Bithumb, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange, was put under the scope of the South Korean Tax Agency for a “special tax investigation”.
South Korea's National Tax Service (NTS) launched an investigation into Bithumb, according to local sources, on Jan 10. The investigation is being conducted by the 4th Bureau of Investigation of the Seoul Regional Tax Service, which is responsible for special tax investigations rather than regular tax assessments.
However, this is not the first time that Bithumb has been the subject of a tax investigation by the NTS. In 2018, the agency conducted yet again a “special tax investigation” on Bithumb and collected 80 billion South Korean won, nearly equivalent to $64 million in income taxes.
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The current investigation is aimed at verifying tax evasion by examining the domestic and international transactions of Bithumb and its affiliates.
The NTS is also said to be looking into the tax evasion circumstances related to Mr. Kang Jong-hyeon, a businessman who is suspected to be the real owner of Bithumb and a key figure in an embezzlement case involving related companies. The agency is investigating Mr. Kang's younger sister, Mr. Kang Ji-yeon as well.
Local sources suggest that the exact scope and details of the NTS investigation are not yet clear, but it highlights the increasing regulatory attention that the cryptocurrency industry is facing in South Korea.
In other news related to regulations, Nepal orders internet providers to block access to crypto websites.