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NTS vows full-scale probe into tax-dodging allegations against multinational companies

Sources say the list includes Delivery Hero, Facebook and Netflix

National Tax Service Commissioner Kim Dae-ji (NTS)
National Tax Service Commissioner Kim Dae-ji (NTS)
South Korea’s tax agency recently launched a full-scale investigation targeting 21 multinational companies suspected of evading taxes here. It is the agency’s first major task under its new leadership.

While the tax agency declined to name the companies, several online platform operators and luxury fashion houses appear to be among its targets, according to local industry sources.

The list includes Netflix Korea, Facebook Korea and Germany-based Delivery Hero, which owns two delivery apps here, Yogiyo and Baedaltong. They are suspected of transferring funds through their Seoul offices to foreign accounts without paying local taxes, the sources added.

Both Delivery Hero and Netflix Korea acknowledged that tax agency officials had visited their Seoul offices Wednesday. While saying they were “fully cooperating” with the National Tax Service, the companies declined to comment on the nature of the investigation.

Facebook Korea, however, would not confirm any visits from tax officials.

The tax office said it would impose 60 percent additional tax if any of the companies is found to have broken the law, and would report the cases to the prosecution.

Kim Dae-ji, the new commissioner of the National Tax Service, vowed zero tolerance in his inauguration speech Aug. 21, both for individual and corporate taxpayers caught evading taxes during the COVID-19 crisis. He also promised to strengthen monitoring of tax payments for online transactions.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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