Song Hye Kyo Admits She’s at the Center of the Latest K-celebrity Tax Evasion Scandal

For those who are superstitious then this is not a good week to be an Asian celebrity. Following on the heels of A-list Taiwanese movie star and current It boy Kai Ko‘s arrest for smoking pot in draconian drug law China, next comes the news that A-list Korean actress Song Hye Kyo has been caught and reprimanded by the Korean national tax authority. For the first day or so the news merely reported that “top star Miss Song” was the celebrity on the wrong side of paying taxes, which led to anyone with a similar last name like Son Ye Jin and Song Ji Hyo to actually have to make a public statement about not being the tax evader in question. While Kai Ko’s pot smoking can be seen as breaking the drug laws of China and a moral failing, Song Hye Kyo’s tax evasion is similarly breaking a law in Korea and considered by netizens to be both a moral and civic transgression. She’s currently getting raked through the coals by understandably angry K-netizens who feel like the everyman and woman who dutifully pay their taxes despite making significantly less than Song Hye Kyo end up getting shafted when those who make more find ways to dodge paying the fair share of taxes.

To be fair there have been plenty of Korean celebrities investigated and/or caught for tax evasion so it’s not just Song Hye Kyo who did it. The underpaid tax amount were for the tax paying years of 2009-2012 where her accountants wrote off more than 5.5 billion won ($5.4 million) as tax deductible expenses without having valid evidence for 92% or so percent of that write-off amount. Song Hye Kyo’s agency has publicly released a statement apologizing for the failure and explaining that she’s since parted ways with the aggressive accountants in question who handled her income tax returns during that period. She has since paid the full amount for the deductions that didn’t have documentation which comes out to 2.56 billion won for those three years. I suggest Song Hye Kyo call up top stars Ha Ji Won and Gong Yoo to ask for the name of their accountants. This news is coming at a terribly PR-inconvenient time for Song Hye Kyo who is just ramping up full promotions for her tearjerker movie My Brilliant Life with Kang Dong Won.

Other stars who have been slapped on the wrist for tax evasion are Kang Ho Dong and Kim Ah Joong. This year alone there are reports that Rain and Jang Geun Seok under-reported their overseas income and is being investigated. Tax evasion is one of those victimless crimes unless you consider the Big Government a victim, and it’s also a crime that can be rectified once the tax evaders pay up (and the government can even add interest). With that said, this is notoriously judgmental Korea we’re talking about, the very netizens that get pissed when Jeon Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun do a Chinese CF shown solely in China containing water sourced at a mountain range split between North Korea and China where either side calls it their own name.


Song Hye Kyo Admits She’s at the Center of the Latest K-celebrity Tax Evasion Scandal — 39 Comments

  1. C’mon be fair. Probably not worth demonizing the CF or its stars but to non-Manchu Chinese, Changbaishan is just a really pretty mountain while to the Koreans, it’s Paekdusan, a sacred “birth place”.So not as simple and silly as you think, certainly not just about Chinese vs. Korean name of a mountain.

  2. I can’t help but laugh at the delusional people who really believe it’s all the fault of her accountants. Are they seriously believing accountants who evade money under their clients’ names without telling them? And, on top of that, Song Hye Kyo didn’t realize she had more money than before after paying her taxes? And all that for 3 years? If it was really the fault of her accountants then she would not have only paid those taxes back but her accountants would have been caught by justice.

    I really liked Song Hye Kyo so it’s a disappointment to see she hid her real face under an angel image.

    • She also switched accountants 3 times during the years when she was underpaying taxes so clearly she knew what was happening and it was not just one accountant’s fault. I’m disappointed as well bc I’ve liked her ever since full house and was hoping to see her in another drama soon.

  3. Song Hye Kyo’s such a creepy woman. Doing charities with a smile to have a good image while evading taxes behind people’s back. Ugh. Every time I see her, I can’t help but think she’s sly.

    • did u cut and paste ur comments?? coz i saw this exact comment on another blog and was said that those were comments from netizens…i guess we are all netizens? lol

    • Dont judge a book by its cover sis/bro! Everyone of us has a unique flaws. The most creepiest people are those who judge or look down people unknowingly! I really hate those very opinionated people!I love her and i will always be in spite of her flaws as what she did to me! *_-..@!

