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M$ Japan staff fail to declare stock option income

$27.9 million owed in back taxes

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There must be gloom clouds over Microsoft Japan where, according to Japanese newspaper reports, some 150 Microsoft employees (out of around 1,000 in Japan) have failed to declare, or have incorrectly declared, some $65 million of stock option income over several years.

It's going to be a pricey oversight, because the reports say that $27.9 million in back taxes and penalties will have to be paid. The former president of Microsoft Japan was said by Nikkei to have under-reported "several million dollars".

Of course, those who have hung on to their shares may be able to ameliorate their position because of the subsequent fall in the value of Microsoft shares to a little over half of what they were last December.

Microsoft Japan has been quick to point out that the filing of tax returns is the responsibility of the individuals. ®

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