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Y26 million found in vacant house being demolished in Hokkaido

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A- He is old school and did not trust the bank or even a lawyer for a will... like the rest of the billions out there under mattresses... B- He knocked over a bank decades ago anywhere in Japan and the cops would not even bother to check cold cases... (I'm joking)

But all in all a great honest story and that is an honest society (good deed) despite the occasionally jewelry store, pachinko joint, Mickey Ds and old lady getting knocked over...

12 ( +12 / -0 )

There's far too many of these cases, and so much money lost 3/11 this way. The government should tax inheritance from these hidden savings at twice the rate they tax inheritance from money stored in banks and stock. It could provide many billion yen a year for the next two decades or so.

These hidden pockets of cash are also a reason to lower the amount of pension payouts, many of these old people on pensions have huge stockpiles of money, no reason to borrow from the young so that the old can hoard money.

-39 ( +5 / -43 )

The government should tax inheritance from these hidden savings at twice the rate they tax inheritance from money stored in banks and stock. It could provide many billion yen a year for the next two decades or so.

Mmm...it's hidden, so how does the govmint find out about it to tax it? And even assuming they did find out about it, 26 million is well under the tax-free allowance on inheritance (¥50 million plus 10 million for each legal heir). Unless this stash was in addition to tens of millions in the bank (and why would the old bloke trust the bank with most of his money, but not this bit of it? - unless it was part of a tax avoidance scam, in which case the govmint should take it all), the govmint would get not a brass yen extra if it had been in a bank.

These hidden pockets of cash are also a reason to lower the amount of pension payouts

The pension is not welfare subject to a means test. If people have paid in, they are and should be entitled to get back what they're due, regardless of whether they've saved or squandered the rest of their money.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Basroil,

Other people's money = not yours

Many people don't trust banks because the banks aren't trustworthy.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Shawshank redemption..?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Basroll, where to start???? Let's set aside for a moment that Japan already has one of the highest inheritance taxes in the world. So high in fact, that the empress's relatives could not afford the taxes on the family home and it was torn down after being auctioned to develpoers.

Secondly, this money was taxed when earned and then some. I am a Democrat and I do believe in using the tax system to redistribute wealth, but why oh why does the government tax the inheritance of all but the highest earners for doing the right thing and saving for the next generation? So you are saying that this man's family should be penalized because he saved the money rather than blowing it at the pachinko parlor?

While I agree that all welfare should be means tested, the fact is that they are not, so there is no point in even bringing that up at this point.

And Cleo makes an excellent point, how would the govt. know about hidden savings in the first place? Are you seriously advocating that we start searching old folks residence to see if they have socked away a little cash?

There is SO much more that I could say, but past experience has led me to believe that my post would get pulled. I will merely suggest that you take an introductory economics class.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Pensions, taxes, untrustworthy banks and possible unhanded dealings aside, I'm amazed (and pleased - さすが日本) that the construction workers handed in the money in the first place. 26million would've been a hell of a party for a lot of thirsty blokes after a hard day's graft!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

" a Democrat and I do believe in using the tax system to redistribute wealth"

That would be Socialist/Marxist.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Let's set aside for a moment that Japan already has one of the highest inheritance taxes in the world.

It should be set aside, because it isn't true except at the highest levels. The old bloke who squirrelled away 26 million under the floorboards is not in the same league as the filthy-rich-and-then-some Shoda clan.

The surviving spouse and three surviving children of someone leaving an estate of up to 90 million yen (after numerous deductions, including life insurance and lump-sum retirement packets) pay NO inheritance tax AT ALL. Over that amount tax is levied on the remainder in nine brackets, from 10% at the bottom end to 70% at the top end. The top bracket doesn't kick in until you're talking an estate in excess of ¥2 billion.

http://www.mof.go.jp/english/tax_policy/tax_system/japanese_tax_system_1999/zc001f06.htm

http://www.mof.go.jp/english/tax_policy/tax_system/japanese_tax_system_1999/zc001f04.htm

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Basroil - Just because they work hard and save money while they are under the age of 64 doesn't mean they shouldn't get an equal pension payment.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"That would be Socialist/Marxist."

Idiotic comment. What do you think tax in a capitalist economy does?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I think I am his long lost cousin! Time to hit up the relatives!!! lets party!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There's so many houses in remote parts of japan that remain vacant for years and years. It's so strange how respectful japan is of these houses. And even more confusing is that when the govt contacts long lost relatives, or relatives of relatives of relatives, often they decline to have anything to do with the estate of the person they never knew. So strange coming from Canada / Us where the vultures start circling long before anyone passes away.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are vacant houses in most areas for various reasons. Often the heirs don't want the property because of the tax burden. The property tax burden, that is. Although the allowance for Inheritance Tax is less terrible, the property tax is a different story. It's a valid enough reason to rent vs own(owe). Tax, tax, tax. That's the only thing any government grubbers know how to do.

