Actress Kim Ji Won faces tax evasion accusations over $4.6M house purchase

By Nguyen Huong   April 22, 2024 | 03:25 am PT
South Korean actress Kim Ji Won is currently under public scrutiny for allegedly using a “ghost” company when acquiring a house valued at 6.3 billion won (US$4.56 million) as a means to circumvent tax obligations.
South Korean actress Kim Ji Won. Photo from Kims management agencys Instagram

South Korean actress Kim Ji Won. Photo from Kim's management agency's Instagram

Nate disclosed on Friday that Kim acquired a property situated in Seoul’s Gangnam district in 2021. This property includes a basement alongside five floors above ground, with four of these floors being presently leased. It is believed that Kim financed the purchase with a loan covering 55% of the property’s cost.

The actress’ acquisition was reportedly facilitated through Jiwon Entertainment Co. Ltd, a company where she holds the positions of the sole representative and employee. The business’ registered location is at the fourth and fifth floors of the aforementioned building, sparking allegations against her for the establishment of a "ghost" company for the purpose of purchasing the property to evade tax liabilities.

Under South Korea’s laws, companies are granted a tax exemption on acquisitions made more than five years after their inception. Kim’s company was founded in March 2016, and the building was purchased in June 2021.

Many have thus suggested that the actress had a deliberate scheme in mind.

"Her intentions from the beginning were dubious," a netizen articulated concerns.

"Considering celebrities already accumulate wealth through their popularity among the public, should they be diverting their earnings to real estate investments?" queried another.

In response to the controversy, Kim’s management agency High Zium Studio conveyed to the media outlet Herald Pop on the same day a statement indicating: "Confirming the matter is hard, as it pertains to the personal affairs of the artist."

It has been noted that the establishment of "ghost" companies for the purpose of exploiting tax breaks on commercial real estate investments is a practice not uncommon among individuals in South Korea.

Kim, 32, joined the entertainment industry in 2018 and has quickly risen to prominence through her performances in television dramas such as "The Heirs," "Descendants of the Sun," "Fight for My Way," "My Liberation Notes," and "Queen of Tears."

She is acclaimed for her exemplary reputation, dedication, and an untarnished record free of controversies.

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