Wealthy Japanese weigh pros, cons of foreign tax loopholes

TOKYO —

With the consumption tax set to rise next April, the prospect of default on Japan’s huge national debt, and the still-unresolved issue of radiation emanating from Fukushima, maybe it’s time to get out of Japan. Increasing numbers of financially well-off Japanese, reports Nikkan Gendai (Oct 30), have been doing just that, heading for Singapore, Malaysia and other safe havens along with sufficient funds to support them in the manner in which they are accustomed.

But hold on a minute. According to a certain accounting office in Tokyo, more of these moneyed expatriates have tried living abroad and are now saying they want to return to Japan.

“A common pattern I’ve been seeing is that these people moved abroad so that their children could avoid paying Japan’s high inheritance taxes,” says the unnamed accountant. “According to Japan’s current law, if the recipient of inheritance has lived abroad for five years or longer, or if he or she becomes a citizen of a foreign country, the highest rate they can be charged in inheritance taxes is 50%.”

As opposed to Japan’s highest income tax rate of 50% (including local resident’s tax), the maximum tax in Singapore is 20%, with no additional taxes. So if large sums of money are involved, it might appear on the surface that moving abroad would make sense. But this is due to an incomplete understanding of global finance.

“The most intolerable thing about Japan’s national taxes is the stringency with which assets are tracked,” says Mr A, who previously worked as a securities trader in Singapore before returning home to Japan.

“If, for example, you remit more than 1 million yen abroad, the tax office must be notified. If you try sneaking the money out by less than fully legal means, there’s a strong chance the tax office will go after you. Even if you open an account in some offshore tax haven, since it is ultimately subject to Japanese taxes, I don’t get the feeling there are many merits to this kind of capital flight.”

In addition, Singapore is hot all year around, and many Japanese, accustomed as they are to the changing weather patterns and variety of seasonal foods, will find it difficult to get used to.

Mr A also notes that after Tokyo won its bid to host the 2020 Olympics, more people’s patriotic spirit have been rekindled and they’re suddenly looking at their homeland in a different light.

Mr B, the former owner of an IT business, finds that life overseas offers no assurance of an escape from price increases.

“Apartment rents have been soaring in Singapore and Hong Kong, at the annual rate of 10 to 20%,” he says. “What’s more, in Singapore a condominium can cost about double the price of Japan. To put a cap on rising prices the Singapore government raised the tax non-citizens pay on real estate purchases from 10% to 15%. Also, tuition at international schools can run about 2 million yen per year. These prices have also been increasing at the rate of 5% to 15% per year.”

Costs for medical care are also prohibitive, and a serious illness carries with it high financial risk.

“What’s more, when foreign permanent residents in Singapore reach the age of 17, they become subject to compulsory military service,” Mr B adds.

So then, asks Nikkan Gendai, does reading this make you want to return to Japan? True, leaving might offer short-term benefits; but now more than ever it’s the time to think things through carefully.

  • -1

    pochan

    The financial collapse of all the word's developed economies is inevitable and these rich Japanese will find out there is nowhere to run. Wherever they will go it will catch them and it will likely hit them the worst because without their money and status they have no identity. It is time we wake up from this hypnosis and realise that our systems are no longer serving their intended purposes and we are just feeding a monster. We can't run from this monster because it's tentacles are spread into Japan and Singapore and everywhere else.

    Mr A also notes that after Tokyo won its bid to host the 2020 Olympics, more people’s patriotic spirit have been rekindled

    This feeling will surely last forever.

  • -8

    bass4funk

    More rhetoric from the income redistribution crowd again. Punish the people for working hard.

  • 17

    Alphaape

    the highest rate they can be charged in inheritance taxes is 50%.”

    This is totally outrageous. If you inherit large sums of money, that is money that has been previously taxed. So what gives the government the right to tax it again just because you pass it along to someone in your family.

  • 5

    GalapagosnoGairaishu

    So what gives the government the right to tax it again just because you pass it along to someone in your family.

