A provincial branch of the South Korean tax body has returned to the warpath, seizing over UD 5.2m worth of crypto from 1,661 companies and taxpayers who it suspects of under-reporting earnings and seeking to conceal funds by making unreported cash for crypto purchases.
Tax officers have conducted a region-by-region tax crackdown on suspected cases of unreported or underreported taxable income by studying customer data they were handed by the nation’s four largest crypto exchanges.
Per MBC, the latest crackdown was conducted in the affluent Gyeonggi Province, the area surrounding the capital. The province is the nation’s wealthiest and is home to many of the country’s biggest companies.
The offenders, the tax body stated, included a clothing wholesaler who was ordered to pay over USD 17,100 after tax officers found a wallet linked to the company containing almost half a million USD worth of tokens. The CEO of a frozen food company, meanwhile, was found to be sitting on over USD 514,000 worth of coins.
A provincial tax official was quoted as calling the haul “the largest yet.” Tax authorities have previously targetted high-earning tax “dodgers” who seek to hide earnings in crypto buys – and have enjoyed rich pickings in Gyeonggi before.
Back in June this year, a number of high-profile individuals in the province, including wealthy, medical center-owning doctors and even a TV star, were caught in the act and hit with fines and tax bills, some with millions of USD worth of bitcoin (BTC) and thousands of dollars worth of ethereum (ETH) in their wallets.
They followed up with swoops on two large cities – Ulsan, in South Gyeongsang Province, and the Seoul satellite city of Gwangmyeong, while a separate audit in the capital Seoul saw tax authorities freeze, seize, and in some instances liquidate coins from 1,566 individuals and 676 companies.
Tax bodies have also sought to incentivize the process for their employees, seeking to lavish praise and awards on officers who track down affluent crypto-buying tax “dodgers.”