(Photo ; confusion, Procsilas Moscas)
Once My Number system starts, there is a very high possibility that you will lose control over your own savings accounts.
According to My Number Act Amendment (*1) issued this year in February, My Number will be linked to the bank account starting with 2018. Sequential registration will be compulsory. This way the government will have access to the information related to all the citizens’ bank accounts, but it will also be quite difficult to transfer the savings accounts to a foreign country.
According to OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) announcement, it is planned that in all OECD countries the bank information be shared starting from 2017(*2). Japan is also part of OECD so by the time the bank accounts will be linked to My Number, the information related to bank account balance, tax amount and so on, will be automatically collected by the government. Therefore, it will be the same thing if the bank account is in Japan or in another OECD country because it will be under the same surveillance system.
On the other hand, it also seems that it will no longer be that easy to transfer the savings to countries outside of OECD. In America there is a system called FATCA (The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) which is already implemented. The OECD system mentioned above is based on the rules of FATCA. The European banks deeply dislike the disclosure requests and the penalties associated with this, so now they avoid as much as possible opening accounts which make transactions with American banks. From 2017, when account information sharing will become automatic in OECD countries, it is easy to guess that banks outside OECD will avoid opening accounts. In other words, when considering only the money issue, My Number will not only have Japan under surveillance, but it will also extend to all OECD countries.
According to the government on-line public relation call center for My Number, as long as someone has a resident permit in Japan, one will be given a number and there is no way to avoid this. According to the government, the purpose of My Number is to make the social security system more efficient, but from the fact that the companies, which do not receive pension, will also be given a number, it is easy to assume that the main purpose is tax collection. The income will also be included in My Number system. The call center in English uses the term “new tax identification system” instead of My Number and, unlike the call center in Japanese, said that My Number will be attributed on October 5th.
My Number System has no exit regulations. Once a number is attributed, it cannot be given up or changed. It would be desirable to know the impact range of this system in order to make a plan for the future, but the answer from the call center in English was that they cannot provide any detailed information related to the rules until the system is already put in place.