Tokyo, July 31, 2015 – Rakuten, Inc. today announced the establishment of “Rakuten Hometown Tax Payment,” a dedicated hometown tax payment website linking donors with local governments in regions nationwide that are pursuing regional vitalization via the hometown tax payment system.
Since its founding, Rakuten has developed a variety of services, including Rakuten Ichiba, to empower local economies and the national economy by supporting businesses around the country through the utilization of the Internet. Rakuten currently has 17 branch offices established throughout Japan, and provides thorough and coordinated business support for the small and medium-sized enterprises and sole proprietorships that operate stores on its marketplace.
Rakuten is also proactively promoting tie-ups and cooperation that utilize the Internet with local governments in regions nationwide. It has pursued collaborations with 43 local governments to date, and is striving to achieve regional revitalization through the Internet.
The hometown tax payment system was established in 2008 as a system enabling taxpayers to contribute to the towns they were born and raised in, and a system enabling taxpayers to choose the municipalities they want to support of their own accord. Under this system, taxpayers can donate money not only to the towns where they were born, but also to prefectures, cities, towns, and villages they wish to support. In principle, the portion of donations that exceeds 2,000 yen is deducted in full from income and residence taxes.
From this year, the Hometown Tax Payment Quota, which represents the maximum amount that is deducted in full, excluding the 2,000 yen amount that taxpayers are responsible for paying themselves, was approximately doubled, and a Hometown Tax Payment One-Stop Special Provision System was also established as a framework enabling taxpayers to receive deductions for donations they make as hometown tax payments, even if they do not file a tax return. In this and other ways, utilization of the hometown tax system is becoming more accessible and an even larger number of taxpayers is anticipated to use the system in the future.
It is against this background that Rakuten has now set up Rakuten Hometown Tax Payment with the goal of linking donors with local governments. Rakuten’s 99.77 million members will be able to complete the hometown tax payment procedure with the same ease as shopping on Rakuten Ichiba, and will also receive Rakuten Super Points corresponding to the amount of their donations.
The villages, towns and cities taking part in Rakuten Hometown Tax Payment are Higashikawa Town, Hokkaido; Mogami Town, Yamagata Prefecture; Sagae City, Yamagata Prefecture; Koga City, Ibaraki Prefecture; Tomioka City, Gunma Prefecture; Miyashiro Town, Saitama Prefecture; Shimizu Town, Shizuoka Prefecture; Ooshika Village, Nagano Prefecture; Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano Prefecture; Miyada Village, Nagano Prefecture; Yoro Town, Gifu Prefecture; Kitayama Village, Wakayama Prefecture; Miki City, Hyogo Prefecture; Matsuura City, Nagasaki Prefecture; Miyaki Town, Saga Prefecture; Kawaminami Town, Miyazaki Prefecture; and Tsuno Town, Miyazaki Prefecture, and participating municipalities will be steadily increased.
In addition to the support for local businesses and coordination with local governments utilizing the Internet that Rakuten has been pursuing since its founding, through the establishment of Rakuten Hometown Tax Payment it will also contribute to the vitalization of local communities by promoting regional appeal.