    The Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05 bled Japan's treasury dry and it was from this time that inheritance taxes were begun. Unfortunately since 1945 there has been no "peace dividend." The saying "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations" has been taken to heart by the tax office. Of course, there's nothing to keep savvy people from exploiting all kinds of loopholes. My neighbor across the street buys a BMW sports model on the company tab every third year and never drives it (he commutes to work by bicycle). But he can write off depreciation and then sell it as a used car with high resale value, and pocket the gains. At least the rich can procure the services of advisers who will let them exploit tax writeoffs. Salaried workers are left holding the bag.

  • -1

    lucabrasi

    what gives the government the right to tax it again just because you pass it along to someone in your family.

    The Sermon on the Mount?

  • -7

    cleo

    If you inherit large sums of money, that is money that has been previously taxed.

    Most money gets taxed many times over. if I go shopping, I cannot refuse to pay consumption tax just because I've already paid income tax on the money in my purse. But at least the money in my purse is money I have earned; inherited money has not been earned by the heir, it's money that the deceased has had sitting around in bank accounts and failed to put into the economy. Why not tax it? Better than taxing the meagre incomes of those on minimum wage, surely.

  • 6

    Alphaape

    it's money that the deceased has had sitting around in bank accounts and failed to put into the economy. Why not tax it? Better than taxing the meagre incomes of those on minimum wage, surely.

    @ cleo: Not true. If it has just been sitting in the bank, it has been gaining interest, and the owners of it have had to pay captial gains taxes on interest income gained. So the notion that the money just sits this is not quite true. Basically the government is taxing your assets. If the inheritance is property, same thing. If a person pays property taxes while they are alive, say for a house, and decide to give it to their heirs, then why is it that the same property is going to get taxed again, and then the property taxes will still remain.

  • 5

    davestrousers

    But at least the money in my purse is money I have earned; inherited money has not been earned by the heir, it's money that the deceased has had sitting around in bank accounts and failed to put into the economy. Why not tax it?

    Because its a natural, important and instinctive part of human life. Whether it be the stone age and you're passing on your best weapons and tools to give your relatives a better chance in life, or now passing on money for the same reason. Its not surprising it makes people angry. For many, the thought of leaving something behind for loved ones is a major comforting thought.

    Saying they've not earned it is also disrespectful in many cases. With people living longer nowadays there can be decades of helping and supporting people in their later years. They earned it... I'd wager maybe they earned it more than you did that money in your purse.

  • 3

    Alphaape

    The Sermon on the Mount?

    @ lucabrasi: Nowhere does it mention that the government can tax someone because of what they have.

  • 1

    bass4funk

    This is totally outrageous. If you inherit large sums of money, that is money that has been previously taxed. So what gives the government the right to tax it again just because you pass it along to someone in your family.

    Exactly, since I had already paid tax on it, if I want to give it as a gift to my kids, now the government wants to do that again? This is the fundamental reason why I think big government is a disease that stifles growth, inhibits it and damages the private sector. If the government wants money, stay out of the private sector, let it flourish allow it to create jobs to get people working who now generate revenue, have to pay taxes, so the government can get these taxes to run. But like in Europe and sadly in the states, they want to penalize you and take it all away and what happens if the mega rich decide to flee or relocate somewhere else, where they don't have to pay high taxes, what happens at home?

  • -2

    pochan

    Whether it is outrageous or not it is set to continue. Japan is already spending about a quarter of tax revenue in just servicing it's debt and this phenomena is set to continue and grow because there is no way out. They are paying the minimum interest payments on a credit card bill and the bill keeps getting better because you still have to live. This system can't go on and there is nowhere to run from it because every other developed economy is in more or less the same situation to some degree.

    Punish the people for working hard.

    It isn't about working hard. Plenty of people work extremely hard in low paying jobs which are necessary and worthwhile to society, many of those people are very happy in their jobs which they may see as a vocation and get rewards in more ways than a big pay check for doing something that contributes nothing to society. When you are old and thinking about ways of how you are going to avoid paying tax on all the money you have hoarded, there will be a care workers wiping your backside, bathing you and helping you to do all the necessary functions that you can't do anymore. Are you telling me this person is lazy because they aren't earning much? Some jobs are paid
    a bit too much in proportion to the amount of work done and some not enough. Some of those people that you are looking down your nose at are fulfilling a far greater need in society than the masters of the universe that are responsible for the sad situation the world's finance is in.

