A legislator in Japan’s ruling political party has called for bitcoin purchases to be exempt from an 8% consumption tax, a regional news source says.
The issue was up for debate during a budgetary committee hearing in the lower house of the Japanese legislature, the Diet, on 5th February. As reported by Nikkei, Liberal Democratic Party member Tsukasa Akimoto put the question of exempting bitcoin purchases from the tax to Finance Minister Tarō Asō.
"Can't you consider not imposing consumption tax on bitcoins in line with the international trend?" Akimoto asked.
Asō is reported to have defended the country's tax policy by saying that “Japan is not alone” in taxing bitcoin purchases.
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.
A draft regulatory proposal prepared last year by the Financial Services Agency (FSA) indicates that Japanese regulators are looking at tightening data reporting requirements for exchanges.
Most recently, Japanese regulators have begun exploring the idea of regulating digital currencies in the same class as government-issued currencies.
A proposal will reportedly be submitted to the Diet for consideration later this year. However, when reached for comment, the FSA, the country’s top financial services regulator, told CoinDesk that "nothing has been decided yet" in terms of any concrete proposals.
These moves have taken place in the wake of the collapse of Mt Gox, the Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange that declared bankruptcy in early 2014 and whose CEO is currently under police detention in connection with an ongoing fraud investigation.
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