national

More than 1,000 Japanese firms, people named in 'Pandora Papers'

90 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

90 Comments
Login to comment

Rich people are scum? Really? No way!

7 ( +23 / -16 )

I wonder if the J-prosecutors will go after any of these newly-revealed J-tax cheats with the same zeal they pursued Ghosn and Kelly.

58 ( +65 / -7 )

It's not a crime to be successful and rich, but it is morally and lawfully wrong to find your way to the top and keep the wealth that you amassed through cheating.

34 ( +38 / -4 )

Look for quick government action to close these loop holes, they might even got to the filing cabinet and retrieve these people’s my number.. ha ha.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Greedy.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Kyodo is the only media reporting this story.

22 ( +28 / -6 )

Problem is that this is not illegal, but the rich well advised by lawyers and tax advisors are using loopholes.

It is a moral issue. Many overseas politicians claiming against corruption have also been doing the same.

Let’s wait and see.

All companies registered in the Virgin or Cayman Islands are dubious

11 ( +14 / -3 )

 A Don Quijote spokesperson said the discount retailer believes the tax treatment has been made within the rules.

They may be correct about this, which shows a big problem with tax law. Even when you've got a legislature which wants to close the loopholes that only the super wealthy can exploit (which isn't often the case given the influence the super wealthy have on politicians), they are basically playing a wack-a-mole game. They pass a law that shuts down one loophole and then accountants and lawyers analyze it and eventually find a new way of structuring their finances that allows them to avoid taxes without technically breaking the law. Then eventually the legislature might move to close that new avoidance scheme down and the second they do the accountants and lawyers already have a new one lined up.

The problem is that discovering ways to avoid taxes is way easier and takes less time than passing laws to shut down tax avoidance schemes, so the public, which is the interest being most harmed by these practices, are always on the losing end.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

well tricks of rich...out of reach of majority of population...

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Tax havens, if registered correctly, are generally unethical but not illegal. It depends on the country you are in and the country your money is in.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Part of the reason, but not all of it, for tax havens to exist is because most countries have convoluted and punitive tax systems. Mainly the other parts is for dodgy people and organisations to hide profits.

Perhaps if countries simplified their tax systems with flat rates and closed loopholes, these tax havens would hardly be viable. But while said dodgy people and organisations are able to "influence" governments to keep those loopholes open, this will never happen.

In any case, governments waste enormous amounts of taxpayers' money in ways too numerous to mention, so is it any wonder that people want to minimise their tax bill? I minimise mine where I can.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I ve been boycotting Masayoshi Son and Softbank from many years ago. The rest of Japan should follow suit.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Aside Masayoshi Son and private businesspeople here, I am quite stunned on how cheaply you can buy politicians in Japan.

An insignificant politician in China can pocket more than $100 million at minimum.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Anyone with money and a brain cell would find look for loop holes to minimize tax.... it's no surprise these people are doing this as unfair as it sounds.

What I'd be more interested in seeing is Abe and his finances.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Shocking. The Land of the Rising white collar crime syndicate.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Somebody win the Powerball Monday,they wish they could launder the 250 million tax bill to US government,and keep 400 millions in change Google Powerball

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Oh dear, here we go again, Cayman, BVI, Jersey etc., are evil tax havens....

People really need to understand what these countries are, why they are used and why they have an important role. Essentially, in the Cayman Islands (and other similar "tax havens") it is possible to set up a company that, so long as it does not do business in Cayman, does not have to pay tax in the Cayman Islands. The "tax haven" point is that local Cayman taxes do not need to be paid. They are a very useful tool for holding and managing multiple investments, in various countries as they do not add an additional layer of tax.

Japanese long-term residents need to pay tax on their world-wide income. If they take any earnings from a Cayman vehicle, they would be required to pay tax on that in Japan. If they hide that, that is tax avoidance and illegal - part of the reason for the My Number system was to clamp down on that.

There is nothing wrong per-say with Cayman vehicles and I suspect that a lot of "ordinary people" actually have funds in them without knowing - many pension funds and other investments (e.g. ETF funds etc.) are set up in Cayman.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

part of the reason for the My Number system was to clamp down on that.

Only about 17% of residents have My Number.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Hap Smith,that money is not physically in the Cayman,it no more than a vehicle to launder money

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hap Smith,that money is not physically in the Cayman,it no more than a vehicle to launder money

I am fairly sure that the money I have at my bank is not physically there.

