Japan debates Bitcoin consumption tax

Regulation | March 2, 2016 By:

There is an increasing number of critics in Japan arguing that the consumption tax hurts the country’s competitiveness.

Liberal Democratic Party member Tsukasa Akimoto suggested that Japan must follow the example of other countries and make sure that digital currency transactions are not taxed excessively.

“Can’t you consider not imposing consumption tax on bitcoin in line with the international trend?” Akimoto asked Finance Minister Taro Aso at a lower house budget committee meeting on Feb. 5. “Japan is not alone” in taxing bitcoin, Aso responded, citing Australia and other countries that tax digital currencies.

“Japan is going against the world,” said Yuzo Kano, head of the Japan Authority of Digital Assets, an industry group for digital currencies. “The taxation is bad for Japan in terms of its competitiveness,” he said, calling for an end to bitcoin taxation.

The debate comes as Japan pushing ahead with what appears to be a policy drive to regulate digital currencies, as well as the business sector that has grown up around the technology.