Report: Japan weighs Bitcoin tax following Mt.Gox implosion

Home » Report: Japan weighs Bitcoin tax following Mt.Gox implosion
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zcopley/

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zcopley/

It’s hardly surprising that Japanese officials are reexamining their policies towards Bitcoin. Following the half-billion dollar debacle of Tokyo-based exchange Mt.Gox’s downfall, Japan’s official stance on virtual currencies has been placed firmly in the spotlight. According to an AFP wire report, Japan’s finance ministry and the national tax agency are considering new rules, and possibly even taxes, for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Citing an article in the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, the report claims that Japanese authorities believe that purchases made with Bitcoin are subject to consumption and corporate taxes, even though Bitcoin itself is not considered a legal currency in the country.

“However, many countries including Japan do not have concrete frameworks to levy taxes (on Bitcoin transactions),” the Yomiuri said, leaving officials basically stumped.

The Yomiuri story should be viewed with some skepticism, as speculation about Bitcoin’s future has become a hot topic in Japanese media in recent weeks. While it’s likely that Japanese authorities have discussed all manner of Bitcoin policies, including taxes, the Finance Ministry has traditionally distance itself from virtual currency. Only last week, Japan’s Senior Vice Finance Minister Jiro Aichi told reporters that any meaningful Bitcoin regulation would require “international collaboration” thanks to the crytpocurrency’s decentralized nature.

The AFP report noted that the original Yomiuri Shimbun article did not name sources.

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