I hope the heirs don't get taken to the cleaners.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

" What do you think tax in a capitalist economy does?"

Rhetorical question? It funds further encroachment, government expansion, more distribution, increases poverty.....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Often the heirs don't want the property because of the tax burden. The property tax burden, that is.

What's to stop them selling the property and pocketing the cash? Even if they have to pay a bit of inheritance tax and estate agents' fees, they still get more than they would otherwise.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That would never happen in America. The workers would have found that money in it would never have been seen again. Let's praise the Japanese for their honesty!!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hokkaido ?? Gosh ! Golly !! So that's where I forgot my extra 26 million yen in cash!!??

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@basroil

These hidden pockets of cash are also a reason to lower the amount of pension payouts, many of these old people on pensions have huge stockpiles of money, no reason to borrow from the young so that the old can hoard money.

And what about the ones who can't? The pension is already paltry and these people have paid in to the system all their working lives presumably.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Cleo, often the property tax is significantly in arrears and selling the property is problematic, so it's not as simple as it seems. It can be very burdensome,.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Honest construction workers...in the states it would have "never been found"...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Often the heirs don't want the property because of the tax burden. "

Another silly argument. The tax will never be greater than the value of the property. The heirs would always be better off if they took the property.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Herve, if the family do not want to inherit they can simply waive their right to the estate and its debts. An administrator is appointed, the estate can be sold off at auction (often at a knock-down price) and the proceeds go to pay tax arrears. What's 'burdensome'?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

why would the old bloke trust the bank with most of his money, but not this bit of it?

Generally speaking, it is not prudent to have all eggs in one basket. It is not prudent to have so much cash stored insecurely either, but if his bank would become bankrupt, then this 26 million yen would be gone anyway.

unless it was part of a tax avoidance scam, in which case the govmint should take it all

There would be no interest income on this cash. I would be interested to know of tax avoidance scam that can be achieved by holding cash.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

if his bank would become bankrupt, then this 26 million yen would be gone

Bank deposits are secured by the government and the BoJ to the tune of ¥10 million principle plus the interest on that sum. If he split the ¥26 million between three banks, it would all be safe in the event of a bank going under.

I would be interested to know of tax avoidance scam that can be achieved by holding cash.

Easy, if it's undeclared income he gets to avoid income tax, not to mention reduced local taxes and health insurance premiums for the year following the year in which the income was earned. (Not suggesting that's what this was - it could be perfectly legit)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It only takes 1 honest worker to ruin the fun for the other 10.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In November 1997, unable to pay its debts, the Hokkaido Takushoku Ginko (bank) went bankrupt. At the time, it was the biggest bank in Hokkaido. It was a huge shock. I'd be willing to bet that this guy, along with many others, decided that the money would be safer under the floorboards than at a bank.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I'm amazed (and pleased - さすが日本) that the construction workers handed in the money in the first place

Well that's how much he reported. We don't know how much he found.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I would be interested to know of tax avoidance scam that can be achieved by holding cash.

Easy.

Get paid in cash (day laborer, streetwalker, repatriate overseas assets that would be taxed at a higher rate here...).

Avoid taxes by not reporting the income.

Store it under the floorboards to hide the money trail.

Profit!
1 ( +1 / -0 )

" What do you think tax in a capitalist economy does?"

Rhetorical question? It funds further encroachment, government expansion, more distribution, increases poverty.....

Herve - taxes allow Canadians like yourself enjoy the world's best standard of living year after year along with the US, and many European countries. Taxes allow people like yourself to attend University for 10 years studying philosophy (but no common sense, unfortunately). If you want to realize your dream of living in a state of anarchy, pack your little bags and make camp in Afghanistan. If you are still alive after a few weeks, I'll buy you a double latte.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nessie,

Well that's how much he reported. We don't know how much he found.

Don't be so suspicious.

This is Japan.

I'm sure the guy reported all the money he found.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Cleo, " , if the family do not want to inherit they can simply waive their right to the estate and its debts. An administrator is appointed, the estate can be sold off at auction (often at a knock-down price) and the proceeds go to pay tax arrears. What's 'burdensome'?" Yes, that sounds easy here in virtual reality, but is it really? But ask yourself honestly, should the heirs have to forfeit family land? So, the biggest mafia in town again profits on the backs of private citizens. Pay or pay.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is about personal property rights, vis-a-vis inheritance and the greedy hand of government involvement as relates to taxation.