  • 0

    bass4funk

    Japan is increasingly becoming a nation that is becoming a siphon for the income redistributionist, aging population, people are opting out of marriage, so let's TAKE it from everyone at the top as much as we can. I don't blame these guys, I would run off myself. There are so many other ways Japan could fix these problems, robbing people is NOT one of them.

  • 4

    malfupete

    come to canada where there is no inheritence tax.. while the estate of the deceased person is liable for any taxes owing, capital gains on any investments (capital gains on the principal residence is tax free!), beneficiaries of said estates aren't taxed on the proceeds they recieve which is how it should be

  • -1

    Tamarama

    Alphaape

    This is totally outrageous. If you inherit large sums of money, that is money that has been previously taxed.

    Agreed. Disgraceful. These people worked hard and paid fair and square tax on the money as they did so - this is just a greed grab, Shame.

  • -3

    No Miso

    Agreed. Disgraceful. These people worked hard and paid fair and square tax on the money as they did so - this is just a greed grab, Shame.

    But if you think about it, the money was earned by someone who is dead, the family don't have any "right" to earn it from the deceased. If he/she was living, they would only be able to transfer 380,000yen per year tax free, why should that change just because they died?

  • 3

    Alphaape

    If he/she was living, they would only be able to transfer 380,000yen per year tax free, why should that change just because they died?

    Again, another silly law to get money out of people. Why is it the governments business if I want to give money away and I am only limited to a certain amount? On one hand, you have people who keep yelling for "taxing the rich" yet, if I were rich and saw a person on the street in need and I decided to give him more than the allotted amount, I have to pay taxes. All the while some here keep saying that the rich need to pay their "fair share."

    I can understand that some companies would try to say that people are "volunteers" and are just donating their time and they decide to give them a "donation" equivalent to their salary if this law was not in place, and that I can see is wrong to do and should not be allowed. But if the individual wants to give, why is he being penalized?

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    International monetary transaction from Japan is tightly monitored. All you need are good CPA and tax lawyers.

  • 0

    cleo

    if I were rich and saw a person on the street in need and I decided to give him more than the allotted amount, I have to pay taxes.

    No, you pay nothing. It's the person on the receiving end who becomes liable to pay tax.

    According to the NTA website, you are allowed to receive up to 5.1 million yen in any given year before becoming liable to pay any tax on the amount you receive. I'm sure the person on the street you want to be kind to would be able to manage OK on that amount.

    If you have more than that burning a hole in your pocket and you're desperate to give it away, just divide it up into 5.1 million yen packages and distribute them to as many people as you have packages. They'll all be happy and tax-free, you'll be happy and money-free, no one is being penalised.

    https://www.nta.go.jp/taxanswer/zoyo/4408.htm

  • 2

    gokai_wo_maneku

    The tax system could be changed if people elected politicians who promote tax reform. Tax is a set of laws, and politicians can change the laws. It is not in their interest to do so. Like lots of other stuff.

  • 5

    afanofjapan

    I'm somewhat siding with the "you didnt earn it, why are you getting up in arms" crowd here. Accepting a large inheritance from your parents means that they had earned more money than they needed to. Unless you came from a very privileged family, it is likely that they had bought that house out of their own pocket; started savings out of their own salary and bought all of their stuff by themselves, so why cant you?

    That said, I would not be annoyed if my parents left me an inheritance. But my parents are doing their best to enjoy the money they have saved up, and i am really glad. Would not be upset if they end up spending it all and dont leave me a cent. They've earned it!

  • 2

    globalwatcher

    That said, I would not be annoyed if my parents left me an inheritance. But my parents are doing their best to enjoy the money they have saved up, and i am really glad. Would not be upset if they end up spending it all and dont leave me a cent. They've earned it!

