- South Korea begins the process of seizing crypto from tax evaders.
- The South Korean administration is not the only country that has seized the crypto wallets of tax evaders.
- Crypto may be of help in catching criminals as it continues to evolve.
The authorities in the Cheongju region of South Korea are looking towards seizing cryptocurrency from anyone who owes the government taxes of at least $750. The capital of North Chungcheong announced that it intends to start confiscating cryptocurrency in exchange for taxes owed by local tax delinquents.
The administration in the region sent a request to seven South Korean crypto exchanges to find out the holdings of thousands of tax evaders. A local news agency in Yonhap reported the news on August 22.
The authorities reportedly sent an order to trading platforms like Upbit and Bithumb to ask for information into the crypto assets of 8,520 users who have 1 million won ($750) in local tax debts, and following the inquiry by Cheongju authorities, there is a plan to confiscate cryptocurrency from tax delinquents.
Information by the Cheongju administration insinuated that tax evaders have increasingly used cryptocurrencies to conceal property in South Korea. This current move aims to ensure that residents of the country who have continuously evaded their taxes are held accountable.
There was no immediate response to Cointelegraph’s request for comment. The Cheongju administration in 2022 reportedly collected overdue taxes from 17 individuals after they received details of cryptocurrency holdings of around 16,000 crypto investors. They recovered a total of 68 million won ($51,000).
There has been an increase in tax-related cryptocurrency confiscations over the past few years; 2022 and 2021 combined saw the government confiscating as much as 260 billion Korean won ($180 million) worth of cryptocurrencies from tax evaders.
In 2021, the administration of Seoul seized crypto worth 25 billion won ($22 million) from company heads and individuals around the city. The seizures of crypto assets began soon after the South Korean government created laws to enable regulators to seize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from tax evaders in 2021.
South Korea is not the only country that has gone through the route of seizing from tax delinquents. In 2022, Argentina’s tax authorities took over 1000 cryptocurrency accounts linked to tax evaders in Argentina. The US is also one of the countries whose Internal Revenue Services also uses the method of confiscating cryptocurrency from tax delinquents.
On-chain technology was also recently used to lock criminals from their crypto accounts. As crypto continues to evolve, there are more government authorities making use of it to catch criminals or block out criminals from their assets—even hackers who are moving assets from platform wallets into their accounts.
While a lot of people are against it as they believe it can make crypto centralized if it continues to involve government agencies in its decisions and regulations.