Why was the home being torn down in the first place? The only point that matters here is that the rightful recipients are known and will be in receipt of the money.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Kembuchi in Hokkaido?....I think that's where wife's brother's half uncle used to live reclusively...better check it out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

should the heirs have to forfeit family land?

It's not like they've done anything to earn it anyway, but if they're prepared to pay the debt that goes with it, they don't need to forfeit the land. Then again, if the original owner had been more responsible and either (a) not got into debt in the first place or (b) had sold the land he could not afford to upkeep, there would be no 'burden' on the heirs.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

" It's not like they've done anything to earn it anyway," That's completely irrelevant. The point is the burden of taxation placed by bureaucrats impoverishes the people. It's extortion.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The point is the burden of taxation placed by bureaucrats impoverishes the people.

How does not getting something that wasn't yours in the first place impoverish you?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cieo, is the concept of inheritance so difficult? It's a gift. If someone gives someone else a gift, should there be a tax?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

cleoOct. 18, 2012 - 08:09AM JST

it's hidden, so how does the govmint find out about it to tax it?

You don't need to find it all the time, simply discovering it a few times like this would be enough to convince them to rethink stashing cash for the sake of stashing it. Many of the other tax laws are the same.

The pension is not welfare subject to a means test. If people have paid in, they are and should be entitled to get back what they're due, regardless of whether they've saved or squandered the rest of their money.

What they paid in and not a single yen more. In fact, they should stay true to the name of social insurance rather than social pension, and use it only in cases of actual need.

Herve Nmn L'EisaOct. 18, 2012 - 08:12AM JST

Other people's money = not yours

If he got this money saved up because of his welfare check, it sure as hell is at least a bit mine!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

" If he got this money saved up because of his welfare check, it sure as hell is at least a bit mine!" This is a byproduct of wealth distribution; Because the government extracted/extorted some of your personal property(via taxes, income tax particularly) and may have directed a fraction of that loot towards this man, who saved frugally, you now have a sense of entitlement towards the deceased man's money, though you have no idea nor evidence from whence it came. Your anger is justified, but misdirected. Your anger should be directed towards those who make wealth confiscation and redistribution possible and enforcible. That's what's immoral.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is proof of the honesty and integrity of Japanese construction workers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Great to read a story about honor and respect, and it put a smile on my face. Thumbs up to those wonderful construction workers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Herve

is the concept of inheritance so difficult? It's a gift. If someone gives someone else a gift, should there be a tax?

Yes there should and there is: gift tax.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Saddest thing about this story as the old boy probably didn't live it up for a bit before he died. I am guessing he was an old bachelor. An old farmer I knew as a kid, never married, had a huge farm, Had once over $30K in his check book account! his nephew blew a fuse when he discovered it. Old men with lots of money they don't seem to care about so much, do odd things with it sometimes. All that money ,and he couldn't take it with him, As my grandmother loved to say "shrouds don't have pockets". I know you won't find a tin of cash under her old house - she spent it all before she went out, on her family and enjoying her life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If he got this money saved up because of his welfare check...

What makes you think he was receiving a welfare check?

is the concept of inheritance so difficult? It's a gift.

It's a gift if the owner says so in his will. I very much doubt this man's will (if he had one) mentioned the stash of cash under the floor boards - if it did, how come the money hadn't already gone where it was intended? Similarly if he had intended to leave it to any particular person, presumably he would at least have let that person know where to look in the event, if he wanted to keep it unofficial. Without a will the estate goes to the legal heirs merely by default. That's hardly a gift. It's a windfall.

You keep going on about the inheritance being taxed, but if all this man had was the ¥26 million plus the land the house stood on (land being cheap in Hokkaido) and the house itself apparently worthless since it's being knocked down, even with a bit in the bank the total is probably well under the minimum amount on which inheritance tax is levied.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Herve

Lucabrasi, let me give you a gift so you can be taxed, then.

Thanks for the offer.

But as the giver, you'd be responsible for any taxes. Don't let that stop you, though. ; )

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nessie , do people in Hokkaido have floor boards or planks of wood

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ok, luca, I'll put it in my will.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ok, cleo. It seems to depend on what your definition of "is" is then.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

some people get senile then they dont know how to do,where,when ,im a care giver many of them i watched and saw them everyday.so?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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