Trust me - if one wanted to launder money, there are much better locations. Your average casino to start, or any country that is not part of the OECD's forum on tax monitoring (https://www.oecd.org/tax/transparency/country-monitoring/).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The one thing we learnt from the Panama Papers in 2016 is that the public can be as outraged as they like, but the penalties for any misconduct, if any, will be light and the tax loopholes will remain open (or avail in a marginally different form).

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yrral 

Hap Smith,that money is not physically in the Cayman,it no more than a vehicle to launder money

Except it is. Money in places like the Cayman must be deposited into an agreed bank. The resources of all banks must be greater than the sum total of deposits, otherwise, the bank is bankrupt.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Unfortunately foreigners get a bad rap in Japan, but actually its the locals who are amazing at evading taxes and handling cash.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Only about 17% of residents have My Number.

You’re confusing having a physical card (over 26% according to the article below) with just having a number, which you, I, and most of us have

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/2021/03/18/special-supplements/number-cards-crucial-japans-move-digitalization-initiatives/

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Stop demonizing rich people! Who wants to work hard and take risks building up a business to then have to pay a huge amount of tax to a government who wastes it on building roads to nowhere or to pay all those people sitting in the shiyakusho (who got their jobs through nepotism) sipping on green tea and staring at their computer screens all day! Tax saving schemes are not illegal and anyone who takes the time and effort can take advantage of them!

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

‘Pandora papers’: New leaks reveal how world leaders use offshore companies to dodge millions of dollars in taxes :

No surprise, no new revelation.

Leaders worldwide know too well how to play this kind of dirty games. They have strings of experts in tax matters to support and guide them..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Give the choice between greedy people and lazy people, I'll choose greedy every time. At least they will do something.

Sort like the difference between capitalists and socialists. Capitalists want to keep their money and socialists want someone to give them money.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

@zichi

Kyodo is the only media reporting this story.

you are joking right? Just about every media is reporting this. The day Kyodo gets a scoop on anything will never happen

8 ( +8 / -0 )

stickman

@zichi

Kyodo is the only media reporting this story.

you are joking right? Just about every media is reporting this. The day Kyodo gets a scoop on anything will never happen

When I read my media this morning Kyodo was the only media reporting on the Japanese firms/people. Now appearing in other media too.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

oyatoi

Only about 17% of residents have My Number.

You’re confusing having a physical card (over 26% according to the article below) with just having a number, which you, I, and most of us have

Sorry, yes you are correct.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

What's morally reprehensible is for a cabal of folks to create a law to confiscate the fruit of another person's labor. That's theft.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

So are they going to get arrested or does the law not apply to them?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Give the choice between greedy people and lazy people, I'll choose greedy every time. At least they will do something.

Sort like the difference between capitalists and socialists. Capitalists want to keep their money and socialists want someone to give them money.

The problem is that in the capitalist system, greedy people tend to be lazy. They don't create any wealth. Only portion out the wealth hard workers create while keeping a the largest portion for themselves. It's even worse than that now. Most very hard working Amazon and Walmart workers make so little money, they are eligible for tax payer funded welfare payments. Capitalism is so obsolete by now it's continued existence is like a black comedy.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Give the choice between greedy people and lazy people, I'll choose greedy every time. At least they will do something.

Why set up a dichotomy where your only choice is between two bad groups of people, the greedy and the lazy? They both suck.

Personally I prefer smart, hard working people who get along well with others and have a sense of social responsibility.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Stop demonizing rich people!

Rich people who avoid paying taxes while everyone else fulfills that duty deserve to be demonized. Not all rich people engage in this behavior, but the ones who do deserve to be called out for it. The mere fact that they are rich and can get away with it isn't a shield they can use to avoid all criticism for their own selfish and anti-social behavior.

Who wants to work hard and take risks building up a business to then have to pay a huge amount of tax to a government who wastes it on building roads to nowhere or to pay all those people sitting in the shiyakusho (who got their jobs through nepotism) sipping on green tea and staring at their computer screens all day! Tax saving schemes are not illegal and anyone who takes the time and effort can take advantage of them!

its a nice fantasy to believe that all tax money just goes to support lazy bureacrats and thus you are justified in not paying them, but most of that money actually goes to things that society needs, like hospitals, schools, roads, police, military, firefighters, etc etc.

