This excerpt taken from the LPL 20-F filed Apr 11, 2005.
In general, if you are the beneficial owner of ADSs, you will be treated as the beneficial owner of the common stock represented by those ADSs for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and no gain or loss will be recognized if you exchange an ADS for the common stock represented by that ADS.
The gross amount of cash dividends that you receive (prior to deduction of Korean taxes) generally will be subject to U.S. federal income taxation as foreign source dividend income. Dividends paid in Korean Won will be included in your income in a U.S. dollar amount calculated by reference to the exchange rate in effect on the date of the depositarys receipt of the dividend, regardless of whether the payment is in fact converted into U.S. dollars. If such a dividend is converted into U.S. dollars on the date of receipt, you generally should not be required to recognize foreign currency gain or loss in respect of the dividend income. Subject to certain exceptions for short-term (60 days or less) and hedged positions, the U.S. dollar amount of dividends received by an individual U.S. holder in respect of shares or ADSs before January 1, 2009 is subject to taxation at a maximum rate of 15% if the dividends are qualified dividends. Dividends paid on the ADSs will be treated as qualified dividends if (i) the ADSs are readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States and (ii) we were not, in the year prior to the year in which the dividend was paid, and are not, in the year in which the dividend is paid, (a) a passive foreign investment company (PFIC) or (b) for dividends paid prior to the 2005 tax year, a foreign personal holding company (FPHC) or foreign investment company (FIC). The ADSs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and will qualify as readily tradable on an established securities market in the United States so long as they are so listed. Based on our audited financial statements and relevant market and shareholder data, we believe that we were not treated as a PFIC, FPHC or FIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes with respect to our 2003 or 2004 taxable year. In addition, based on our audited financial statements and our current expectations regarding the value and nature of our assets, the sources and nature of our income, and relevant market and shareholder data, we do not anticipate becoming a PFIC for our 2005 taxable year.
The U.S. Treasury has announced its intention to promulgate rules pursuant to which holders of ADSs or common stock and intermediaries though whom such securities are held will be permitted to rely on certifications from issuers to establish that dividends are treated as qualified dividends. Because such procedures have not yet been issued, it is not clear whether we will be able to comply with them. U.S. holders of ADSs and common shares should consult their own tax advisers regarding the availability of the reduced dividend tax rate in the light of their own particular circumstances.
Distributions of additional shares in respect of ADSs that are made as part of a pro-rata distribution to all of our shareholders generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax.
Sale or other Disposition
For U.S. federal income tax purposes, gain or loss you realize on the sale or other disposition of ADSs will be treated as U.S. source capital gain or loss, and will be long-term capital gain or loss if the ADSs were held for more than one year. Your ability to offset capital losses against ordinary income is limited. Long-term capital gain recognized by an individual U.S. holder after May 5, 2003 and before January 1, 2009 generally is subject to taxation at a maximum rate of 15%.
Foreign Tax Credit Considerations
You should consult your own tax advisers to determine whether you are subject to any special rules that limit your ability to make effective use of foreign tax credits, including the possible adverse impact of failing to take advantage of benefits under the income tax treaty between the United States and Korea. If no such rules apply, you may claim a credit against your U.S. federal income tax liability for Korean taxes withheld from dividends on the ADSs, so long as you have owned the ADSs (and not entered into specified kinds of hedging transactions) for at least a 16-day period that includes the ex-dividend date. Instead of claiming credit, you may, at your election, deduct such Korean taxes in computing your taxable income, subject to generally applicable limitations under U.S. tax law. Korean taxes withheld from a distribution of additional shares that is not subject to U.S. tax will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as imposed on general limitation income. Such treatment may affect your ability to utilize any available foreign tax credit in respect of such taxes.
Any Korean securities transaction tax or agriculture and fishery special surtax that you pay will not be creditable for foreign tax credit purposes.
The calculation of foreign tax credits and, in the case of a U.S. holder that elects to deduct foreign taxes, the availability of deductions involve the application of complex rules that depend on a U.S. holders particular circumstances. You should consult your own tax advisers regarding the creditability or deductibility of such taxes.