Japan’s finance minister says crypto taxation change is ‘doubtful’

The minister expresses concerns over negative public reaction to the move

Japan’s finance minister says crypto taxation change is ‘doubtful’

Japan’s minister of finance doubts that the public would accept a change in the way cryptocurrency transactions are taxed in the country, Cointelegraph has reported.

According to a report, published Monday in Cointelegraph Japan, deputy prime minister Taro Aso was asked at an Upper House Budget Committee meeting whether crypto transactions should be taxed via a “separate settlement taxation”, rather than their present classification as “miscellaneous income”. In response to the question by senator Fujimaki, Aso described the prospect as doubtful and expressed concern over the public’s reaction due to “tax fairness”.

As noted by Cointelegraph, the current tax rate for cryptocurrency transactions has a maximum of 55%. A change of its category would bring it to a 20% flat rate, similar to stock and forex trades.

At the same meeting Aso said that, presently, digital currencies had an uncertain position in the international financial sector. He also touched upon the importance of developing blockchain technology, but noted that supporting the tech could be controversial given that it underlies digital currencies.

Japan authorities have ramped up their efforts to regulate the market following the $550-million hack of local cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck in late January. The country’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), has conducted a series of probes an issued a number of business improvement orders and suspensions to the domestic crypto trading platforms. The latest wave of punitive measures happened last week, when the FSA issued business improvement orders to six digital currency exchanges, which included major platforms bitFlyer and Bitbank.

Yesterday, Yuzo Kano and Noriyuki Hirosue, chief executive officers of bitFlyer and Bitbank, respectively stepped down from their roles as vice presidents of Japan’s self-regulatory crypto exchange body, the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA).

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