    You will be rewarded as you are not expecting any. Your heart is set at the right place.

  • 3

    goyabento

    That said, I would not be annoyed if my parents left me an inheritance. But my parents are doing their best to enjoy the money they have saved up, and i am really glad. Would not be upset if they end up spending it all and dont leave me a cent. They've earned it!

    One of the better posts I've ever read on JT. Sounds like your parents were smart with their finances, and with raising their child(ren). Great post!!!

  • 0

    bass4funk

    I'm somewhat siding with the "you didnt earn it, why are you getting up in arms" crowd here. Accepting a large inheritance from your parents means that they had earned more money than they needed to. Unless you came from a very privileged family, it is likely that they had bought that house out of their own pocket; started savings out of their own salary and bought all of their stuff by themselves, so why cant you?

    That's just the biggest crock of horse doo doo I've ever heard. So because I didn't earn it and MY family gave it to me as a present, I'm not allowed to keep most of it, I should give you some to make it fair? Again, classic socialistic income redistribution at its worst. It's No one else's business what I or my family do or how we deal our money matters. We already pay a beyond required amount of taxes and now you want more? This why big government is so awful. Instead of creating jobs in the private sector that can generate growth and revenue for the country and people, because government can't create jobs. What did Obama say again about the late Steve Jobs? You didn't build that therefore, he built apple with an entire community therefore everyone that helped get apple off the ground needs to get credit. You have to apply this concept on every business, NO one did anything on their own in the private sector. No one is special. We need to earn the same amount of money, rich people are bad by default. Who cares? We are all the same and no one has the right to keep anything, we are all a collective.

  • -4

    cleo

    So because I didn't earn it and MY family gave it to me as a present, I'm not allowed to keep most of it

    Unless you're talking zonking great mountains of money, you do get to keep most of it. The very highest rate is 50%, on an estate (after deductions) of 300 million yen and with a 47 million yen allowance.

    So, say your parents go together and leave you, an only child, an estate of 300 million yen. Lucky you. (Sorry about your parents, though)

    From that 300 million you can deduct the basic 50 million yen per estate plus 10 million per heir, a total of 60 million if we assume you're the only heir. You pay tax on the remaining 240 million yen, at 50% = 120 million yen, less the 47 million yen allowance, for a total tax bill of 73 million yen. Sounds a lot, but it's nowhere near your whiney 'most of it' - you still have 228 million yen to play about with.

    And let's not forget that for inheritance purposes the estate is valued according to the tax value, which is a lot less than the actual market value.

    And if your folks were worried about their favourite only son not getting the benefits of their vast wealth, as I've noted in an earlier post they could be slipping you 5.1 million yen a year with no tax paid by anyone. Maybe you should suggest it to them while they're still here.

    We already pay a beyond required amount of taxes

    You voluntarily pay more taxes than you are legally required to? Yeah right.

    afanofjapan - I like your attitude, wish I could give you more than one thumbs-up. My parents who were never rich left me nothing bar a few sentimental trinkets; what they did do was make sure I had a good solid education so that I could stand on my own two feet, much more valuable than a sum of money that I wouldn't get until they were dead and that could only be spent once. My dear MIL in contrast likes to tell us that we will be sitting pretty when she dies and leaves us all her money. I'd much rather see her spend it on herself, enjoying her twilight years.

  • 2

    homleand

    This is quite oddly written.

    In addition, Singapore is hot all year around, and many Japanese, accustomed as they are to the changing weather patterns and variety of seasonal foods, will find it difficult to get used to.

    Is that objective journalism?

  • 1

    GalapagosnoGairaishu

    Is that objective journalism?

    Nikkan Gendai is a tabloid, so I would think objectivity does not receive a high priority.

  • 5

    TakahiroDomingo

    i feel such pity for the rich people of this world, that they have such horrible problems (irony).

    i honestly couldn't care less about their problems. what i care about is us non-rich. why will we have less money now, while those miserable rich persons evade taxes and loose nothing?