When rich people (or anyone for that matter) avoids taxes, the honest among us are ultimately the ones forced to pay more for those things.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What? So...after getting TAXED on their income and having their businesses similarly TAXED, these people actually don't want to be again TAXED on the growth of their investments, TAXED during the sale of each new investment, plus also TAXED upon death?

And this is an UNCOMMON sentiment here? Very strange.

We're taxed on every cent (sales), we're taxed for the "privilege" of living in our "local area". Then there's the "progressiveness" of the taxes. Should a do-nothing government, responsible in NO WAY for all that capital formation, be able to take MORE, MUCH MORE than you're left to take home? Because (fill in your leftist talking point/excuses)?

Once again, we see the do-nothings of this world simply salivating to get their hands on the wealth of others/control over others. As George The Quiet One once bitterly sang (about Labour's punitive policies):

"Let me tell you how it will be/There's one for you, nineteen for me...

Should five percent appear too small/Be thankful I don't take it all!...

If you drive a car, car, I'll tax the street/If you try to sit, sit, I'll tax your seat...

If you get too cold, cold, I'll tax the heat/If you take a walk, walk, I'll tax your feet...

'Cause I'm the taxman. Yeah, I'm the taxman

...And you're working for no one...but ME! (TAXMAN!!)"

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

What? So...after getting TAXED on their income and having their businesses similarly TAXED, these people actually don't want to be again TAXED on the growth of their investments, TAXED during the sale of each new investment, plus also TAXED upon death?

Cry us a river. This is an article about billionaires NOT being taxed on their income, NOT being taxes on their businesses, NOT being taxed on the growth of their investments, NOT being taxed during the sale of each new investment and NOT being taxed on death.

Which is the bloody problem.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

its a nice fantasy to believe that all tax money just goes to support lazy bureacrats and thus you are justified in not paying them, but most of that money actually goes to things that society needs, like hospitals, schools, roads, police, military, firefighters, etc etc.

Having worked in the public service in my home country as a contractor, I got to see first-hand the profligate waste and lack of accountability within the public service. Of course there are some hard workers, but they are not in the majority. A sizable proportion of public servants join for the decent salary, generous pension and job security, not to serve the public. Their numbers could be trimmed by 15-20% and you wouldn't notice the difference.

And don't get me started on public project spending and grants. Many tenders and grants are award no because they provide the best value - including financial stability of the awardees - to the taxpayer, but because they fulfill the political objectives of the assessors.

These are good reasons to minimise your tax.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Everyone wants to minimize their tax.

The problem is if they are doing something illegal to minimize it.

Now, were those people in the list doing something illegal?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I would like to reduce my tax bill too!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So are they going to get arrested or does the law not apply to them?

Just as the Russians used to say; ‘we pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us’, it’ll mostly, apart from some token fall guys, be a case of they’ll pretend to arrest us, and we’ll pretend to be all penitent and promise to never do it again. Rinse, repeat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Give the choice between greedy people and lazy people, I'll choose greedy every time. At least they will do something.

A very large number of those named in the papers are politicians with very hazy sources of wealth.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Cry us a river. This is an article about billionaires NOT being taxed on their income, NOT being taxes on their businesses, NOT being taxed on the growth of their investments, NOT being taxed during the sale of each new investment and NOT being taxed on death.

Excellently put.

And these people get rich because they are based in countries with educated workers and good infrastructure. These things cost money and it is paid for with tax.

It seems only logical that those who were able to benefit the most from this should be prepared to pay more.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nothing will happen, these are Japanese heavy weights. Makes Ghosn tax avoidance look comical compared to this.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I was smart and hiding my money in Evergrande Group :))

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If you go to the tax office yearly to file, you must enter your MyNumber.

If you do not go to the tax office, someone else is filing your return, and in order to hit the enter button at the bottom of the relatively simple forms, you cannot get to that page without your MyNumber number.

Mom and Pops routinely forget about income so their taxes are like Carmen Island tax games and it has been that way since taxes started.

live. With it kids. Live with it.

a billionaire does not give a hoot about a million here saved or what ever. Change the tax laws if you are so angry.

I pay no income tax. Thanks.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The names found in materials obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists also include Takeo Hirata, a former head of the Cabinet Secretariat section that was in charge of promoting the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

It is neo-feudalism. The tax burden for mostly corporate subsidies is being put on the backs of lower and middle class workers.

