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Nat`l Tax Office Launches Anti-fraud Team

Posted April. 21, 2009 08:18,   


To root out fraud among high-ranking officials above superintendent level and auditors, the National Tax Service will launch next month an anti-fraud team to collect information on illegalities.

In a meeting of directors and superintendents of tax offices nationwide chaired by acting chief Huh Byung-ik in Seoul yesterday, the central tax authority decided to push forward measures to establish discipline among public officials, including rooting out fraud.

The nationwide meeting, which usually takes place around February, was finally held yesterday after several delays due to the resignation of Han Sang-ryul as tax chief and the postponed appointment of his successor.

Tax officials involved in bribery will face tougher penalties such as heavy disciplinary action or criminal charges. Those involved in bribery will be excluded from tax audits regardless of how much money they received.

At the same time, taxpayers and the acting tax officers involved must undergo an audit or face criminal charges.

To enhance the transparency of tax audits, the percentage of private sector experts on the tax audit selection committee will rise and such experts will receive more authority.

The committee consists of six external experts and five high-ranking tax officials.

The meeting also announced the sending of individual notices from Thursday to 760,000 potential beneficiaries of a worker incentive program (earned income tax credit) launched this year.

Those who receive the notice can decide whether they qualify for the program and apply for the tax credit at a nearby tax office or online (www.eitc.go.kr) between May 1 and June 1. The program pays up to 1.2 million won (900 U.S. dollars) per year to low-income households in real income support.

After conducting a detailed screening until the end of August, tax authorities will send out the payments until the end of September.