A Story in Yokohama

A Story in Yokohama-22

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A Story in Yokohama-22

A Story in Yokohama -22【Yokohama Harbor】
A Story in Yokohama Subtitled "Longing"-22
At the midnight, Yuichi returned to his condominium in Yamashita-town and was exhausted.
Although he had denied the charges, he was repeatedly and severely pursued in the interrogation room of the Taxation Bureau.

His condominium and two offices were also thoroughly searched.
The landline phone rang.

“Did they take your mobile phone too?”
It was J.

“Everything has been carried away.”
“Yuichi, have you made contact with the heir?”

“I called her. She said she remained silent and told the officer she'd talk later.”
“There's no time to be tired. See her first thing tomorrow and say something that makes her feel safe.”

“I'm tired. I want to go out for a drink.”
“No, you can't. You and I are probably being watched. Now is the time to hang in there.”

Next morning, Yuichi went to see Naomi.
“I apologize for any inconvenience caused by my mistake yesterday.”

When Yuichi apologized, Naomi replied.
“I was really surprised yesterday. The reason I kept quiet when the Taxation Bureau people asked me was because I wanted to tell them the truth after I had properly told you.”
“From now on, no matter what they ask you, please tell them you didn't know anything about it. This is between me and your late husband.”

“I don't want to lie.”
“It's only for a while. It will eventually subside.”

Naomi looked as if she wanted to say something, but Yuichi interrupted her.
“Please leave it to me. I'm sure it will work out.”

That night, a meeting was held to discuss the situation.

“What was the status of the heir?”
“Yesterday she kept quiet, but it's only a matter of time before she confesses.”
Yuichi answered the lawyer's question.

“Then it's no longer possible to claim that it was a legitimate declaration.”
“What should I do?”

“You will not get away unscathed. Just be prepared to be accused and go to court. On top of that, I would like to say that even though the valuation was based on deception, we need to strongly argue that the act of property valuation does not fit into a criminal case. Let's have a scholar from the Tax Law Association write an opinion.”
“How is that possible?”

“The National Tax Administration writes the details of property valuation methods in notices, not laws, right?”
“Yes, the notices are essentially internal administrative documents, but the property valuation notices are open to the public.”

“Without those notices, the tax system would not work, right?”
“I think so, we can't understand the details that are not expressed in the law unless we see the notices.”

“That's the point. It seems that some scholars oppose the administration of the NTA’s notification because they consider it to be a self-serving rule of the administration that deviates from the law. I think it is not too difficult to find scholars who are willing to write an opinion paper on the issue, seeing it as a good opportunity to criticize a notification that does not fit the actual situation.”
“Wouldn't it make a bad impression if it was written by a scrawny leftist with legal supremacy?”

“No, I studied it afterwards, and it seems that there are many different opinions on the valuation of shares of minority shareholders in non-listed companies. The point is to have various scholars argue that there are various valuation methods, and strongly argue that disagreements in valuation do not fit into a tax evasion case.”
“I would appreciate it if you could do that.”

“In this case, there is too much of a difference in the valuation between a shareholding ratio of more than 30 percent and less than 30 percent; less than 30 percent is heaven for the taxpayer, more than 30 percent is hell for the taxpayer. As a lawyer, I think this rule is unreasonable.”
“I agree, there's a difference between a 30 percent shareholder and a 29 percent shareholder.”

“Of course, there is no guarantee that this will be enough to win.”
“Is it because my cover story will be exposed?”

“Your deception is quite fatal to you if we assume that tax evasion is possible.”
“I agree.”

“We are trying to argue that this is not a case of tax evasion in the first place. If we can mobilize scholars in this regard and appeal the unreasonableness of the property valuation method, I think we can gain some consensus.”
“I hope so.”

“However, there is still a major defect in our argument.”
“What defect?”

“The Milan Travel Agency's shares, while privately held, are very attractive to large travel companies.”
“I'm sure many of them would love to own it.”

“There are many companies that would love to have a stake in the company, even if it's only five or ten percent. Under the Companies Act, if you own more than three percent of a company, you have the right to examine the company's books and records, and you can file a lawsuit to remove a director or officer who is allegedly not performing his duties properly. If you own 10% or more, you can file a lawsuit to dissolve the company. In other words, if you own more than a few units, you can influence the management.”
“You're right.”

“That's the problem. I asked a friend of mine, and he said that even a small number of shares in Milano Travel Agency could be sold at a price higher than the net asset value.”
“It's true that when I put it as collateral for a bank loan, they gave us a pretty good valuation.”

“The banks should have fully considered the possibility of selling the stock as well as valuing it based on the balance sheet. Then the prosecutors might say that you just valued an expensive asset at a low price, before disputing the valuation method.”
“What are the chances of winning?”

“Honestly, it's a 50-50 chance.”
“Fifty-fifty? If a veteran lawyer says so, it must be even more dangerous than that.”

J questioned the lawyer as Yuichi turned his head to the side.
“Isn't there any other way, lawyer?”

“Not necessarily, but it's up to you, Mr. Murakami.”

After the investigation, Yuichi and his team held a meeting to discuss the situation.
Realizing that a mere legal argument would jeopardize the outcome, J asks the lawyer if there is any other way.

To be continued...


-A Story in Yokohama

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