South Koreas tax agency steps up regular probe into big firms

Seoul, Jan 14 (Yonhap) A regular probe into largecompanies in an effort to reduce tax evasion and other murkypractices in the corporate sector will be intensified, SouthKorea''s tax agency said today.

All companies whose annual sales exceed 500 billion won(USD 450 million) will be subject to the government''s regulartax probe without exception from next month, according to theNational Tax Service (NTS).

Up until now, companies could be spared from regular taxinvestigation for a period of time if they were regarded as"exemplary taxpayers" by the government.

Under the new scheme, however, such exceptions will notbe offered to those belonging to the cited sales category.

Companies whose sales remain below 500 billion won are stilleligible for the exemptions for up to five years, the NTSsaid.

A total of 564 businesses will be subject to thestepped-up tax probe based on data offered at the end of 2009.

About 140 companies will likely be under regular investigationevery year, industry officials said. (Yonhap)

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