The National Tax Service has reportedly launched a surprise tax probe against Google Korea.
The National Tax Service sent investigators to Google Korea's headquarters in Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, and secured documents such as accounting books, Yonhap News Agency reported on Dec. 12, quoting IT industry sources.
The tax authorities have launched an investigation into high-income “YouTubers” who are suspected of having evaded taxes. A YouTuber is a person who creates content on YouTube. Some popular YouTubers are known to make much money by sharing their videos on YouTube.
At a parliamentary audit in October, Han Seung-hee, head of the National Tax Service, said he had no objection to conducting a tax probe on high-income YouTubers.
At the time, Han said that the tax office had provided 513 YouTubers with guidance on how to declare income. However, he said the tax office has never done a tax investigation into YouTubers.
Google Korea will have to pay the value added tax for domestic services starting July next year as a revision bill of the Value-added Tax Act passed the plenary session of the National Assembly on Dec. 8.
However, there is still no clear standard of taxation for App Store, which accounts for the largest portion of Google Korea's sales.
Regarding the tax investigation, a Google Korea official said, "There is nothing to confirm."
The National Tax Office said it cannot confirm tax-related information on individuals.