    • Smell jelousy don’t know what the real thing but just because you envy and there is a chance to bashed her then you say some nasty things.

      • She’s getting so much hate…I still love her regardless of this dilemma she’ll pull through

  4. What’s happening with some of the views this weekend? There are some pretty intolerant people around. For all those righteous and perfectly upright people, I do know I don’t throw around rigid views on anyone. No one is perfect. Her crime is what it is but it doesn’t make me or discolour my opinion of her whole life and lifestyle to the extent of some people.

  5. What she did was wrong. But she’s making up for it now. I hope it doesn’t hurt her career.

    I love her recent photoshoot with KDW. Gorgeous!

    Speaking of photoshoots, I saw Yoona’s recent magazine photoshoot W Korea September issue, and the girl looks freaking amazing. Nam Dajung 😮 Koala you should check it out!

  6. Tax evasion is hardly a “victimless crime”. The victims here are other Koreans, in need of health care, education, etc. Frankly, if anything regular folks should be even more incensed when rich people like Song try to screw over the very society that made them wealthy in the first place.

    • Yes, I also find it strange that anyone would think it a “victimless crime”. Tax is completely necessary for public goods and I would be mad if I were Korean and found out that those mega-rich celebrities were evading tax.

  7. I’m not gonna judge her but I understand knetizens hate for her . She’s rich but doesn’t pay her taxes, I’m average but I do what it takes to pay.. Let’s be honest with ourselves here.

    Anyways, she’ll be fine in no time.

  8. Hope she’ll surpass this incident and won’t negatively affect her new film, thinking that she settled this 2 yrs ago and she’s still reflecting it though.. I guess it’s intentional that somebody’s trying to drag her down. Big question is WHY now?? Why it was not reported 2yrs ago??

  9. I hope she repents and really understands that she had done wrong. And to redeem herself, she should earn lots of money and pay lots of tax to help her country, 🙂

  10. Wow, lot of judgmental comments on this article. I don’t know how complex Korea’s tax systems are but I file my own taxes and I imagine for a corporation, or self employed individual, it could get pretty tricky and complicated. I don’t expect a movie star to know all the ins and outs of tax laws which is why they should surround themselves with pretty competent people.

    Song Hye Kyo is right to blame her accountants, for misfiling. If anything, they should at least have guided her right. If they were motivated by commission and not a flat fee, they would have more incentive to fudge the numbers.

    What’s important is that she’s paid for what was owed and apologized for her mistakes, this one error should not be an indictment against her personality, career or character as far as I am concerned.

    • You don’t have to know tax law to have a general idea of what amount of taxes you should be paying or the reasonableness of the return. If I was paying $10000 in taxes last year and suddenly this year I’m only paying $500, I would definitely question the tax preparer about it. If SHK’s tax return was off by $100,000, you could chalk it up to a mistake. But there was an error of over $2 million dollars of tax owed here. There’s no way a reasonable person could miss that unless you were willfully turning a blind eye to it.

      I actually really like SHK and think she’s a great actress, and I don’t think she should have to go into hiding or stop her career because of this. But at the time, I’m puzzled by how some of her fans try to downplay her tax evasion. They try to turn her into a victim of whoever released this news. No, she is not a victim. She brought this on herself with her own actions. Secondly, they try to make it seem like the fact that she ended up paying the tax after being investigated means it’s over and that people don’t have a right to talk about it anymore. She paid the tax because if she didn’t, they would have levied the money directly from her bank account anyway. As for the reflection on character: Sorry, but committing a crime does reflect on character. That’s just the way it is. Do you know what happens when regular people like you and me get caught with a crime like tax evasion? It goes on our records and it reflects on our character for a very long time, making it much more difficult to apply for citizenship or apply for college or apply for a job or apply for an apartment. I don’t see why any celebrity should be treated differently. People have a right to be upset about their illegal activity.

      Sorry for the long post. This issue honestly makes me upset because recently in my own country there have been many stories about how rich people and corporations are evading taxes, while regular people making a lot less money continue to be screwed.

      • Rember Wesley Snipes? He went to jail for tax evasion and his accountants or who ever the other 2 people involved with him went to jail too. Snipes went for 3 yrs and one of his other people went for 10 yrs. Tax evasion is no joke and not victimless either as others have mention.
        And when you start messing around with deductions that high you are bound to be noticed.
        Is she a good actress yes.
        But does lack good moral judgement.

