Authorities in Incheon, South Korea have confiscated a large amount of cryptocurrency assets from tax evaders this year as part of a wider crypto tax evasion crackdown.
How Much Crypto was Seized?
Incheon city tax authorities confiscated 298 million South Korean won, equal to around $375,000 in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin from 298 residents. This is part of over 10.6 billion won ($8.6 million) raised from tax evaders in the fiscal year 2023.
Options for Tax Evaders
Citizens affected have two options – either pay their outstanding tax bills plus fines, or have their crypto assets liquidated and sold to cover the owed taxes.
South Korea’s Wider Crackdown
These confiscations are part of a wider crypto monitoring and crackdown being carried out by South Korean tax authorities. The National Tax Service and customs service have added crypto monitoring tools in recent years. Incheon city’s tax service also confiscated other assets from tax evaders including bank deposit boxes, bonds and assets held in secondary financial institutions.
In September 2022, South Korean tax officials reported seizing 20 billion won ($15.6 million) in crypto assets, and as of December 2022 nearly 6,000 citizens had crypto seized.
New Tools and Teams
The crackdown includes dedicated investigative teams launched since 2021 and seven new high-tech tools to detect tax evasion, some focusing specifically on cryptocurrencies.
Crypto seized from tax cheats in South Korea: $375k
Options for tax evaders: pay bills + fines or have crypto assets liquidated and sold