer who has nothing to do with me, telling this staffer that I'm the only one not to have filed my paperwork. The staffer sought me out to tell me this. It angers me that private financial information is being sloppily flung around for others to hear (if I talk about this information on my blog, that's by choice; I'm sure you see the moral difference), and it angers me even more that I'm not receiving information, in a timely manner, about what I need to be doing.

You may recall that, back when I worked at Daegu Catholic University, my private medical information was made available to admin staff—a fact I found alarming and upsetting, but not exactly surprising. Don't expect to get the Western treatment if you live in Korea: the village mentality reigns supreme, and everyone knows everyone's business.

**Obviously, I'd rather not be buggered in the first place.


Charles said...

That blows, man. Not much more to be said.

Although I do hope you avoid getting buggered in the future.

Kevin Kim said...

We'll see what happens when the accountant is brought into the picture. Ideally, this should be the only time that I have to pay taxes this year. If I have to pay again in November/December, I'm going to be very pissed off.

Another thing my boss and I figured out is that they're not taking the so-called "standard" 3.3% of taxes out of my income: it's actually 4.9%. Grrr.