The studio apologized on its website to all those involved
Anime studios are big business, and when you're a studio like Ufotable, who have their own cafes, merchandise, and some of the biggest franchises in anime today (mostly in part to the outstanding work of the staff and contractors that work for the studio), the harder the business becomes to run – especially when founder and president Hikaru Kondo allegedly takes 30% of all the profits and hides the money in a personal safe, reported Mainichi on June 3.
After an extensive investigation from The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office has charged both Ufotable as a company and Hikaru Kondo personally with violating the Corporation Tax Act and the Consumption Tax Act respectively.
Kondo has been alleged to have moved income from the Tokyo-based cafes run by Ufotable, and falsely reported income statements in 2015, 2017, and 2018, concealing about 446 million yen (US$4.097 million) from The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau, who filed a complaint against Kondo and Ufotable in April 2019. This let Kondo allegedly evade paying 110 million yen (US$1.010 million) in corporate tax, and 29 million yen (US$266,467) in consumption tax.
Allegedly Kondo used the money to fund more projects at Ufotable.
Ufotable released a statement on their website on the charges, saying that they have paid back all the taxes owed for the period of times and that they are working closely with The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau to "comply with all laws and regulations" and "create a production environment that is sustainable to create better works."
Works produced at Ufotable include Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Fate/stay night, Fate/Zero, the Garden of Sinners anime film series, and the Fate/stay night [Heaven's Feel] film series.
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs the YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.