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List of 21,000 tax defaulters made public

Unpaid tax by Korean tax defaulters amounted to 11.3 trillion won ($10.4 billion) in 2017, the National Tax Service revealed on Monday.

The tax agency annually discloses names of those whose unpaid tax money exceeds 300 million won. This year, there were about 4,700 more names on the list compared to 2016 because the standard for disclosure was lowered to 200 million won.

Some 21,000 entities failed or delayed to pay their taxes amounting over 200 million won in 2017 without giving specific reasons. Of the disclosed, 15,000 were individuals and 6,300 were companies. 


The the most well-known person on the list is Yoo Ji-yang, the former chairman of Hyoja Engineering and Construction. Yoo failed to pay 44.7 billion won of inheritance tax.

Also in the list was Kim Woo-choong, former chairman of the defunct Daewoo Group, who did not pay his transfer income tax of about 36.9 billion won.

Yoo Sang-na, Yoo Hyuk-gi and Yoo Some-na, the heirs of the late Yoo Byeong-eun, formerly the de facto owner of the Sewol ferry operator, were also accused of not paying 11.5 billion won of gift tax.

Celebrities Goo Chang-mo and Kim Hye-sun are also embroiled in tax delinquency to the tune of hundreds of millions of won each.

While some superrich go as far as having fake divorces to hide their total assets, and keep their luxury art possessions under disguised ownerships in order to dodge taxes, the NTS has banned more than 9,000 persons from leaving the country up to October to rein in tax-related irregularities.

In that time, through a task force that traces the fortunes of those of who frequently fail to pay taxes, the tax service managed to collect about 1.57 trillion won. The NTS also filed lawsuits against 306 entities so far this year, while referring an additional 193 to prosecutors.

Those with knowledge of where these tax dodgers keep their assets are urged to report it to the national tax service for a reward of up to 2 billion won.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (
Korea Herald daum