South Korean investors and corporations hold over 131 trillion Korean won (US$97.9 billion) worth of cryptocurrencies in overseas accounts, South Korea’s National Tax Service announced Wednesday. The figure is 70% of the total reported financial assets held by South Koreans overseas.

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Fast facts

  • In an annual assessment of monthly tax filings carried out from January to June this year, South Korea’s National Tax Service found 1,432 retail investors and corporations hold the near US$100 billion of overseas crypto assets.
  • South Korean residents and corporations with over 500 million won (US$372,939) worth of overseas assets are required to report those assets to tax authorities. 2023 marks the first year South Korea’s tax authorities included crypto in its annual assessment.
  • 5,419 retail investors and corporations reported a total of 186.4 trillion won (US$139 billion) in overseas financial assets of all kinds. That figure is a 191.3% increase on last year.
  • “This year saw a record number of filers and amounts because foreign virtual asset accounts were included for the first time,” the National Tax Service wrote in a press release
  • The press release said that authorities will use cross-border transactions data to identify anyone who avoids reporting their overseas asset holdings. It will also strictly enforce penalties including criminal charges for those found guilty of doing so, it said.
  • In 2021, South Korea effectively banned foreign cryptocurrency exchanges from operating in the country. However, South Korean residents may still trade cryptocurrencies via overseas exchanges.

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