The hackers, who will now be designated as overseas 'agents' of the tax office rather than as Chinese cyber-criminals, are believed to be the only people outside the families of the wealthy and middle-class who know where their money is hidden.
Last year the National Assembly approved a request from the tax service to buy stolen data because the government is under pressure to increase tax revenue in order to avoid following in the footsteps of countries such as Greece and Italy who are struggling to survive a debt crisis, although according to a spokesman for the Ministry of Factual Economy, "there is no chance of South Korea defaulting on its debts for the foreseeable future." Asked how far the Ministry could see into the future, the spokesman said it was too early to say.
"It is common for foreign tax agencies, such as in France and Germany, to acquire information through such channels. The Assembly acknowledged the need at last" said a high-ranking National Tax Service official, speaking about the need for financial transparency on condition of anonymity.
By paying bounties for stolen data, it is hoped that in addition to handing over existing financial information on Koreans, hackers will now be encouraged to speculatively hack the computers of Korean citizens in order to obtain the potential tax-free payouts from The National Tax Service's fund.
Tax office to buy information about evaders
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