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National Tax Agency shows ‘mattress money’ exists, reveals tax evasion at all-time low

The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau found 660 million yen in cash concealed under a bed inside a Tokyo residence (NHK)
TOKYO (TR) – Earlier this year, the Bank of Japan revealed that nationwide cash-based assets known as “mattress money” reached an all-time high in 2020.

The figure, of course, refers to cash-based assets — and not necessarily currency stuffed inside bedding, but that does happen, reports NHK (June 17).

In announcing on Thursday that tax evasion reached a record low last year, the National Tax Agency divulged that one culprit kept more than 700 million yen in their residence in the capital, the majority of which was under a bed.

At some point last year, the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau found about 660 million yen in cash packed inside cardboard boxes under the mattress of a bed. They also found an additional 60 million yen in cash inside a suitcase and closet.

Fistful of yen: Tax officials seized 720 million yen from a residence in Tokyo in 2020 (NHK)

“Pursue criminal liability”

Overall, tax evasion is on the decline nationwide, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the agency.

Over a one-year period ending in March, tax officials prosecuted violators in 83 cases in which the total amount evaded was 6.93 billion yen, the lowest figure since records began being kept in 1972.

Meanwhile, the number of international-related cases — including for export tax exemptions and money concealed overseas — reached 27, a five-year high.

Kazutoshi Harada of the National Tax Agency said, “We will continue to pursue criminal liability for malicious persons who attempt to evade taxes.”