Many people caught not paying taxes receive lenient punishment, parliamentary data showed Tuesday.
Only 13,548 tax evaders have been indicted in the past five years, constituting 20.9 percent of total evaders in comparison to the average indictment ratio of 37.9 percent of other crime suspects, the findings by the National Assembly Research Service said.
As many as 49.1 percent of those indicted were tried without physical detention, with 45.3 percent receiving summary trials. Only 5.7 percent were tried while under detention.
Courts have also delivered lenient rulings on tax evaders with 563, or 39.1 percent, of the total receiving suspended prison terms last year.
Only 14 percent, or 200 tax evaders, were actually sent to jail and about 35.6 percent or 510 were slapped with fines last year.
The figures compare to 32.3 percent of suspended prison terms, 22.9 percent of prison terms and 29.6 percent of fines for other crime suspects.
The latest findings, however, showed the number of tax evaders in South Korea has decreased in recent years. The total number of offenders fell to 11,833 last year from 12,890 in 2012, 14,063 in 2013 and 13,986 in 2014 and 12,204 in 2015, according to the statistics. (Yonhap)