Wednesday, May 4, 2011

You’ve Been Taxed (22 February)

I can feel my body rebelling against my valiant efforts to stay awake at school today.  With another week to go until the start of the new semester, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to desk-warm at school.  We have no classes, no lessons to plan yet, no meetings, no work to catch up, nothing to do except wait…and the novelty has quickly worn off!  With this in mind, I guess it’s hardly surprising that I end up falling asleep at my desk.  In Korea, it’s perfectly acceptable to take short naps at your desk when the need arises – or, in my case, out of sheer boredom – so no one bats an eye as I take a 30 minute nap.

Around me, the office is bustling with activity as teachers prepare to move desks.  The start of each new school year heralds the re-assignment of desks which means that my fantastic co-teacher will be moving to another office too.  The only exception to this shuffle in seating arrangements is the foreign department: Only the Korean teachers in my office are being moved – the rest of us stay put.  It’s fascinating to watch the Korean teachers move offices or even just desks: EVERYTHING is moved including their computer screens, keyboards, mouse and chair.  It’s absurd that the entire desk has to be emptied – I just moved the mainframe of my computer!

Paying Tax

Today’s biggest and most shocking unexpected surprise, however, is the receipt of our tax payments.  We’re all given notices of the tax amounts that have been deducted from our accounts.  Horrifyingly, Korean tax is all deducted in one foul payment at the end of February.  With no warning, NZ1, who has been in Korea for over a year already, discovers that 1.9 million of this month’s salary is being deducted in unpaid taxes.  Apparently we all pay less tax than we should, involuntarily, and so this massive deduction is inevitable.  For those of you who haven’t yet heard about these payments, you’re going to want to open a separate savings account simply for these taxes due in February 2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment