SEOUL, March 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's tax office said Thursday it has launched an investigation into the country's largest entertainment agency amid rumors of offshore tax evasion by the company that manages some of the top K-pop celebrities.
The National Tax Service (NTS) recently sent dozens of auditors to the headquarters of SM Entertainment located in Gangnam, southern Seoul, to secure accounting books and other financial records, according to the NTS and company officials.
SM Entertainment is the country's leading management agency that represents top K-pop stars, such as Girls' Generation, Super Junior and TVXQ, who have led the Korean culture wave in Asia and other countries.
Industry watchers suspect that the company may have evaded taxes by not reporting fully the money these celebrities earned broad.
An SM Entertainment spokesperson dismissed the allegation as "groundless," claiming that what is under way is a routine tax audit following one in 2009. The NTS declined to comment, saying that it cannot talk about an ongoing probe into a specific company.
1. [+199, -27] They're making money off of students and they can't even have the decency of maintaining morality or ethics. Disgusting...
2. [+157, -17] Way to scoop poop up for your own artists.
3. [+155, -23] Can't they receive punishment for lying like this?
4. [+27, -26] An obvious response ㅋㅋ YG's staff also evaded tax and made up other excuses in the past ㅎㅎ
5. [+23, -30] Following YG, now even SM ㅎㅎ I guess JYP's the cleanest but poorest agency out of the three
6. [+19, -2] There's no smoke without fire
7. [+18, -9] Really, JYP's the only company out of the three to not have a history of tax evasion
8. [+18, -10] Yeah, I'm sure the National Tax Service sent 30 people for a "scheduled tax investigation". Yeah, okay.
9. [+16, -2] It's already game over. They're not being investigated by a regular investigation team but a team that takes on specific cases where evidence is already on the table. Lee Soo Man has no power in the government so he's jail bound at this rate.
10. [+18, -2] What a big lie. They're not being investigated by a normal team. The team that's on their case is famous for catching out huge companies. This is not simply a csheduled investigation. Do they think everyone's stupid because they're so used to dealing with little kids all of the time?
11. [+16, -7] Wow, media manipulation at its finest ㅋㅋ What happened to that exclusive article that was up here. Now this article is up in the rankings at the speed of light ㅋ (article's indeed gone)
Source: Netizen Buzz, Yonhap News Agency