The majority of surveyed South Koreans support the introduction of crypto taxes, although the minority that is opposed to the measure may still hold important political cards.
Per the Hankook Ilbo, the survey found that just over 33% of those questioned said they were actually opposed to the introduction of taxes, with over 55% stating they wanted the government to start taxing crypto traders and investors. The remainder stated they were unsure or undecided on the matter.
Crypto tax was due to be introduced in October this year, but politicians agreed to push the launch back to January 1, 2022. The decision was made after domestic exchanges complained that they needed more time to prepare the data which the nationwide tax agencies have required they start submitting to their auditors.
The study was conducted between September 17 and September 18 by the Korea Social Opinion Research Institute (KSOI), which spoke to over 1,000 adults nationwide.
But crucially, the KSOI noted that younger respondents were more likely to say they opposed crypto tax.
The ruling Democratic Party is painfully aware of the fact that younger voters – who represent the core of its support at the polls – have become increasingly crypto-keen over the course of the past few years.
Crypto tax has been much-maligned among the South Korean crypto community, who blame the government for pricing them out of the real estate market with what they have called counterproductive attempts to lower housing prices.
A stagnant jobs market and sluggish share prices have left many of President Moon Jae-in’s supporters disillusioned with the government. And Seoul’s hard line on crypto has not helped its cause among many younger supporters.
Many have expressed outrage at the fact that the crypto tax profit reporting threshold has been set at just USD 2,100 a year – considerably lower than the USD 42,000 level set for KOSDAQ stock traders.
With the nation set to head to the polls in early March next year, opposition lawmakers have pounced on the issue, accusing Moon’s government of “betraying” young, crypto-keen investors – and urging a u-turn.
The government has reacted by claiming it has no intention of backing down, but a crypto task force created by senior Democratic Party lawmakers has stated that it will seek “discussion” on the matter. A number of MPs on both sides of the political fence have launched bids to delay the measure until 2023 at the earliest.
KSOI opinion polls last month indicated that the main opposition People’s Power candidate Yoon Seok-youl is marginally ahead of his nearest Democratic Party rival – although neither party has yet held its final round of primaries.