  • 0

    No Miso

    >What did Obama say again about the late Steve Jobs? You didn't build that therefore, he built apple with an entire community therefore everyone that helped get apple off the ground needs to get credit. You have to apply this concept on every business, NO one did anything on their own in the private sector. No one is special. We need to earn the same amount of money, rich people are bad by default.

    As much as you talk about people having "typical" socialist views, I'd put yours at the extreme end of capitalism. Using your perfect example of Mr Steve Jobs and Apple. Did you know he had an absolutely amazing yacht commissioned? Sadly (and I mean that sincerely) he never got to enjoy it as he died way too young, but to your point about everyone at Apple getting credit, I agree, it should be everyone from Mr Jobs right down to the cleaners at the factories in China that pumped out the 3-4 million 5C's and 5Ss sold in the last few months? Did everyone get their fair share of the benefits? Why where the units even built in China (re your point " Instead of creating jobs in the private sector that can generate growth and revenue for the country and people, because government can't create jobs.")??

    And thats even before we start asking the question of whether Apple is paying its fair share of Tax in each of the countries it sells in (note I say "fair" and not "illegal avoidance" - quite different things.

  • -2

    Alphaape

    you still have 228 million yen to play about with.

    @ cleo: Yes and you and if you didn't spend any of it, you would still have to pay capital gains taxes on it. What business is it of the government to go after money that has been taxed before? You can't get "double jeapordy" under criminal law, but I guess it is fair game in tax law.

  • -2

    cleo

    if you didn't spend any of it, you would still have to pay capital gains taxes on it.

    No you wouldn't. There is no 'capital gains' on inherited money. If you invest the money you inherit and make a profit, then you pay tax on the profit, same as with any other investment. That isn't double taxation.

  • 2

    JTDanMan

    Oh, poor rich people.

    I feel for them. I really do.

  • 0

    Alphaape

    No you wouldn't. There is no 'capital gains' on inherited money. If you invest the money you inherit and make a profit, then you pay tax on the profit, same as with any other investment. That isn't double taxation.

    @ cleo: If you inherit the money, and just leave it in the bank under your name, by the time the taxes are due, you wiil be notified that you have a tax amount for the capital gains made on that money in the bank in your name. So the people are paying taxes on it. I am not sure in Japan, but in the USA, insurance received from the death of a person is not taxed, but if you receive a large amount, and put it in the bank and it draws interest, that interest is taxed. So you get taxed whether you spend the money or not.

  • -1

    cleo

    Alphaape - if you put any money in the bank and leave it long enough for substantial interest to accrue (at today's interest rates? yeah) you'll be liable to pay tax on the interest, not tax on the principle.

    by the time the taxes are due, you wiil be notified that you have a tax amount for the capital gains made on that money in the bank in your name

    That's not the way it works. You put your money in the bank and it sits there earning its meagre interest until either you withdraw it or the fixed-term period comes to an end, at which point the interest (which is deemed 'income', not 'capital gains', in fact I can't find any mention at all of 'capital gains tax' as such on the NTA website) is calculated, the tax deducted and the rest either placed in your waiting palm (if you're withdrawing) or left in the account (if you're allowing the fixed-term to automatically renew). The taxes do not 'become due', and there is no 'notification'.

    I am not sure in Japan, but in the USA....

    This is Japan Today, the article is about how people in Japan try to get out of paying Japanese taxes. What happens in the US or anywhere else is irrelevant. Americans are apparently liable to pay US taxes even if they don't live in the US. I'm not surprised you have hangups about taxes....

  • -1

    Alphaape

    it or the fixed-term period comes to an end, at which point the interest (which is deemed 'income', not 'capital gains', in fact I can't find any mention at all of 'capital gains tax' as such on the NTA website) is calculated, the tax deducted

    @ cleo: Call it what you like, the money that one inherits is still taxed. I think the current system of taking a lump sum amount just because you received an inheritance is unfair. You claim tht people just let the money sit there and do nothing. But as you have explained, if you leave it to term or withdraw it, you still have to pay a tax on it. So currently, in Japan, you inherit, pay a tax on the inheritance,, leave the money in the bank, and when you take it out, you get taxed again. How is that fair whether you are in Japan or the USA. Someone is still being taxed, and if I am not mistaken (I could be) the money you may decide to withdraw could in theory put one in a higher tax bracket, so their personal income tax for that person will go up and overall, a larger portion of their total income is taxed.

