Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki (2nd from L) meets the chiefs of four vice-ministerial level agencies under the finance ministry in the administrative city of Sejong on Monday, in this photo provided by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. (Ministry of Economy and Finance)
Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki called Monday for stern actions against tax evasion related to real estate deals as he renewed the government's commitment to stabilizing the housing market this year.
Hong made the remarks during his meeting with the chiefs of the country's four major agencies under the finance ministry -- the National Tax Service (NTS), the Korea Customs Service, the Public Procurement Service, and Statistics Korea.
"As this year is an important turning point in stabilizing the housing market, the tax agency should take stern actions against tax evasion over property transactions," Hong told NTS chief Kim Dae-ji.
He also called on the agency to continue to delay the payment of some taxes and provide tax-related support to small merchants and businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in a bid to ease their burdens.
Last year, the NTS launched rounds of probes into suspected tax evasion by hundreds of people who sought to take profit from speculative or illegal property transactions following a land speculation scandal involving officials from Korea Land and Housing Corp. (LH), the public housing developer.
Hong also called on the customs agency to speed up the customs clearance process for key industrial materials and set up a system that permits quick responses to a short supply of imported goods. (Yonhap)