Ex-S. Korean Prez on list of habitual tax delinquents again

The list of habitual tax delinquents released by the Seoul government included former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan for the fifth consecutive year, officials in Seoul said on Wednesday.

The Seoul government disclosed on its website the names and identities of 15,032 habitual tax evaders, who had more than 10 million won (US$9,030) in delinquent local taxes as of January 1, 2020, for longer than one year, Yonhap news agency reported.

A total of 1,050 individual tax delinquents with 83.2 billion won in arrears and 283 corporate tax delinquents with 24.1 billion won in arrears were listed for the first time this year, the government said, adding their delinquent taxes averaged about 80 million won.

Chun has been on the list for five straight years since 2016, and his delinquent local taxes amounted to 974 million won, it said, marking an increase of 50 million won from the previous year.

The 89-year-old Chun, a former Army general, seized power in a 1979 coup and served as president from 1980 to 1988. He has been deprived of privileges as a former president due to his criminal punishment on treason and bribery charges and ordered by local courts to forfeit more than 220 billion won. Refusing to pay the bulk of his forfeit, Chun made a well-known comment in a court hearing in 2003 that he had only 290,000 won.

The Seoul government said the number of local tax delinquents with more than 100 million won in arrears was 208, or 15 per cent of the total.

Oh Moon-cheol, former chairman of Bohae Mutual Savings Bank, topped the list with 14.7 billion won in unpaid local taxes, it said, vowing to step up efforts to collect the delinquent taxes through house raids, property seizures and imposition of exit ban and business restrictions.