All direct taxes were abolished in 1974; the DPRK thus became the first country in the world to abolish income taxes collected from its citizens. As a result, the population is dependent on the government for many services. The government collects a percentage (turnover tax) on all transactions between producers and state marketing agencies. Fees are charged to farmers for seeds, fertilizer, irrigation water, and equipment. Consumers pay a tax for the use of water and certain other household amenities. The tax on collective farms is 15% of the harvest, paid in kind. Refugees from North Korea report that a similar in-kind tax was being assessed on the private plots that proliferated during the 1990s, but there is no official confirmation of this assessment.
All foreign-invested enterprises are subject to income, property, turnover, and local taxes. In the four special economic zones established by the government, one in 1991 and three in 2002, the tax on profits for most enterprises is set at 14%; for enterprises involving high technology, infrastructure construction, or light industry, the tax rate is 10%. Resident aliens in the DPRK must pay personal income taxes; the rate varies from 4% to a top rate of 20%.