South Korea Seizes over $47 Million Worth in Cryptos from Tax Evaders

The officials from the Gyeonggi provincial government in South Korea launched a massive crackdown on tax evaders who used cryptocurrencies to hide their earnings. According to the Financial Times, over $47 million worth in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and other digital assets were seized from 12,000 people who allegedly were involved in tax evasion, including a TV host, a doctor, and thousands of wealthy South Koreans.

The crackdown is just one of many of the operations performed by other provinces in the last few months against evaders who rely on virtual currencies to bypass domestic tax rulings, such as the provinces of Daejeon, Gyeongju, and South Gyeongsang. “We will do our utmost to protect law-abiding taxpayers and fulfill our fair taxation mandate by probing and tracing assets that tax dodgers may be concealing in the midst of the recent cryptocurrency trading fervor,” Kim Ji-ye, director-general of the Gyeonggi Province Fairness Bureau, commented on the recent crackdown.

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In fact, the Gyeonggi provincial’s authorities claim it was the most prominent crypto seizure “for back taxes in Korean history.” Moreover, they stated that the tax evaders allegedly used local crypto exchanges because they didn’t collect the resident registration numbers of account holders.

Investigation Procedures

In more detail, authorities reportedly compared mobile phone numbers registered at the crypto exchange accounts with those accused of evading taxes in South Korea. Although investigators didn’t disclose the name of the TV host involved in the tax evasion saga, they just said it was a “renowned home shopping channel show host” who owed 20 million Korean won in tax but held 500 million Korean won in ETH. Furthermore, a real estate investor, owner of almost 30 residences, had 1.1 billion Korean won in cryptocurrencies despite owing 30 million Korean won in income taxes.

Quoting provincial officials, Financial Times says that insolvency and liquidation proceedings will take place if the tax dodgers don’t voluntarily pay their overdue taxes.