Published : 2013-08-29 15:27
Updated : 2013-08-29 15:27
South Korea's tax agency said Thursday that it will ban its high-ranking officials from dining out or playing golf with executives of large businesses as part of efforts to enhance fairness in enforcing its tax-related polices.
The National Tax Service (NTS) also said that it plans to launch a team tasked with investigating corruption cases involving high-ranking public servants and intensify reviews of tax audits in order to enhance overall transparency.
Those moves are part of measures put forth by the NTS to revamp its overall tax administration and polices to gain back the public trust and enhance the agency's image, which has been tainted by recent corruption scandals involving its own officials.
Under the measures, high-ranking officials of the NTS, including its head, will be banned from dining out or playing golf with chief executives, advisers and accountants representing the country's 100 business groups and their holding companies.
Its violation would result in harsh internal punishment, the NTS said. Instead, the tax agency said that it will encourage communication between their officials and business people through official lines, while allowing contact through such social meetings as alumni reunions.
In addition, the NTS said that it will launch a team exclusively tasked with investigating high-ranking public servants suspected of getting bribes in return for providing business favors. It will also refer the results of its regular tax investigation into businesses to the inspector general office for close review, a move aimed at eliminating bribes.
"To gain public trust, we have to achieve it through fairness, transparency and clean tax policies," NTS Commissioner Kim Duk-joong told a meeting. "Clean tax polices also come with managers taking the lead. As the head of the NTS, I will take the lead first." (Yonhap news)