    That's excessive taxation, and in the long run is not good for any economy.

  • 0

    willynilly

    @cleo Americans are apparently liable to pay US taxes even if they don't live in the US.

    That sure is a sweeping general statement: Fact: Americans are required to file a US tax return even if they don't live in the United States, whether one must PAY US taxes is a very different story. I doubt very few Americans, who are long-term residents of Japan (Europe, China ... ) actually pay US taxes on salaries earned in/from said countries. All, however, must file a US tax return by law.

  • 0

    cleo

    Call it what you like, the money that one inherits is still taxed

    The tax on inherited money is called inheritance tax. Capital gains has nothing to do with it.

    as you have explained, if you leave it to term or withdraw it, you still have to pay a tax on it

    As I have explained, you pay a tax on the interest, not on the lump sum sitting in your bank account. The fact that the principle is inherited money has nothing to do with anything. Let's say you put all your inheritance in a long-term savings account, the interest on which is currently a whopping 0.15%. At the end of your ten years fixed term, you draw out your savings and calculate your interest and tax. On the 228 million yen we reckoned you'd have from that 300 million yen inheritance on which you had to pay the wicked top-rate 50% inheritance tax, you will pay 228 million x 0.15% x 10 @ compound x 20%. I think that comes to around ¥688,000. Over ten years. On 228 million. Plus now you also have an extra 2.8 million from the interest from just letting the money sit there for 10 years.

    If you object to your heirs paying inheritance tax and you really want them to have your money, you could arrange to make them an annual gift of up to 5.1 million yen, on which they would not be liable for any taxes at all. If you had a spouse and two kids, you could make them that gift every year for 10 years and still have enough left to easily cover your own needs.

    if I am not mistaken (I could be) the money you may decide to withdraw could in theory put one in a higher tax bracket,

    Yes you are very much mistaken. Whether the money is in the bank, in your pocket or under the bedstead, you don't pay any tax on money simply on account of it being your money. Money drawn out of savings is not income and it doesn't put you in a higher tax bracket, no matter how much you withdraw. If your income from the interest is high enough to put you in a higher tax bracket you're doin' very well for yourself.

    Sorry, but I'm not going to lose any sleep worrying about folk whose bank accounts are bulging at the seams with inherited money and making them whine.

  • -4

    ex-japan-visitor

    If you let a government tax you, they will, without abandon. I have refused to pay taxes to my government for 3 years. I no longer will support their mafiaso style dictatorship of my life. The revenue division of my state has sent me threatening letters and implored me to pay, but I have told them that I dont recognize their natural right to confiscate my property, and therefore, I will not willfully hand over such property to them.

    If eveyone simply said 'No.' - as I have - the state would lose its power in 1 day. It is the tendency of those around us to remain silent that allows state actors to steal and pilage the general population.

    Tell me, if the state owns your current and future productivity (after all, they borrow against your future economic production), do you consider yourself a slave or not? If you dont consider yourself a slave, how is your predicament much different than those humans before our time that were directly called 'slaves', because like us, they had most of their production taken by their masters? If they were slaves and such treatment of them was considered barbaric, how is present day property confiscation much different?

    Governments do not have the consent of those that they govern. 'Democracy' isn't legitimate just because one group organizes better than another group. For one group to obtain consent to govern over another - if one is to argue that such activity is legitimate - the governing group has to at least offer the option of refusal to the group that is to be governed, in regard to any law or regulation that is being enacted. You cant simply pass a law or regulation, force people to abide by it without the opportunity to refuse, and then claim legitimacy of said law or regulation. To draw an example, such action would be equivalent to abducrting a woman at gunpoint, forcing her into prostituion,and then claiming that she endorses her own enslavement simply because she then agrees to have sex with one customer over another customer, while 'working'. If the sex slave has no ability to leave and no ability to refuse her own enslavement, the owner of the sex slave cant claim legitimacy for his actions. In the same way, governments who control the general population cant claim legitimacy for their tax laws and regulations simply because the people cooperate. The people have no other choice - if they refuse, they will be arrested and put in jail.