Yet some still argue for lower taxes on the 'job creators' and trickle down neo liberal economics and higher sales taxea and income workers.

Progressively higher taxes on corporations and extreme wealth are an absolute necessity

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan may have the highest spread on Earth between what the average salary man pays and what the average Ultra High Net Worth Japanese "business owner" pays. I know because I've been on both sides of it. As a salaryman trodding through station everyday in a black suit, I worked my butt off to eventually have the privilege to pay 55% (!!) income tax + another 6% in healthcare and pension, leaving me with less than 40% of my earnings to actually spend! And there are no longer any legal ways to meaningfully reduce this rate. This is absurdly high and needs to be reduced.

Most people won't admit this, but last year, I became a business owner and I was able to earn a similar amount of money and was allowed to deduct so many expenses it brought me down to ~20%. Use offshore accounts and I could have reduced it to nearly 5-10%... in some cases 0! This is absurdly low and deduction loopholes need to be closed in Japan.

So reality is business owners in Japan are scamming the tax system (legally) while salarymen are getting crushed. Think again when you hear rich business owners complaining about taxes. Sure, the gross amount may be high, but they aren't paying the % they want the public to think they are. THEY PAY MUCH MUCH LOWER % than you think.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

It is interesting to see the comments that mistakenly believe that only Japanese companies are listed.

The names of famous corporate executives and famous politicians from around the world are also listed.

Former British Prime Minister Blair, for example.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

a billionaire does not give a hoot about a million here saved or what ever. Change the tax laws if you are so angry.

They do, down to the cent, which is why they became billionaires in the first place =)

But yeah, like everyone else, if they're paying according to the law then can't blame them.

Which is why "they"re trying to change tax laws

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is only ONE ethical tax rate: 0%

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Kyodo is the only media reporting this story.

You are limiting yourself to Japan. NPR had it on their news before 7AM!

You need to expand yourself!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I remember a long time ago, companies were registering their head offices in Channel Islands so not to pay tax. The residence on the islands had many companies registered at every house and were paid monthly by the company's for allowing their property address to be used and for sending on any mail that they would receive in the company's name. Houses had many many company name plates by the front door.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Must be nice to pay low taxes. This year I'm making less than 2 hyaku man and my taxes (city tax, nenkin, med. insurance) are 34% of that less then 2 hyaku man income.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Having worked in the public service in my home country as a contractor, I got to see first-hand the profligate waste and lack of accountability within the public service. Of course there are some hard workers, but they are not in the majority. A sizable proportion of public servants join for the decent salary, generous pension and job security, not to serve the public. Their numbers could be trimmed by 15-20% and you wouldn't notice the difference.

And don't get me started on public project spending and grants. Many tenders and grants are award no because they provide the best value - including financial stability of the awardees - to the taxpayer, but because they fulfill the political objectives of the assessors. 

These are good reasons to minimise your tax.

No they aren’t. The fact that some public servants are lazy people and some government spending priorities are driven by political considerations are NOT valid reasons for not paying taxes. If you don’t like how tax money is spent the proper remedy is to vote for people who will change how government operates, not to skip paying taxes for things that we all need and use and letting the rest of us foot the bill, which is what these jackass billionaires are doing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Something for the Japanese prosecutors to chow on over the next few weeks, and remember you can't bite the hand that feeds you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Interesting!! I wonder if any of NISSAN executives name is on the list?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A full list must be presented to the public.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

J@tokyo nailed it!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The wealthy club find ways to try to hang on to their wealth. Not that surprising, is it? We (speaking for myself i.e. the not super wealthy!) get stressed about how to not have no money, the super wealthy get stressed about how to not lose their money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's not a crime to be successful and rich, but it is morally and lawfully wrong to find your way to the top and keep the wealth that you amassed through cheating.

It oftentimes is lawful.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What’s the problem? They usually don’t bath in that unpaid tax money or watch the money mountain on the table whole day long, but they buy expensive things, giving work to other companies, invest more money in other companies or of course in their own ones , which accelerates research, engineering etc, or just only employ some more people with the more money left. So you and me and other parts of the economy profit too in one way or the other. If they regularly pay all the taxes as obliged , they have less for that I described and then the state or government distributes the collected tax money instead and for example more construction people in infrastructure projects get a job or more teachers , nurses etc. In sum there is almost no change at all , less jobs in economy sectors here and more jobs in other economy sectors there or vice versa.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The rich employs the best Chefs known as accountants they are good at "Cooking The Books".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If it's not illegal but the people and the government don't like what's going on, change the law so it can't be done anymore.

