Gov’t opens up financial data access

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Gov’t opens up financial data access

The National Tax Service and Korea Customs Service will soon be allowed to access vital financial information that previously had been available only to financial authorities.

The government passed legislation regarding financial transactions during a cabinet meeting yesterday led by Prime Minister Chung Hong-won, according to the Financial Services Commission.

Because financial intelligence information will be available to both the tax and customs agencies, any transaction of more than 20 million won ($18,844) will be tracked down.

This will allow the tax agency to further investigate those who spend large amounts of cash in relation to their reported income or transfer cash to overseas financial institutions for the purpose of offshore tax evasion.

The customs office will be able to investigate those who violate foreign exchange transaction laws.

As part of realizing its economic democratization initiative as well as adding to its depleting tax coffers, the government has been ramping up investigations of tax evasion since the beginning of the year.

Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok told lawmakers yesterday the financial intelligence reform will help secure an additional 27 trillion won over the next five years.

The bill is expected to take effect Nov. 14 once it passes through the National Assembly.

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