      • Well said. Her fans are so delusional it’s sickening. Call it what it is! she knew but didn’t bother on the off chance that she can get away with it.

  11. This is a done issue…whatever she did or did not do, accountant(s) or not…she’s already paid the back taxes and fines, what two years ago? It’s done, she’s paid her due. It doesn’t make sense that it’s coming out now and that people are bashing her for it now…at least she wasn’t/hasn’t avoided it.
    I am a little turned off by past issues dealt with, coming out as if it is a present issue that hasn’t been rectified to sour individuals’ career/name.

    • Absolutely!! I guess someone’s intentionally surface this issue since she has new movie!! I really feel sorry for her.. To think that there’s a lot of people out there who committed much more mistakes than her, yet, the way she treated was very bad!! Just wish she surpass this incident and to be careful in the near future. As u know the netizens are looking after only for the mistakes and scandals of one person and not considering the good deeds she/he done for their country..

  12. I wouldn’t say tax evasion is a victimless crime. If tax dollars are being used to support national infrastructure like roads, schools, social welfare programs, etc., it’s the public that gets shafted by the lost tax dollars.

    Shame on Song Hye Kyo. Apparently you can never be rich enough. Does she think she can bring all of the money she saved to her grave or something?

  13. Wow ,some people are ready to jump down on someone’s throat.And how a tax evasion and the end of a relation ship can fit in the same sentence?That does not mean that
    I applaud her for what she did of course.

  14. she is considered as top star besides shin mina,son yejin,jun jihyun,ha jiwon,kim taehee and han gain right to be honest it’s not her fault hyekyo have z right to blame her accountant’s I actually like song hyekyo she is a great actress l only like song hyekyo and shin mina they are a really beautiful actress any how song hyekyo unni urs fans loves u so much ♡♡♥♡♥ empuaa

  15. she is considered as top star besides shin mina,son yejin,jun jihyun,ha jiwon,kim taehee and han gain right to be honest it’s not her fault hyekyo have z right to blame her accountant’s I actually like song hyekyo she is a great actress l only like song hyekyo and shin mina they are a really beautiful actress any how song hyekyo unni urs fans loves u so much power 4 u♡♡♥♡♥ empuaa

  16. Agree that she is a reasonably good actress and a beauty. Ive watched her dramas and have nothing against her nor for her. The type of questions raised about her ignorance are rather generic. Any other celebrity caught in this situation would have been subjected to similar questionings. As for the timing of the news release, the question should rather be why had it not surfaced in 2012 but only two years later in 2014. Given the amount is huge ie 2.5 billion won and her celebrity status, it could have easily made headlines then when she was asked to pay up. Kang Ho Dong face was plaster all over the news the moment the tax dept called on him though his tax shortfall was actually significantly lesser than this. So can we blame Kcitizens for asking whether there was indeed a cover up.

  17. I know this is silly and really dumb but what if the accountant did make a mistake? We all know that Korea is a drinking nation and what if the accountant went to work drunk and forgot a few zeros etc….. or take this scenario…. the accountant is usually always a male and since Song Hye Gyo is super gorgeous he may have let her off easily all for her beauty lol~ hey, u never know….. it could happen lol~

  18. So what’s the problem then? I didn’t pay any taxes ever since i’d wrk, so what’s the problem here? B-cuz you pay your taxes it makes you a great/good man on earth? He’ll yah dnt make me laugh…b-cuz of your taxes you made those corrupt people around the globe and now you’re so proud that you pay your obligation whatsoever?

  19. Now I get some logic reason about why some korean stars choosed to commited suicide when they were facing problems. They are facing ton of people who hold grudge against them..bad comments everywhere once you make a mistake.Even people who do not knom them properly can freely badmouthing them.Poor them. Look like their life being haunted by people until they retired or died.

  20. I dont understand why they still badmouthed her. She accepted the mistake, found what wrong and made up for it. She paid the tax and fine. Is there any better solutions? Do they think she have to end her career or else? That does not make any senses. People make mistakes and learn to fix it, then move on. If the tax evasion should be sentenced for a life time. It should state in that law.
    Instead it states to pay the fine as penalty. she did so. and what other people keep talking about.

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