NTS targets offshore tax evasions: suspected taxpayers are being investigated for stashing cash abroad


The National Tax Service is cranking up its investigation on tax evasion cases against the people who have allegedly concealed personal holdings and earnings in offshore accounts. 

According to the source from the tax authorities, the NTS is investigating 38 people who failed to file overseas account holdings statements with the government. Among the 38, 24 face investigation for either creating accounts overseas for illicit international trade or hiding personal holdings abroad to avoid taxes. The remaining 14 either failed to report their interest income from abroad or maintained accounts overseas with money that is of dubious origin. 

If convicted, the taxpayers will face a maximum 5 percent penalty assessment on unreported holdings. 

According to the NTS, 525 individuals and companies reported offshore accounts to the Korean government. Among them, 211 individuals held 768 accounts while 314 companies had a total of 4,463 offshore accounts. A total of 11.48 trillion Won was reported - a combined 975.6 billion Won from individuals and 10.5 trillion Won from companies.  

Among the offshore accounts, 95.7 percent of the money was in deposit accounts, while 2.4 percent was invested in shares and 1.9 percent was held in other investment instruments. 

This year, the tax authorities have been enhancing its investigations into tax dodgers by cooperating with places favored by Koreans trying to avoid taxes, including Switzerland, Malaysia and Hong Kong.