The city government of Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has announced the seizure of cryptocurrencies worth 25 billion won ($ 22 million) from individuals and business leaders.
According to a report by The Korea Times, the seized cryptocurrency came from people identified by the city’s tax authorities as tax offenders.
As part of the investigation, the Seoul National Tax Administration office identified 1,566 individuals and heads of business with back taxes. The NTS office in Seoul then proceeded to seize $ 22 million in virtual currency held by 676 of them in three crypto exchanges.
Mandatory genuine crypto trading in South Korea allows government agencies to request trading data from customers on cryptocurrency exchanges. Companies must also meet strict crypto transaction reporting requirements or see their executives facing jail time.
According to the NTS, the 676 individuals owed about $ 25 million in taxes and 118 of them have transferred more than $ 1 million to the government since the seizure.
In a statement quoted by The Korea Times, the city government revealed that the tax offenders have urged the government not to liquidate the seized cryptocurrency, adding:
“We believe taxpayers expect the value of their cryptocurrencies to rise further as a result of the recent spike in cryptocurrencies prices and have determined that they will gain more by paying their back taxes and releasing the seizure.”
Bitcoin (BTC) accounted for 19%, most of the $ 22 million in cryptocurrencies seized by the government. Other popular tokens include DragonVein and XRP at 16% each, with Ether (ETH) making up one-tenth of the total sum of the confiscated virtual currency.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the NTS had revealed plans to deepen its investigation of individuals and companies seeking to evade taxes by hiding their cryptocurrency assets. At the time, the tax authorities stated it would target people with more than $ 8,800 in tax liabilities.
Meanwhile, South Korean cryptocurrency tax laws will go into effect in January 2022. The tax regime will see a 20% levy on crypto trading profits in excess of $ 2,300.