Users of Japan's online tax return filing system hit record high

Data from Japan's National Tax Agency show that a record-high number of people used the government's online system to file their income tax returns for last year.

The data show that of those who were self-employed or company employees and filed their returns for 2021 by April, 4.42 million people used the e-Tax system, without hiring tax accountants.

The figure is up 38 percent from the previous year.

Meanwhile, the number of people who visited tax offices or other designated venues to file their returns was down 10 percent, to 3.11 million.

This was the first time that the number of e-Tax users exceeded the number of those who filed at designated venues.

Agency officials say one factor behind the increase was a new system that allows users to digitize their withholding tax certificates by photographing the documents on their smartphones.

They also say more people avoided going to tax offices due to the coronavirus pandemic.