    In the 1600s and 1700s, slavery was widely practiced and considered legal and legitimate. Only problem was that the slaves, themselves, didnt want nor agree to be slaves - they were forced to be slaves and couldnt refuse. Therefore, no legitimacy in slavery can ever be argued.

  • 4

    No Miso

    If you let a government tax you, they will, without abandon. I have refused to pay taxes to my government for 3 years. I no longer will support their mafiaso style dictatorship of my life. The revenue division of my state has sent me threatening letters and implored me to pay, but I have told them that I dont recognize their natural right to confiscate my property, and therefore, I will not willfully hand over such property to them. If eveyone simply said 'No.' - as I have - the state would lose its power in 1 day. It is the tendency of those around us to remain silent that allows state actors to steal and pilage the general population.

    I wonder who built your roads and which school you went to? I wonder who regulated the medical industry to ensure that the medicines you take when you get ill are safe to take? It is interesting that you have just documented that you are a criminal and really don't seem to care. Luckily I think you are in the minority, otherwise we would be living in what is known as anarchy, which has some parallels to a Republican ideal! Admire your openness.

  • 3

    Ah_so

    I do not really like tax, but I accept that it is a necessary evil. There seem to be more than a few libertarians on this site who think that all tax is theft etc. Again, it is not something I particularly like, but the schools, roads and street lights do not build themselves. The police do not work for free and paying for them by public subscription is a non-starter.

    So if we accept that tax is going to be taken from somewhere, the question is 'from where'?

    Money always get taxed multiple times - you earn it, it gets taxed; you spend it, it gets taxed; the seller gets a profit, it gets taxed; the sales clerk get a salary, she gets taxed etc etc.

    So we have to decide where the tax is going to come from. If people where asked if they would want to pay the tax when they were alive or after they have died, I think that they would rather pay after they have died. You can't take it with you.

    It may mean a bit of wealth redistribution away from those who have never worked from the wealth, but surely it is better to tax people who have not worked for their wealth rather than to tax those who have? Is it fair to increase income tax on the masses so that a few can safely receive their unearned fortunes from Daddy free of tax?

    And I write as someone who will be at the wrong end of a reasonably large IHT bill at some point in the future (largely arising from unearned wealth resulting from an irrational London property market).

  • 0

    toshiko

    They have to check Japan's Inheritance Tax Law. There is reduction they can apply before taxed. For instance, if you own only 100 million yen property, 50 % of 20 million yen is taxed. If you own business property, or residential propert not entire properties are taxed, If your property size is less than maximum sixe specified by law, 80 % or 50% of property values are deductible. Japanese estate tax clearyl have deductibles. Not too bad.

  • -2

    iLikeTurtles

    afanofjapan - I like your attitude, wish I could give you more than one thumbs-up. My parents who were never rich left me nothing bar a few sentimental trinkets; what they did do was make sure I had a good solid education so that I could stand on my own two feet, much more valuable than a sum of money that I wouldn't get until they were dead and that could only be spent once.

    They also left you with a massive chip on your shoulder. Poor you and your bitterness towards those better off than you.

  • 1

    AramaTaihenNoYouDidnt

    Why the implementation of taxes...furthermore, inheritance taxes??? I can understand requirements of a monetary system in place. But....Money is only important in a society when certain resources for survival must be rationed and the people accept money as an exchange medium for the scarce resources. Money is a social convention, an agreement if you will. It is neither a natural resource nor does it represent one. It is not necessary for survival unless we have been conditioned to accept it as such. Then why on earth would any government impose these taxes on the regular John/Joan Doe?? Why not go pursue the rich whom have gain assets through inheritance, and never earned an honest sweat of savings in their entire lives???

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