Tax free North Korea

By Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein

Archived article from KCNA in 2009, acknowledging North Korea’s turn to a formally tax-free economy system in 1974 (found through a cached page here):

March 21. 2009 Juche 98

DPRK, First Tax Free Country

Pyongyang, March 21 (KCNA) — The DPRK promulgated the historic law on liquidating the tax system, a legacy of the old society, once and for all on March 21, Juche 63 (1974), declaring the DPRK, the first tax free country in the world.

President Kim Il Sung saw to it that the Third Session of the Fifth Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK adopted and promulgated the law to the whole world.

He expounded the establishment of a fair tax system in his famous work “The Ten-Point Programme of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland” already in the period of the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle. After the national liberation (August 15, 1945), he made every possible effort to do away with the predatory tax system of the Japanese imperialists, establish a popular and democratic one in the country and lessen the tax burden of the people in a systematic way.

The DPRK reduced the income tax of the factory and office workers by 30 percent, alleviated the tax burden of private traders and industrialists considerably and scaled down the agricultural tax in kind from 25 percent of grain output to 20.1 percent again in 1955 after the Korean war, and to 8.4 percent from 1959.

Along with the progress of the socialist construction, the growth of income of the state-owned economy and the heightening of the political and ideological awareness of the working people, the agricultural tax in kind, which had been introduced right after the liberation, was completely abolished by the year of 1966 in accordance with the publication of “Theses on the Socialist Rural Question in Our Country” by the President. The tax paid by the people accounted for some two percent of the state budget revenue.

He promulgated his famous work “On Abolishing the Tax System” as a law of the Supreme People’s Assembly and thus abolished the tax system for good and brilliantly realized the long-cherished desire of the people.

The promulgation of the law was a historic event which brought to reality the ardent desire of the Korean people to live in a tax-free country and made them as the proud masters of the country free from tax. This opened up a new tax-free era for the humankind and demonstrated the incomparable superiority of the Korean-style socialist system and the might of the independent national economy.

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