Simple.

Now ask yourself why no governments ever seem to close these kinds of tax loopholes and change the laws regarding tax avoidance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LOL, whoa nelly - you better hide that wallet theFU.

Looters and greed are like dogs and fleas.. At least you'll stand a fighting chance with the Lazy.

They won't have the muscle to rob you blind and backwards. They'll be slow and generous

with time. Youll have all kinds of time to get set and a fighting chance to hang on to your little scratch before they get near it. BUt If you get double unlucky, youre gonna run into extra-lazy psyco Rich Looters.

Yea, betcha you never thought it but 2 things can happen at the same time.

And if it happens, its probably 100x worse. The Lazy Looters dont pay you but theyll be out paying off their buddies to capitalise off all your capital debts and bury you.

THen keep changing the rules to keep you paying for them to write off all their socialiist losses.

But don't believe me… if you love being robbed.

theFuToday 12:51 pm JST

Give the choice between greedy people and lazy people, I'll choose greedy every time. At least they will do something.

Sort like the difference between capitalists and socialists. Capitalists want to keep their money and socialists want someone to give them money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes. Don't be a Looter.

rainydayOct. 4 01:55 pm JST

Why set up a dichotomy where your only choice is between two bad groups of people, the greedy and the lazy? They both suck.

Personally I prefer smart, hard working people who get along well with others and have a sense of social responsibility.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's morally reprehensible is for a cabal of folks to create a law to confiscate the fruit of another person's labor. That's theft.

Everyone has an obligation to pay taxes and contribute to the betterment of society. There are three things a nation must do, and do well, to be prosperous. Those three things are education, infrastructure and health care. Get any of those three wrong and nothing else a nation does really matters. They will not prosper. Nations also need a police force, a system of courts to adjudicate disputes and a means to defend themselves. None of these legitimate tasks of government are free or somehow magically fund themselves. Businesses will not fund these on their own. It falls to government to develop a system of taxes and tax collection to fund government. The arguments start when deciding who pays how much. Your argument, however, that it is theft implies you feel no obligation to the nation that makes it possible for you to be wealthy (if indeed you are) or even any acknowledgement that the infrastructure, educated healthy work force, police, courts and defense are the very things that make it possible for you to make a lot of money and enjoy it afterwards. Without the very things you despise paying taxes to support you would not have a job, a business or be able to protect anything you earned without bodyguards and a little private army like you see the wealthy in places like Haiti or some African nations employ to protect themselves, their businesses and their wealth.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Now ask yourself why no governments ever seem to close these kinds of tax loopholes and change the laws regarding tax avoidance.

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison knew the answer to that question some 250 years ago. They have extensive writings on the subject. They knew that power accrues to wealth and that a nation that intended to govern itself had a strong interest in ensuring wealth, and by extension political power, was spread as broadly and evenly across the country as possible. One of their great fears was allowing wealth to concentrate in the hands of a few who would use that wealth to capture government for their own ends. Both Madison and Jefferson argued for a ban on primogeniture (where the eldest son inherits the entire estate) and instead argued that estates should be broken up among as many heirs as possible upon a landowners death (land ownership was the measure of wealth then before the industrial revolution) . They also argued in favor of large estate taxes so hereditary wealth did not accumulate in the hands of a few. Last, they wanted each generation to be vigorous and earn their own wealth, and not be lazy idle rich living off the wealth of their predecessors. The idle wealthy were considered to be especially dangerous to representative self government. We ignore their words at great peril, but many of the questions we ask today are fully addressed in the writings of John Adams, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In London you have the "City of London" that is a huge sovereign tax shelter. Tokyo or an island in Japan needs todo the same thing. Rich Japanese people need a place to park their assets, BitCoin, stocks etc tax free and help the local economy.

UK has the isle of Guernsey and the Isle of Man. China has Macao. -Japan is just behind on this concept.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In London you have the "City of London" that is a huge sovereign tax shelter. Tokyo or an island in Japan needs todo the same thing. Rich Japanese people need a place to park their assets, BitCoin, stocks etc tax free and help the local economy.

