Japanese courts have sent out an ominous warning signal to potential cryptocurrency scammers. It’s about a 56-year-old man who claimed he had no idea exactly how Japanese digital currency tax laws work. As a result, he was punished quite severely. He would pay a fine and go to jail.
Japanese Courts: Pay Taxes Or You Are Going To Prison!
According to the portal Chunichi, an office worker named Hideji Matsuda, was sentenced to one year in prison and fined over $ 202,000. The verdict was handed down by a judge of the Ishikawa District Court.
What is going on? The court held a case that Matsuda allegedly had deliberately neglected the need to submit an accurate tax return related to Bitcoin (BTC) trading. It is about his investments in 2017-2018. As a result, he owed the tax authorities over $ 680,000 in taxes. He was therefore found guilty of falsifying the data relating to his tax returns. He claimed to have earned just a fraction of what was actually his income from trading cryptocurrencies.
Prosecutors told the court that Matsuda was “selfish” by acting in such a way and avoiding the need to pay tax. The investor’s defender asked for understanding towards the client. The latter even made a correction to the tax return. Apparently wrong again …
When asked about the case by lawyers, the 56-year-old told the court he still didn’t know, “ how to calculate [podatek] on profits earned from [handlu] cryptocurrencies “.
The case is unprecedented in terms of Japanese justice. For the first time, the Kanazawa Regional Tax Office pushed through criminal proceedings against Matsuda, bringing charges against him in March 2020.
Cryptocurrency Tax in Japan
Cryptocurrency tax is quite a controversial topic in Japan. It is known that it should be declared in the rubric “miscellaneous income “. However, all profits related to cryptocurrency trading, mining and blockchain loans are subject to a variable tax rate, which in some cases can go up to 55%.
The case is therefore controversial. Some politicians have even called on the country’s government to re-examine the tax bill and argued that the tax rates are now “too high” for cryptocurrencies.