| A man owns more than 10 billion won (9 U.S. million dollars) in assets including 17 villas and land worth 1.52 million square meters under his wife`s name. He failed to pay tax worth 4.1 billion won (3.8 million dollars), but has enjoyed luxurious life after divorcing his wife in disguise in 2005. Last year, the Seoul Metropolitan Government investigated his wife`s villas for several months and followed the husband`s traffic, and found out the two were living together. Their properties were seized, but to bring all tax evasions to light is difficult.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has decided to give reward of a maximum of 10 million won (9,337 dollars) to people reporting others` tax evasion by fraudulent means. It announced Tuesday plans to set up a center where citizens can report property concealment acts, and to give the informer 1-5 percent of tax collected. The person who got divorced in disguise to avoid tax will be charged to prosecutor.
The city government will also create a joint city-district task force team to share know-how on collecting tax in arrears and collaborate each other. Its aim is to collect 200 billion won (187 million dollars) of regional tax, 6 percent more than that of last year.
In addition, a list of 38 renowned tax delinquents includes heads of large companies, politicians, medical doctors, lawyers, professors and religious people, whose homes will be searched by the city government. Renowned figures who are habitually delinquent will be disclosed to public, and will be asked for banning country departure to the Justice Ministry. Tax in arrears by these people reaches 86.6 billion won (80.1 million dollars).
Those who are object for special management includes 14 businessmen such as former Shindonga Group Chairman Choi Sun-young who have 3.7 billion won (3.5 million dollars) in tax arrears, former Hansol Vice Chairman Cho Dong-man with 8.4 billion won (8.1 million dollars), former Geopyung Group Chairman Na Seung-ryeol with 4 billion won (3.7 million dollars), former Hanbo Group Chairman Jung Tae-soo with 2.8 billion won (2.6 million dollars) and former JU Group Chairman Joo Su-do. The city government has also listed for special management 15 medical doctors, three former government officials, three former lawyers, two professors and one in religious circle. A sibling of a former president and a former presidential candidate were also included, but their names will not be disclosed to public as they have small amount of tax in arrears or are paying them in installments.
For tax delinquents who have low-income but are willing to pay tax, the city will lift credit delinquency status and support their personal rehabilitation and pay tax. Bank account seizure of socially vulnerable people who receive supplementary benefits and disability allowance will be immediately lifted.
Kim Yeong-han, head of financial division at the Seoul Metropolitan Government, said, "We will share with districts know-how of tax collection from tax payment failures, to raise tax collection capability. Tax delinquents of more than 100 million won (93,370 dollars) and socially renowned figures will be under special supervision to realize taxation justice."