Why Were There Numerous Tax Reforms In Choson What Was The Governments Motivation For Reforms, And – Coursework Example

Why were there numerous tax reforms in Choson? What was the government’s motivation for reforms, and how effective were they? Institution:
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The many tax reforms were introduced due to the desperate fiscal situation that the country was facing. The increasing revenue could not meet the high government spending. Farmland had been destroyed during the wars, and this resulted to a decrease in the amount of tax collected. This resulted from payment of ‘indirect tax’ by some rice farmers causing a burden to those that paid tribute tax (Lee 2009, Donghwan 2000).
Annual revenue increased, but the national finance worsened due to increased spending. To improve on this, the government taxed commercial profits so as to increase its revenue. This also helped in supplementing taxes such as the land tax and rice that was being collected by the Uniform Land Tax Law (Donghwan 2000, Dalsgaard 2000). To increase its revenue further, the government imposed taxes on trade at ch’aengmun hushi. It also collected hat taxes which funneled profits from hats imported from China. Rice and clothes were the products during the trade. The two goods were the main objects of taxation. The peasant farmers were asked to pay two bolts of cloth per year tax. However, this did not work well because some farmers gained exemption with the convenience of some government officials. The tax was paid by the poor because they had no way of avoiding it (Oh & Lewis2004). Another reason for tax reforms was that some merchants used to sell unlicensed goods, and this threatened the commerce system of those that sold licensed goods (Donghwan 2000).
In conclusion, the imposed taxes significantly improved the financial situation by increasing government revenue. This thus enabled the government to secure the rights of the licensed merchants through use of mechanisms such as imposing taxes.
Dalsgaard, T. (2000). The tax system in Korea: more fairness and less complexity required (No. 271). OECD Publishing.
Donghwan, K. Development of Commerce and Commercial Policy during the Reign of King Chongjo. (Vol. 40 No. 4 Winter 2000 pp. 202~ 226).
Lee, P. H. (2009). A history of Korean literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Oh Doo Hwan, O. D. H., & JB Lewis, J. L. (2004). The Silver Trade And Silver Currency In Chosŏn. Korea. Acta Koreana, 7(1), 87-114.