If your neighbor runs an illegal sports booking operation or is involved in some sort of medical billing fraud, do you also feel compelled to do something similar to keep up? Or do you prefer to remain honest even if you maybe don't make that extra money? Just asking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Government are the main reason why these tax avoidance systems exists. They actively go out of their way to create these systems so to use it themselves. They then direct big paying tax payers to use these systems. So unless you have a user pay system taxes will only be pay by the middle and lower classes

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Is that the stampede of the Japanese prosecutors office I hear as they gallop to investigate the earnings of Japanese politicians and CEOs??? Err...no......it isn't....Ghosn must be laughing his butt off

2 ( +2 / -0 )

rainydayOct. 4  07:54 pm JST

Having worked in the public service in my home country as a contractor, I got to see first-hand the profligate waste and lack of accountability within the public service. Of course there are some hard workers, but they are not in the majority. A sizable proportion of public servants join for the decent salary, generous pension and job security, not to serve the public. Their numbers could be trimmed by 15-20% and you wouldn't notice the difference.

And don't get me started on public project spending and grants. Many tenders and grants are award no because they provide the best value - including financial stability of the awardees - to the taxpayer, but because they fulfill the political objectives of the assessors. 

These are good reasons to minimise your tax.

No they aren’t. The fact that some public servants are lazy people and some government spending priorities are driven by political considerations are NOT valid reasons for not paying taxes. If you don’t like how tax money is spent the proper remedy is to vote for people who will change how government operates, not to skip paying taxes for things that we all need and use and letting the rest of us foot the bill, which is what these jackass billionaires are doing.

Please read what I wrote more carefully.

These are good reasons to minimise your tax.

There's a difference between paying taxes to fund useful infrastructure and a safety net, and flushing money down the drain. But so much tax money is wasted on needless bureaucracy and boondoggle projects regardless of which party is in power, simply voting for another party does little if any good. The taxation system needs to be completely overhauled and simplified so that it is more transparent and doesn't require an accounting degree to fill out any more than the bare essentials in your tax return. Sure, that'd upset a lot of accountants, but much of their work will be rendered obsolete by AI in the not-too-distant future anyway.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Most people would jump at the opportunity to do the same given half a chance.

If it's not illegal then why would anyone choose to pay more taxes than they have to?

Self righteousness usually masks deep seeded envy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There's a difference between paying taxes to fund useful infrastructure and a safety net, and flushing money down the drain. But so much tax money is wasted on needless bureaucracy and boondoggle projects regardless of which party is in power, simply voting for another party does little if any good. The taxation system needs to be completely overhauled and simplified so that it is more transparent and doesn't require an accounting degree to fill out any more than the bare essentials in your tax return. Sure, that'd upset a lot of accountants, but much of their work will be rendered obsolete by AI in the not-too-distant future anyway.

There is a logical flaw in your argument there so big you could drive a truck through it. On the one hand you say voting for any part will do no good. On the other you say you want a new tax system.

If you want a new tax system, you have to vote for a party that will pass legislation to create it, it won't just magically appear on its own.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There is a logical flaw in your argument there so big you could drive a truck through it. On the one hand you say voting for any part will do no good. On the other you say you want a new tax system. 

If you want a new tax system, you have to vote for a party that will pass legislation to create it, it won't just magically appear on its own.

In theory, you have a point: it won't magically appear on its own. But what you want and what you can get are often very different things.

In reality, though, there is no motivation for any of the major parties that have a realistic chance of being elected to drastically simplify the taxation system. Sure, sometimes there will be tweaks and window dressing to make it look like something is being done to slake the thirst of the governing party's grassroots supporters, or the opposition in the case of pre-election promises.

But when it comes to actually stripping the tax code back to something remotely comprehensible to the people who actually have to pay the taxes, nothing is done and the opposite usually happens. This is not by accident. Plenty of powerful people benefit from having a convoluted taxation system.

So what to do? Regardless who you vote for, if you play nice you'll get screwed because none of the major parties give a damn about the bulk of the voters. Sounds cynical, I know, but that's how it is. So the options are:

1) suck it up, pay through the nose for limited societal benefit, and complain how the rich are exploiting the system;

2) move to a country that has a tax system as close to your ideal as possible, if you can;

3) find and exploit the loopholes where legal to do so, thus minimising the amount of you're income that's wasted on excessive bureaucracy and bad governmental decisions, and hope that some of it is spent relatively wisely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But when it comes to actually stripping the tax code back to something remotely comprehensible to the people who actually have to pay the taxes, nothing is done and the opposite usually happens. This is not by accident. Plenty of powerful people benefit from having a convoluted taxation system.

