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Widow of famed painter Hirayama concealed assets to avoid tax bill

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failed to report some 200 million yen in cash

+

around 100 million yen less than the real amount

=

she was forced to pay 150 million yen in back taxes and penalties

Harsh. No wonder she tried to hide it. I wonder how she got caught?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

quite right. The only negative is that she got caught. Death tax is ridiculously high.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Greedy governments want your money when you die.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Greedy governments? How about greedy rich widows? With $100 million in assets, she can't pay her share of taxes? Leave the tax burden to those of us with 0.2% or 0.3% of her assets? Shame on her. I'm glad she was caught!

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

You think that 50% of one's property is reasonable? Inherited monies are monies that have already been taxed once, as income, under 'luxury tax' brackets, inheritance tax is double taxation. The Japanese system is set up so that the wealth will not continue past three generations. The aim is to prevent familial dynasties from being established, the laws are as old as the hills and completely clean out some families so thoroughly that the children all have to sell their houses, and the original inherited house, to pay the taxes. There are several cases of children of the wealthy being so reduced in income and assets by their parents' death that they never completely recover...does that sound fair to you?

14 ( +16 / -2 )

@Himajin

I hear what you're saying, but compare it with the American system, where any decent-sized accumulation of wealth means that your descendants, often as far as four, five or six generations down the line, will never have to work a day in their life.

Much of this excess wealth wouldn't be used for productive purposes, it would just be used to increase property portfolios so that they can continue to siphon off money from other people via rent, or put into trust funds for 20 odd years, so that the next generation can live a life of luxury, too. I say tax them until it hurts. Inheritance tax is one of the best ways to avoid the development of an entrenched aristocracy.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Death and taxes; the two things in life that we are sure of.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No, it doesn't sound fair, and to be honest, I didn't have the inheritance tax in mind when I posted, so perhaps I was a bit overzealous. What I still believe, however, is that people who hide income/assets to avoid taxation, simply place an extra tax burden on people who work within the system. If this is done on a large enough scale, the inflow of revenue to the government (which I despise, by the way) doesn't cover the cost of services, and we end up with a consumption tax increase (which disproportionately hurts low-income citizens) or you get bankrupted governments like Greece; the downfall of which was linked directly to massive tax delinquency and tax fraud. I'm not saying that governments use our tax dollars well, which they obviously don't, or that the inheritance tax in Japan is fair, which it isn't, all l I really wanted to say is that concealing income simply shifts the burden to others, and that the ultra-wealthy people who do it should not condemned, not praised.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Death and taxes; the two things in life that we are sure of.

Unless you are rich, or a multinational corporation with offshore affiliates for "accounting" purposes

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey tax office, I have a tip for you, Why don't you audit the 70% of J-companies who DONT pay any taxes year in year out, I am telling you there is GOLD to be mined, NOW get to it!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The Japanese system is set up so that the wealth will not continue past three generations. The aim is to prevent familial dynasties from being established

That sounds good to me.

the children all have to sell their houses, and the original inherited house, to pay the taxes. There are several cases of children of the wealthy being so reduced in income and assets by their parents' death that they never completely recover

If paying Dad's tax bill (on money that they haven't earned a penny of) is such a burden to them, they can always relinquish their claim to the inheritance, assets, debts, taxes and all. Which means they gain nothing, and lose nothing. There is no reason for anyone to be impoverished on account of having wealthy parents. Folk can make their own fortunes, without relying on Mum and Dad.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

There are several cases of children of the wealthy being so reduced in income and assets by their parents' death that they never completely recover...

Legends. They can simply refuse inheriting, organize funerals and send bills for the ceremony to the lawyer in charge. Then they don't owe one yen of tax.

does that sound fair to you?

The tax should be 100%, nobody inherits, use the fund to give scholarship to kids whose families can't pay education. That would be fair,

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

If she had good financial advisers she probably could have done all this legally. It is not only our duty to pay taxes legally but also to protect our income from greedy people legally, which the largest amount would be in the way of tax and National Health Insurance which is derived from your income. Many people get annoyed at people who don't pay tax but in fact if you pay tax you don't legally need to pay you are careless or brainwashed by the Govt. Rich people get rich and stay rich for a reason and most people who win a million $ lottery become even poorer for a reason.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In the States, you can be imprisoned for this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rich people get rich and stay rich for a reason

The reason in this case being that she married a man with a large income?

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for the 'all my worldly goods' bit of the marriage contract, but with all that cash sloshing around he could have easily set up a trust fund or life insurance policy that would see her OK in the event of his death, and even without that there appear to have been plenty of assets to keep her in the manner to which she had become accustomed. Maybe the rich do get rich for a reason (in which case they don't need inheritances, right? They can get rich under their own steam) but by the same token it's the greedy who reach too far and end up getting caught out/scammed.

Inherited monies are monies that have already been taxed once, as income

And the money people take with them to the supermarket has already been taxed as income too, but that doesn't exempt them from consumption tax. The money people can't take with them when they go can provide a bit of a windfall for little people that helps cushion the blow of losing a loved one, and that's nice (small inheritances don't get taxed), but there's no reason why it should finance dynasties of no-need-to-work folk filled with a misplaced sense of entitlement.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

any decent-sized accumulation of wealth means that your descendants, often as far as four, five or six generations down the line, will never have to work a day in their life.

In America, only about 2% of wealth is inherited. You can look it up yourself. There aren't that many filthy rich families, or at least not as many as TV would lead you to believe.

Cleo, I think I should be able to leave my kids some money if I feel like it. It's money that we worked hard for, and we aren't the type to just blow it on boats, sports cars, or 100-man handbags like idiots. Taking 50% of an inheritance is punishing me for saving and investing well. It is not fair. Let's all just be layabouts then....if making money, salting it away, investing and the like are just going to get 50% of my total wealth turned in to the nation's coffers, why bother?

Folk can make their own fortunes, without relying on Mum and Dad.

So Mum and Dad's wishes don't come into the picture, and the right thing is just to throw it all away? That doesn't sound noble, it sounds completely off the wall.

cos, I'm sorry, you're wrong. You could look up any number of such cases, mainly in Tokyo and the surrounding area, in the past 20 years alone.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I reckon, given that the pro-tax avoidance/evasion comments here seem to be studded with phrases like "death tax", the source of most of these comments is Americans. Ultimately, many of these opinions arise from the attempt to delegitimize the concept of 'tax' in general in the US media over the last 30 years, in part because the people with most to gain from not paying taxes are the people who control the news that US citizens hear.

Very few people in the rest of the world have been raised in this climate. For the rest of the world, the idea of championing those who break or subvert the law for financial gain, especially when it is so clearly to the detriment of the country as a whole, is just weird. Almost as if these opinions have been carefully placed in people's minds...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Inheritance and estate taxes

Figures on inheritance tell much the same story. According to a study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, only 1.6% of Americans receive $100,000 or more in inheritance. Another 1.1% receive $50,000 to $100,000. On the other hand, 91.9% receive nothing (Kotlikoff & Gokhale, 2000). Thus, the attempt by ultra-conservatives to eliminate inheritance taxes -- which they always call "death taxes" for P.R. reasons -- would take a huge bite out of government revenues (an estimated $253 billion between 2012 and 2022) for the benefit of the heirs of the mere 0.6% of Americans whose death would lead to the payment of any estate taxes whatsoever (Citizens for Tax Justice, 2010b)."

University of California stats.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

People don't seem to know much about the Nihonga painter Ikuo Hirayama. He wasn't born rich or famous and that didn't knock at his door for many years. Both he and his wife endured many hardships. He was a survivor of the atomic bombings. Later in his life he suffered from the effects of the radiation.

He was a patron of historical institutions and gave £500,000 pounds to the British Museum for the creation of a conservation studio specializing in Eastern pictorial art. Hirayama made many large donations to various institutions.

This couple have been one of the most generous in Japan in modern times.

But the taxman is never happy until he gets every last single yen he thinks is due. I disagree with inheritance tax, having to pay more tax on money previously taxed.

No person should have to pay more than 20% in total taxes. That's everything from income tax, sales tax, capital gains, property tax, death tax. Those that do pay more should be able to claim it back. If the gov't can balance their books with 20% taxes they need to change now they work.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

the taxman is never happy until he gets every last single yen he thinks is due

Do you or do you not believe the law, as it is written, applies to all people? Even if you don't believe in the concept of parking tickets, you wouldn't try to use that argument to avoid paying one. The same applies to tax.

You or others can work to change the law regarding tax (I'm sure you'd get a lot of wealthy donios to help), but this is not about that. It is about people who don't follow the law being treating accordingly... like criminals.

Incidentally, this short video is interesting in this context. http://www.openculture.com/2010/10/malcolm_gladwell_the_good_life_high_taxes.html

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Hima -

I think I should be able to leave my kids some money if I feel like it.

Of course you should. But there's a huge difference between leaving them a bit of a windfall and leaving them so much they and their kids' kids need never work again. To be liable for 50% inheritance tax, you'd have to be leaving them well in excess of ¥300 million after deductions (which in Japan appear to be quite generous) - more than enough for them to live the life of a layabout or 100-man handbag-wielding idiot. if you're seriously considering leaving that kind of money, it's hardly money that you scrimped and saved to put away for your kids, is it? If for you being frugal means not buying boats, sports cars and 100-man handbags then we're not talking on the same level at all.

So Mum and Dad's wishes don't come into the picture, and the right thing is just to throw it all away?

Worse-case scenario is less than 50% (after those generous deductions); no one is suggesting you throw it all away. That suggestion in any case (that folk can make their own fortunes) was in response to the claim by scoobydoo that Rich people get rich and stay rich for a reason - s/he seemed to be suggesting that the rich are rich because they deserve to be rich because they worked for it/are smarter than the non-rich. Fair enough, but the people looking to inherit their fortunes haven't worked for it and so, by that logic, don't deserve it. Rich people get rich and stay rich for a reason seems to be to be an argument for inheritance tax, not against it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think in the case of married couples, as in this case, death duties should not be payable until they are both dead. His wife worked hard to support her husband and it can be said it was as her money as much as it was his.

6 ( +7 / -2 )

Inheritance taxes are a pillar of democracy. Without them you end up with an entrenched and corrupt aristocracy. In Japan, the current inheritance tax laws were introduced by the US during the post WWII occupation period precisely for these reasons. The goal was to do away with peerage, aristocracy, gentry and oversized landholders so that the common man could become a fuller participant in the economy and political life of the country. The laws were modelled on those in US, where they exist for the same reasons: foster democracy, stimulate economic activity and entrepreneurship, and create incentives for hard work and investment for each citizen in each generation. These laws were established in the US as a direct contrast to those in Europe, from which most American immigrants came in hopes of escaping the likes of royalty, lords, dukes, barons, kaisers and their ilk. Anyone who champions against inheritance taxes, whether they realize it or not, is undermining liberal democracy. Tell your kids to go to school and get a job like everyone else.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So I guess old people here, these fine and supposedly respectable people don't much like to pay their dues=taxes. Much like that crazy old man in Osaka who tried to burn the shiyakusho down cause he disliked that they wanted to tax him. Pay your taxes like everybody else.

Anyways, glad the old bag got caught.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

No Cleo, I don't have that much, my point is that privately owned money and assets are just that, privately owned and it's not for other people to wag fingers and tell them they shouldn't give it to their kids etc. I really object to the government or people telling anyone else what to do with money they earned. It really goes against the grain.

And do you really think that children raised right are going to suddenly change in character and become idiots if they inherit some money? I tire of the whole 'money is evil' trope....if you become an idiot after inheriting money, you were poorly raised and an idiot from the get-go.

it's hardly money that you scrimped and saved to put away for your kids, is it?

Not even of you own your own company? We do, and while of course we're not by any means in the 300 million bracket (no way, no how), the money we do have was most certainly earned by us after 30+ years of hard work. We certainly didn't steal it.

If for you being frugal means not buying boats, sports cars and 100-man handbags then we're not talking on the same level at all.

I was saying that not all people who have money or inherit it live a vulgar nouveau riche lifestyle, not that not buying a boat is 'scrimping'. Sigh. I really detest the attitude that 'more money than us' = 'lazy no-account who never worked for it and deserves to have it taken away'.

Be it 20%, 30%, or 50%, I am totally opposed to inheritance tax. It's taxing more than once, money that has already been taxed...you are taxed when you sell stock, you pay income tax, and other taxes...to tax it once again just because someone kicked the bucket is specious reasoning at best....why collect more taxes at a death? The reason is? Does dying inconvenience or cost the country something, so that it has to be compensated?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There needs to be a balance. The US doesn't tax massive inheritances enough and Japan taxes small/medium inheritances too much. Still many are able to get around this in Japan through the "houjin" and other systems.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm dumbfounded to read this: "Inheritance taxes are a pillar of democracy." What kind of person writes such nonsense? There isn't a single democracy on the planet.

All governments are just branches off feudalism that exist for the sole purpose of expanding governmental feudalism.

Starve a government of taxes and you create efficiency and reduce waste. Governments are just corrupt gangs that confiscate money from the productive people in a society. They're no different than the yakuza or the very thing that people claim they are against -- a feudal ruling class.

Bureaucrats take your money at gunpoint and under threat of prison to pay themselves, buy gifts, travel and give it to contractors who wine and dine them.

Modern day republics call themselves "democracies" and people fall for it.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

We don't know if she was being dishonest which probably wasn't the case. At 87 years she may not have known exactly how much money there was, or was given the wrong advice?

$3 million in 2009, would have been ¥270 million. Spouse gets ¥160 million anyway, leaving tax to be paid on ¥110 million at 40%, or ¥44 million. She now has to pay ¥150 million which in itself seems excessive?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Starve a government of taxes and you create efficiency and reduce waste. Governments are just corrupt gangs that confiscate money from the productive people in a society.

Go live in Somalia or some other place without a functioning government, then we can really talk about corrupt gangs who confiscate money.

Taxes are the price we pay for living in a civilized society. The endless problems with democracy in its current nascent form and with governments are not reasons to do away with them, they are reasons to work to improve them. Failed states today and history from times when there was almost no state make this clear.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So Hima, all that rage about 'Taking 50% of an inheritance is punishing me for saving and investing well' was - what? Neither you or your kids are going to be paying 50% of anything. Do you also object fiercely to paying income tax and local tax? That's the government telling you what to do with your money, too.

I wasn't suggesting at all that you stole your money, I was trying to point out that someone who has that kind of money to leave after deductions likely wasn't living a life of dire frugality; if a person has put ¥300 million in the bank to leave for their kids, while making do themselves with less than enough food, and holes in their shoes - more fool them.

I really detest the attitude that 'more money than us' = 'lazy no-account who never worked for it and deserves to have it taken away'.

But you don't see the difference between people like you who have worked for it, and those who inherit millions they haven't worked for?

children of the wealthy being so reduced in income and assets by their parents' death that they never completely recover

And I have no idea where this came from. Even if the government takes the full 50% of a dead person's assets, his family are still left with half of a huge fortune. How does that in any way reduce their income and assets?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

any decent-sized accumulation of wealth means that your descendants, often as far as four, five or six generations down the line, will never have to work a day in their life.

This is actually wrong because mostly these inheritances are used up in about 3 generations unless the children have been taught by their parents how to get rich other than by just getting the money for free.

'm dumbfounded to read this: Inheritance taxes are a pillar of democracy. What kind of person writes such nonsense? There isn't a single democracy on the planet.

Me too, this is just plain stupid and that was just the start of the stupidity.

We don't know if she was being dishonest which probably wasn't the case. True, as if we should expect her to know what the value of this stuff really was or even if she cared at 97.

Do you or do you not believe the law, as it is written, applies to all people? It does but if you ask the IRS, Tax Office, or whatever you want to call it, will always tell you the part of the law that requires you to pay the most and neglect to tell you the part that allows you to not pay tax. I am sure that Japan is the same as the US where the IRS has ordered people to pay taxes and fines for tax evasion when in actual fact the people have paid taxes according to the law but not the law that the IRS wants to use and on top of that the IRS has targeted certain groups of people at times. You should be able to easily find these stories. I have relatives also who have fallen victim to tax laws that were amended and back dated 3 years and then were made out to be tax evaders of a scheme that endorsed by the Govt at the time.

So back to the issue of laws, you need to have a tax consultant who knows the law and doesn't simply fill out the forms the Tax Dept gives you to make you pay only

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No rage, Cleo....I should have said "If I had it, I should be able to' . Got back from the US yesterday, heavily jet-lagged and fighting to stay awake.

But you don't see the difference between people like you who have worked for it, and those who inherit millions they haven't worked for?

Somewhere along the line it WAS earned, by someone in the family, often a parent. It was previously subject to capital gains tax and income tax. It's someone's hard-earned money! I suppose being from Britain where they tax like Japan you don't think anything of it. In the US you don't get taxed on inheritance like that.

Neither you or your kids are going to be paying 50% of anything.

Can't put yourself in someone else's shoes? It doesn't have to happen to me to for me to feel it's totally unfair. I don't subscribe to 'It's never going to happen to me, so I don't have to care about it'. Things that strike me as unjust are unjust whether they directly affect me or not.

his family are still left with half of a huge fortune. How does that in any way reduce their income and assets?

Haven't you read about any of those cases where a house built years and years ago in Tokyo or somewhere having tripled or quadrupled in value over the years? Built years ago, and it ends up being the only house in that area with a big plot of land? The taxes on some of those houses are so expensive that the house that was to be inherited has to be sold, and the heirs have had to sell a house to come up with the taxes. There has been more than one case like that in Tokyo. They're taxed on the present land value, not the value the bought it at 40-50 years ago so they're levied 3 oku in taxes or some such, and all there was to inherit was the house. In that case there is nothing to do but sell the property.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Equality:

I generally agree part of your comment--good that she got caught, and shame on her. But the fine/penalty does seem really excessive.

Also, I'm not a math whiz, but I think a billion yen (at today's rates) is about $10 million, not $100m.

Greedy governments? How about greedy rich widows? With $100 million in assets, she can't pay her share of taxes? Leave the tax burden to those of us with 0.2% or 0.3% of her assets? Shame on her. I'm glad she was caught!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I feel with you over the jet-lag, Hima!

Somewhere along the line it WAS earned, by someone in the family, often a parent.

And that person had the benefit of it. But if it's been subject to capital gains tax, I don't see how it's 'hard-earned'; you buy a property for 1 million, sell it for three (lucky you) and pay tax on the 2 million profit.

Can't put yourself in someone else's shoes? It doesn't have to happen to me to for me to feel it's totally unfair.

I find it easier to put myself in the shoes of the low-paid underdog being asked to fork out a hefty proportion of his income in consumption tax and other regressive taxes; if taking more from the filthy rich means taking less from those who have little in the first place, I'm all in favour.

The taxes on some of those houses are so expensive that the house that was to be inherited has to be sold, and the heirs have had to sell a house to come up with the taxes.

I don't see the problem. If the value of the land (if the house was built that long ago, the value of the building goes down, not up) has tripled or quadrupled, the family is making a profit, surely. The heirs can sell the land at its modern inflated price, pay the tax and pocket the difference. Or if it has a big plot of land and they want to continue living there, sell off part of the big plot. It's still a windfall the heirs have done nothing to earn, and if the estate is worth a lot now simply because of rising land prices, it's not like anyone in the family has worked hard to increase the value of the land to its present inflated level, they were just lucky. For the inheritance tax to be 3 oku, the estate would have to be worth in excess of 28 oku (assuming the spouse and one child inherit, and are living in the house), leaving them with 25 oku, a clear profit of 21 oku assuming the value of the land had quadrupled. Leaving aside the fact that it's very unlikely someone who could afford to buy a house costing around 7 ok 'years and years ago' has no other assets, how does that reduce the heirs' income or assets? If none of the heirs are living in the house, then it's valued for tax purposes at 50% of its current value, as opposed to 20% if the heirs are living there, so they pay more (quite a bit more) and the 3 oku would be being levied on a smaller estate; but in that case the house and land are a windfall; it isn't as though selling it would make the family homeless. If someone has told you a sob-story about being made destitute and unable to work on account of paying 3 oku in inheritance taxes, I think you've been taken in.....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Inheritance taxes prevent the development of an entrenched aristocracy (as long as they're not evaded via the Cayman Islands). That's why they were created. You can look it up. Seriously. There are stats galore. Why should Duke so-and-so's grandchildren get a head start on life by virtue of birth? What about individual merit and effort? And spare us the libertarian circular claptrap. You don't government, go live in Somalia or Kandahar and see how much you like it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

cos, I'm sorry, you're wrong. You could look up any number of such cases, mainly in Tokyo and the surrounding area, in the past 20 years alone.

