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In the past two years, South Korean tax officials allegedly seized $186 million worth of cryptocurrencies from tax evaders

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News Tech: Since 2021, tax authorities in South Korea have confiscated more than $186 million in cryptocurrency from tax evaders.

According to Yonhap, the remaining money was taken from people who didn’t pay their local taxes on time or was taken in foreclosures, which happened when people, for example, didn’t make their loan payments on time.

Data from the National Tax Service, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, and 17 cities and provinces nationwide show that about $125 million of the total was taken from people who failed to pay national levies like income tax.

The statistics also revealed that people located in Seoul and the surrounding region accounted for the significant majority (30%) of all cryptoassets confiscated by tax authorities (Gyeonggi Province).

The government’s decision to virtually outlaw its people from trading cryptocurrency anonymously on domestic platforms in 2020 is what has caused the dramatic increase in crypto confiscations from tax evaders. To be granted an operating licence, all cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea must collaborate with regional financial institutions. The banks must then deliver trading accounts that are connected to specific cryptocurrency wallets and have real identity and social security number verification.

As a result, the government has established a paper trail that makes cryptocurrency holdings low-hanging fruit for tax investigators. These investigators, along with the police, have the authority to confiscate, freeze, or sell coins in cases of suspected serious crime or tax fraud. Tax authorities started looking into the confiscation of cryptocurrency from tax evaders in 2020, but they didn’t start seizing coins seriously until last year.

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