I'm honestly not sure what tax system you are dealing with that makes it so difficult on you. I have experience with paying taxes in two jurisdictions, Japan and Canada. Here in japan its mostly done by my employer with little input other than providing various documents from me.

When I was in Canada, I had to file my own taxes so it was more work but I never had a problem figuring it out, the forms are written in a straightforward manner . It was a pain in the ass to be sure, but you don't need an accounting degree to do it. The rates are easy to understand, what you can claim deductions for are easy to understand, etc.

In Canada at least the only truly complex parts of the Income Tax Act which are particularly complicated and require professional help are various anti-avoidance provisions that have been added to it the years to shut down various tax dodges. In fact, most of the content of the Act today consists of such provisions. These are rarely relevant to average taxpayer though, who never has to deal with them.

Anyway, lets look at your options:

1) suck it up, pay through the nose for limited societal benefit, and complain how the rich are exploiting the system;

I don't suck anything up nor do I pay through the nose. I think I pay quite a fair rate, and I enjoy quite a bit of social benefit from living in a society that has government services that actually function because they are adequately funded. I do complain about the rich exploiting the system though because frankly I think its outrageous that they, and they alone, are able to do so.

2) move to a country that has a tax system as close to your ideal as possible, if you can;

This is only an option that makes sense for those who are wealthy, which is itself another unfair advantage which they have.

3) find and exploit the loopholes where legal to do so, thus minimising the amount of you're income that's wasted on excessive bureaucracy and bad governmental decisions, and hope that some of it is spent relatively wisely.

Well it goes without saying that you should take advantage of whatever deductions that tax law allows, and I do so not because I'm worried about what the government will do with my money but simply because I like having money.

None of these options, I should note, provide a path towards reducing complexity in tax systems, which seems to be your main complaint. Its not one which I share.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Expect outrage expressed in unison, followed by finger pointing and a few lower level scapegoats sacrificed to appease the howling mob. Then a few cosmetic changes rife with loopholes , to ensure that those in control will stay in control and the hue and cry will eventually die down and it will business as usual , with the leaks securely plugged.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Chabbawanga

Oct. 4 09:40 am JST

Rich people are scum? Really? No way!

I venture to say that you are not a wealthy person, or anywhere near it.  Also remember, many, but not all, wealthy people run successful businesses and employ many people who in turn can now support their families.  Some of the rich also give large amounts of money to charity. So, rich people are not necessarily bad, but like anything else, some are very selfish and hateful.

theFu

Oct. 4 12:51 pm JST

Give the choice between greedy people and lazy people, I'll choose greedy every time. At least they will do something.

Sort like the difference between capitalists and socialists. Capitalists want to keep their money and socialists want someone to give them money.

Got that right!

serendipitous1

Oct. 4 09:33 pm JST

The wealthy club find ways to try to hang on to their wealth. Not that surprising, is it? We (speaking for myself i.e. the not super wealthy!) get stressed about how to not have no money, the super wealthy get stressed about how to not lose their money.

That’s right.  The politicians make these laws for the benefit of the rich, why, because they are rich themselves. I am sure this is the way in any country.  In the USA, most in the Senate and House are millionaires, some tens of millions, from both political parties.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

asiafriend

I venture to say that you are not a wealthy person, or anywhere near it. Also remember, many, but not all, wealthy people run successful businesses and employ many people who in turn can now support their families. Some of the rich also give large amounts of money to charity. So, rich people are not necessarily bad, but like anything else, some are very selfish and hateful.

The super-rich does not work, They invest their capital and let that work. Any money given to charity is tax-deductible. The super-rich does not pay incomes taxes as we do. They pay the lower rate of capital gains tax.

Jeff Bezos - $201.7 billion. ...while many Amazon employees struggle to make a living.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Please have their names listed. So that the public knows, the truth.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And they went after Carlos Ghosn for how much

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not holding your breath I hope.....

