Corporate money from South Korea amounting to 594 trillion won ($527.53 billion) has gone to tax havens over the past nine years, official data showed Monday.
Figures compiled from multiple sources, including the National Tax Service and the Bank of Korea, said slightly over 594.08 trillion won was sent to tax haven countries from 2008 to 2016. The Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Bermuda and Lichtenstein were some of the destinations, according to the data.
Of the money transferred out, 428.45 trillion won was brought back into the country. The figures were analyzed by the office of Rep. Park Gwang-on for parliamentary audits.
The data showed that 36.01 trillion won was sent over the period as direct investment in the form of factory construction and real estate purchases. The money excludes remittances for import-export payments and transit money for investment in third countries.
Total direct investment jumped from 1.62 trillion won in 2008 to 5.83 trillion won last year.
More cases of tax evasion were discovered and more money was collected as fines each year during the period, the same data showed. The tax agency discovered 30 cases of tax dodging in 2008, which resulted in fines of 150.6 billion won. That increased to 211 cases in 2013, with total fines of 1 trillion won. By last year, it had risen to 228 cases amounting to 1.3 trillion won in fines. (Yonhap)