Tax agency launches overseas tax evasion investigations

Rho Jeong-seok, deputy commissioner for investigations at the National Tax Service, speaks about the agency’s investigations into overseas tax evasion during a press briefing in Sejong on Wednesday. (National Tax Service)

South Korea’s tax agency said on Wednesday it had launched investigations into 54 offshore tax evaders who were receiving social benefits from the country without paying taxes here.

The National Tax Service discovered 14 people with dual citizenship who were receiving social and health benefits but were hiding their property and income abroad to evade taxes, the agency said.

Six foreign affiliates were also arrested for changing the form of their activities to limited liability companies in order to be exempt from external audits. They further shifted their profits overseas through internal transactions, officials said.

In addition, the agency held 16 Koreans responsible for abusing their exceptional socio-economic status and backgrounds to increase their properties while paying less taxes.

The office suggested an alleged case of an owner of a local clothing business hiding assets by setting up a family trust abroad. The person appears to have transferred funds to other family members who live abroad to make significant real estate investments. Even after making transfer gains through the sale of real estate, the person intentionally omitted the related profits from the tax return, the office said.

“The expectation of fair taxation and fiscal morality has been high recently. We promise to make every effort to establish a fair tax administration and enforce tough measures against those who abuse their privilege to evade tax, ”said Rho Jeong-seok, deputy commissioner in charge of tax. investigations to the National Tax Service, committing to report their case to prosecutors if necessary.

The latest investigations marked the tax agency’s fourth investigation into offshore tax evasion since 2019. Previously, they had identified 318 offshore tax evaders and collected a total of around 1.16 trillion won (1.02 billion won). dollars) in taxes from them.

By Jie Ye-eun ([email protected])

Esther L. Steinbach

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