I wonder if the J-prosecutors will go after any of these newly-revealed J-tax cheats with the same zeal they pursued Ghosn and Kelly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Anyone familiar with the whole Olympus scandal knows that Japanese companies operate with some of the shadiest accounting and financing schemes in the developed world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichiOct. 5 06:48 pm JST

asiafriend

I venture to say that you are not a wealthy person, or anywhere near it. Also remember, many, but not all, wealthy people run successful businesses and employ many people who in turn can now support their families. Some of the rich also give large amounts of money to charity. So, rich people are not necessarily bad, but like anything else, some are very selfish and hateful.

The super-rich does not work, They invest their capital and let that work. Any money given to charity is tax-deductible. The super-rich does not pay incomes taxes as we do. They pay the lower rate of capital gains tax.

Jeff Bezos - $201.7 billion. ...while many Amazon employees struggle to make a living.

Zichi,

I would not say that the super rich do not work. How would you know that? I have no doubts that some work by investigating the businesses in which they invest. Of course, they do their research while on their yacht or in their multimillion dollar home, or homes. Others hire people to do this. Then they invest their capital. You must have heard the phrase "Money makes money". This is how they get wealthier. In the beginning, unless they inherited a fortune, they had to work to get wealthier. I also would not doubt that some of them work simply to keep busy and because work is in their genes. That is, a strong work ethic. Of course some don't work at all and still accumulate more money by their investments than all the posters on JT combined, as I would hazard such a guess.

As for taxes, some probably pay a high amount, and some very little. It all depends on the loopholes that they utilize. Remember, these loopholes are written by politicians and approved by the House and Senate, at least in the USA. This also benefits the members of the House and Senate who themselves are millionaires, certainly most of them.

As for Jeff Bezos at Amazon, does Amazon provide health care benefits for the employees? If so, this has to be taken into account in addition to salary. Also, if the salary is low, just like it would be in a fast food place, such as McDonalds, the people working there will hopefully try to get a better job, such as by earning a degree and moving up in the world. If they intend to work at McDonald's for the rest of their life, then that is their fault. Hopefully no one who graduates high school has the "dream" of working at McDonald's for life, unless their dream is to become a regional manager or some other high paying position. Finally, for those that may be single mothers (or fathers) and going to school to better themselves is out of the question, then this is not the responsibility of Jeff Bezos. It is the responsibility of the man that made the woman pregnant. It takes two to tango.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Rich people earn their wealth off the labour of other which has gone on for hundreds of years, not something just recent. The exploration of labour.

The super rich have access to tax breaks not available to working people. For 50 years I earned my living totally from my own labours. When work was given to other people they also got the money for the job. Never took a cent.

Super rich don’t pay the income taxes paid by working people.

One worker at the bottom of the Amazon ladder earns less than $30,000. The one at the other end is worth more than $200 billlion.

The post is about Japan. Japanese companies are not paying enough wages, not a fair share of taxes and thousands of rich hiding off shore accounts.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

During the pandemic the gap between the rich and poor increased.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichiOct. 7 03:59 pm JST

Rich people earn their wealth off the labour of other which has gone on for hundreds of years, not something just recent. The exploration of labour.

...

The post is about Japan. Japanese companies are not paying enough wages, not a fair share of taxes and thousands of rich hiding off shore accounts.

Zichi,

I think you meant to write the word "exploitation", not "exploration". These words have very different meanings. Be careful, words do matter.

Yes, this post is about Japan. But you brought up the reference to Jeff Bezos and Amazon (Jeff Bezos - $201.7 billion. ...while many Amazon employees struggle to make a living.) I was simply responding to your inclusion of Jeff Bezos while he had nothing to do with this article on JT.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jeff Bezos is not connected with the post but there are Amazon employees here. People like Bezos are not paying a fair share of taxes.

"Jeff Bezos paid a true tax rate of 0.98% as his wealth grew by a staggering $99 billion between 2014 and 2018; he reported just $4.22 billion in reported income during the same period"

A tax rate of 0.98% while even poor workers are paying 10% income tax.

Warren Buffett paid a true tax rate of 0.10%.

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-secret-irs-files-trove-of-never-before-seen-records-reveal-how-the-wealthiest-avoid-income-tax

The rich need to pay their share of taxes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Zichi,

I totally agree they should pay their fair share of taxes.   The loopholes need to be eliminated.  But as I wrote previously, the politicians write these laws and pass them as they vote on them.  This benefits them because many of them are wealthy people, whether they are Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, etc..

Even Warren Buffet lamented that he pays less tax than his secretary and would pay more tax.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites