- Types of Political Funds
Political funds include membership fees, contributions, deposits, subsidies, extra revenues prescribed by the party constitution and regulations, money or marketable securities and goods provided for political activities.
• Membership Fees
- Refer to the money, marketable securities and goods provided by party members in accordance with the party
constitution and regulations.
- Refer to the money, marketable securities and goods contributed to the Political Fundraising Associations (PFA)
in accordance with the Political Fund Act. The PFAs collect contributions from supporters (with both members
and non-members included) and donate them to a person eligible to designate the corresponding PFA.
- The money, marketable securities and goods deposited with the Election Commissions by an individual who
seeks to contribute a political fund to a political party.
- The amount an individual is permitted to deposit ranges from KRW 10,000 per deposit or goods of equivalent
value to whichever amount is larger between KRW 100 million or 5/100 of the income of previous year.
- The National Election Commission allocates the amount deposited to central parties according to the proportion
of distribution of national subsidies within 14 days after the last day of the quarter in which the date of deposits
being made falls.
- Refer to the money and marketable securities the State provides to political parties in pursuit of protection and
promotion for political parties.
- Subsidies include general yearly subsidies (an amount equal to the number of those who have voted in the
latest National Assembly elections multiplied by the subsidy unit price) and election subsidies in a year of public
official election (an amount equal to general yearly subsidies), female candidate nomination subsidies (an amount
equal to the number of those who have voted in the latest National Assembly elections multiplied by KRW 100
) and disabled candidate nomination subsidies (an amount equal to the number of those who have voted in the
latest National Assembly elections multiplied by KRW 20).
- Subsidies are allocated according to whether or not a negotiating group is formed in the National Assembly, the
number of seats in the National Assembly and the proportion of votes gained by each political party. Election
subsidies are provided to political parties that have nominated a candidate for the corresponding election no
later than 2 days after the closing date of candidate registration.
- Female candidate nomination subsidies are distributed based on the proportion of nomination in accordance with
the number of seats in the National Assembly and the proportion of votes gained. The subsidies shall only be
used for election expenses for female candidates. Disabled candidate nomination subsidies are allocated
according to the number of seats in the National Assembly and the proportion of votes gained based on the
ratio of nomination. The subsidies shall only be used for election expenses for disabled candidates.
- Transparent Political Fundraising and Spending
• Political Fundraising
- No one shall contribute or receive political funds unless in accordance with the Political Funds Act.
• Political Fund Spending
- Political funds shall only be used for political activities, not for personal expenses or wrongful purposes.
- For transparent use of political funds, anyone who contributes more than KRW 1.2 million at a time or who
spends more than KRW 500,000 at a time shall donate or spend in ways that verify his/her real name (such as
by check, credit card and account transfer). Meanwhile, if candidates and pre-candidates for public office spend
political funds of more than KRW 200,000, spending methods shall be by using their real names such as by
check, credit card and account transfer.
- Furthermore, annual cash spending shall not exceed 20/100 of the annual total amount of spending (10/100 of
the election spending limit, in case of election expenses).
• Restriction on Contribution of Political Funds
- Foreign nationals, corporate bodies in/outside the nation or organizations shall not contribute political funds.
- If anyone contributes political funds of more than KRW 3 million over a year (more than KRW 5 million, when
donated to Political Fundraising Associations for presidential candidates, etc.), the amount donated and his/her
personal details shall be open to the public. Contributions shall only be made in contributors’ real names.
• Tax Reduction or/and Exemption
- In accordance with the Restriction of Special Taxation Act, anyone who has contributed or received political
funds shall be exempted from income tax and gift tax equivalent to the amount of political funds.
- An individual who has contributed political funds is entitled to tax returns of up to KRW 100,000. An amount of
contribution exceeding KRW 100,000 will be deducted from the corresponding contributor’s assessable income.