The Sankei News reported on Thursday that the Japanese government has instituted tax breaks and relief measures for donations to Kyoto Animation, and thus donations to the studio will be treated in the same way as donations to a local government unit for disaster relief.
Previously, donations to Kyoto Animation would have been treated as taxable income for the studio, but the new measure will lessen the tax burden on the corporation to assist in rebuilding and helping the families of the victims.
The new measure also encourages corporations and other organizations to donate, as it will be treated as tax-deductible donations.
According to The Sankei News, it is unusual to treat donations towards relief from a criminal act as the same as diaster relief. The Kyoto Prefectural Agency and National Tax Agency will announce more details on the exact plan for the donations at a later date.
Kyoto Animation opened a bank account to accept donations on July 24, and that account has now received over 2 billion yen (about US$18.78 million). Retail chain Animate collected at least 249,030,484 yen (about US$2.3 million) in its donation campaign for Kyoto Animation that began on July 19. The company will give the funds to families of the deceased and injured victims of the fire, as well as use them for rebuilding.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga previously stated two weeks after the Kyoto Animation fire that a nonpartisan, all-party diet group was considering support measures for the company, with suggestions for tax breaks for donations. The account had raised 274 million yen (about US$2.53 million) from 14,000 sources in its first day, and has received a total of 965.63 million yen (about US$8.87 million) from 47,991 donations as of July 29.
The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported on July 29 that total donations to Kyoto Animation have exceeded 1.2 billion yen (about US$11.4 million) as of that time. The total includes Sentai Filmworks’ GoFundMe campaign and the Japanese Animation Creators Association’s campaign. Sentai Filmworks’ GoFundMe campaign raised a total of US$2,368,300. Right Stuf is also collection donations for the company.
On July 18 at around 10:30 a.m. JST, a devastating arson was committed at Kyoto Animation’s 1st Studio building, killing 35 people and injuring 33 others. 30 fire engines responded to the fire, and firefighters were able to extinguish most of the fire within five hours after it started, but the fire was not fully put out until 6:20 a.m. on July 19. Kyoto Prefectural Police have already apprehended a 41-year-old man who allegedly used gasoline to start the fire, and are investigating the case as arson.