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South Korea began seizing cryptocurrencies to offset its tax debt last year.
According to the regional news site mk.co.kr, the South Korean government has seized over 260 billion won ($180 million) in cryptocurrencies over the past two years due to tax arrears. The country’s politicians have issued regulations allowing the seizure of digital currencies for tax violations and started enforcing them last year, 2021.
An individual living in Seoul, known as “Person A”, has had 1.43 billion won ($101.6 million) in tax arrears and his crypto exchange account has been checked by the authorities. The account contains 12.49 billion won (approximately 88.7 million USD) of digital assets including 20 coins and tokens, including 3.2 billion won (approximately 2.3 million USD) in Bitcoin (BTC) and 1.9 billion won (1.3 million USD) USD) in XRP.
Following the seizure, Person A reports payment of debts and requests a halt to the sale of the seized property. If tax arrears are not paid, South Korean law allows authorities to sell seized cryptocurrencies at market value.
South Korea is one of the most active crypto countries in the world, with a burgeoning digital currency market of $45.9 billion last year. In March 2022, Yoon Suk-Yeol – who is known to be extremely crypto-friendly has become the next incumbent President in the Republic of Korea. An NFT minting his signature went up in price by 60% soon after. It is reported that the two leading candidates in the election have both released campaign-related NFTs.
After taking office, President Yoon pledged to “majorly correct the far-fetched and unreasonable regulations” in South Korea’s cryptocurrency sector. One of the measures, which has been in place since July, includes postponing the 20% tax on income generated from cryptocurrency transactions in excess of 2.5 million won ($177,550) for two years.
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