Home Siaran Pers Gyeonggi Province Seizes KRW 53 Bln Worth of Cryptocurrency from 12,613 Tax Dodgers

Gyeonggi Province Seizes KRW 53 Bln Worth of Cryptocurrency from 12,613 Tax Dodgers

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Gyeonggi Province Seizes KRW 53 Bln Worth of Cryptocurrency from 12,613 Tax Dodgers

- Some tax evaders abuse cryptocurrency exchanges as a means of concealing assets because such exchanges do not collect/record the resident registration numbers of account holders.
- Investigations were undertaken by comparing phone numbers with account details at exchanges.
- Marks the largest cryptocurrency seizure for back taxes in Korean history.
- Confiscation procedures for the assets have been finalized with insolvency and liquidation proceedings slated to commence.


SUWON, GYEONGGI PROVINCE, SOUTH KOREA [www.parahyangan-post.com] – The Gyeonggi Provincial Government said on Monday that it has confiscated KRW 53 billion (USD 46.7 million) worth of cryptocurrency held by 12,613 tax dodgers in the capital region, the largest such cryptocurrency seizure for back taxes in Korean history.

The move comes on the heels of an exhaustive probe into the cryptocurrency holdings of some 140,000 tax dodgers in Gyeonggi Province.

“Our tax investigators perceived the need to redirect the course of our probe and collection methods based on a recent surge in investors and trading volume in the cryptocurrency market,” Gyeonggi Province Fairness Bureau Director-General Kim Ji-ye said at a press conference held at the Gyeonggi Provincial Government Complex in Suwon City on June 21. “We began an exhaustive probe into the cryptocurrency holdings of tax dodgers in the province from the second half of last year.”

The local autonomy seized the assets with the court-mandated cooperation of crypto exchanges, which collect the names, dates of birth, and mobile phone numbers of account holders, but not their resident registration numbers. Therefore, it was essential for Gyeonggi Province’s investigators to obtain as many as 12 mobile phone numbers registered by each of the tax evaders over the past ten years, comparing each number with account details at the exchanges.

Their investigation yielded the names of 12,613 tax dodgers who held accounts worth KRW 53 billion. Their combined back taxes amounted to KRW 54.2 billion.

Tax investigators, for example, were able to unearth KRW 2.8 billion in Bitcoin assets held by a medical doctor (identity withheld) who runs a private hospital and leases out a commercial building, but who has failed to pay KRW 17 million in overdue taxes since 2018.

The tax office also gave the example of a renowned home shopping channel show host (identity withheld) with some KRW 20 million in tax arrears since 2016 who held KRW 500 million in Ethereum and other hidden cryptocurrency assets.

Tax authorities also appropriated KRW 1.1 billion in cryptocurrency assets from yet another tax-delinquent (identity withheld), who leased out approximately 30 residences in the Gyeonggi area but owes some KRW 30 million in regional income taxes.

Another individual (identity withheld), the operator of a private hospital who owes the relatively modest sum of KRW 5 million in property tax arrears, saw his substantial cryptocurrency assets of KRW 12 billion seized by the provincial government.

The Gyeonggi Provincial Government said that it has finalized confiscation procedures for the assets and will encourage habitual and major tax dodgers to voluntarily pay their overdue taxes. If they fail to do so, the government will begin insolvency and liquidation proceedings on the assets.

“Some tax evaders have taken to abusing cryptocurrency exchanges as a means of concealing their assets and avoiding the payment of taxes because these exchanges do not collect or record the resident registration numbers of account holders,” said Director General Kim. “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.”

(ratman/ws/pp)