Himajin, no. The number of cases is the huge majority of heirs don't pay more than some property transfer fees, as they are under the amount for that tax, then many pay a little. Those that have to pay 50% (after tax free allowance) are lucky to inherit a lot. You mean cases of people that inherited 100 of millions, then they had to sell assets to pay the tax ? Surely, there are cases in rich Tokyo. And that's normal that they pay.

The taxes on some of those houses are so expensive that the house that was to be inherited has to be sold,

So what ? Like the middle class couple that acquires a house, and let it to 2 or 3 children, they have to sell to share too. What problem ? I don't see a reason to cry over people that want to eat their cake and have it. Even if the heir has to sell and he can only get a small house. He is beneficiary. If someone doesn't want to pay like 200 millions out of 500, they can refuse to inherit and then they pay zero yen. 100% sure of that. They are not either required by law to pay the funeral, even if "society" expects them too, but rule of thumb is if the dead left enough fortune to trigger that tax on heritage, he/she left enough for paying dozens of funerals.

his 87-year-old wife failed to report some 200 million yen in cash ...at around 100 million yen less than the real amount

So that bachan had 300 million yen (and that's only a part of what she has, as she already had half of the guy's fortune before his death, I don't worry for that widow...). If she had paid, she'd have only 180 millions left, like 60 years of basic salary of full time worker. She wouldn't have enough to live ?

copyrights inherited from her husband

That copyrights are inherited is particularly unfair. People that have that privilege could at least have the decency to pay the taxes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ha ha, this is the only story in Crime right now that starts with a female perp. All the rest are either (male) student, man or (male) police officer. Well done gents!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

She wouldn't have enough to live ?

That's not the point, the point is the government being able to take half of what you own, money that has already been taxed once.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's not the point, the point is the government being able to take half of what you own, money that has already been taxed once.

"The TV told me that the phrase "being taxed twice" means that I won the argument. What do you think Bubba?"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What don't people get about paying payroll tax (deducted at the time), income tax, and then inheritance tax? Love government that much, do you?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@johnnyG - $10 Million it is. I stand corrected. Still a lot of money though. :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Payroll tax, income tax and inheritance tax are separate and distinct entities. They each have different payees. Payroll tax is applied to a business unit, income tax applied to the earned income of an individual. Inheritances are an unearned capital gain for their recipient. As these are separate and distinct sources of income/capital gain for different people and/or organizations, they do not constitute double taxation (unless the payee is trying to play a shell game in an attempt to evade paying one of them).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And those taxes go where?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

HimajinJul. 15, 2013 - 11:27AM JST : And those taxes go where?

used to build all those "essential" bridges every 20m over the highways going to Nagano etc!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well, I have to admit I am stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one. On the one hand I am no fan of the rich and don't mind taxing the heck out of them while they still remain quite rich. On the other hand, I don't like handing corrupt governments big fat wads of private money when they spend way too much on stupid projects like roads to no where and transporting tsunami waste across the country just to burn it in my backyard.

I guess the most horrible thing is to tax people for dying, no matter if they are rich or not, especially if their spouse is still alive. I think the government should leave that old woman alone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's one's civic duty to prevent the government from taking what's not theirs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ha ha, this is the only story in Crime right now that starts with a female perp. All the rest are either (male) student, man or (male) police officer. Well done gents!

Just now a story about a 15-year-old girl pushing a classmate off a mountain was posted. Don't worry; the women are catching up!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just don't get the part about the money not in bank being taxed? As Zichi said: "His wife worked hard to support her husband and it can be said it was as her money as much as it was his." Same as when you obtain property while married etc. - it doesn't matter who paid for it - it becomes family's common property. Anybody can enlighten me on that?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As this lady is 87 years old this tax avoidance may or may not be a deliberate malicious act.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Interesting points being raised here on whether inheritance taxes are fair or unfair. I won't take sides here. I'll just say that I doubt Mrs Hirayama was filling out and filing tax returns herself. That being said I don't think it will be too hard for her, or whoever represent her in the matter, to satisfy the tax man.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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