The Japanese National Tax Agency (NTA) has disclosed its recent scrutiny of numerous cryptocurrency-related tax infractions. In its annual report on tax investigations, particularly focusing on crypto taxation, the NTA revealed that it conducted 615 investigations into the crypto holdings of Japanese residents during the fiscal year 2022. According to the report, the agency identified tax violations in 548 cases, indicating a noteworthy increase compared to the preceding financial year.
During the fiscal year 2021, the NTA initiated 444 investigations related to cryptocurrencies, revealing 405 violations. However, there seems to have been a decline in the magnitude of crypto-related tax violations, potentially mirroring a decrease in global cryptocurrency prices.
The NTA further stated that the average value of undeclared income in cases related to cryptocurrencies was approximately $206,000 per instance in fiscal year 2022, a decrease from $245,000 in fiscal year 2021. Despite this, the cumulative value of undeclared income for fiscal year 2022 reached $126.5 million, surpassing the previous fiscal year’s figure of over $110 million.
Why Are Japan’s Crypto-related Tax Violations on the Rise?
On X, the Japanese cryptocurrency analyst Jeanscpa asserted that the surge in violations was, in part, attributable to a heightened number of NTA investigations in FY2022.
According to the analyst, the NTA “expanded its scope of investigations” into suspected irregularities in the cryptocurrency domain by “approximately 1.4 times compared to the previous year.”
Jeanscpa attributed this disparity to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Allegedly, the pandemic prompted the NTA to decrease the pace of its investigations and concentrate on individuals with higher income levels.
The analyst asserted that the “number of tax audits” targeting cryptocurrency holders is anticipated to be “similar” in 2023, or possibly even higher than in FY2022.
The Japanese cryptocurrency community has consistently urged the government to overhaul the tax system. Numerous critics, including politicians and business leaders, argue that the existing system is unjust. In Japan, crypto is taxed under the category of “other income,” whereas in other countries, profits derived from cryptocurrencies are subject to taxation through capital gains levies.
In contrast to Japan, in other countries, profits of crypto holders are only subject to taxation when they convert their digital assets into fiat currency.
Certain lawmakers have endeavored to persuade Tokyo that the current tax burden on cryptocurrencies is “excessively high,” but their efforts have not yet influenced the government’s stance.
Corporations and political figures argue that the existing system acts as a deterrent for businesses to retain cryptocurrency holdings due to the taxation of unrealized income.
While Tokyo has agreed to reform the law for companies, it has steadfastly resisted considering alterations to the way it taxes individuals.