Tax on digital content bought online from abroad likely to be delayed


A proposal by an advisory body to the Finance Ministry to tax online purchases of digital music, movies, games and books from overseas will not be able to be implemented in time for the sales tax hike next April.

Minoru Nakazato, a graduate school professor from Tokyo University, who chairs the tax commission which has been studying the issue, said there was not enough time to put a framework in place before the sales tax goes up from 5% to 8% on April 1, Sankei Shimbun reported Friday.

Some Japanese retailers claim the sales tax hike will lead to a further disparity between the prices of foreign and domestic goods, putting them at a disadvantage. Currently, a sales tax is not levied on online purchases from overseas.

The commission suggested import purchases of digital music, e-books, for example, from online stores such as be taxed in the same way that Amazon Japan purchases are.

Although the tax commission acknowledged that enforcement would be a challenge, Nakazato said, "It is one of the current talking points when it comes to national taxation. We're trying to adopt a mid-term view with our recommendations."

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huh. Sony wont let you buy ANYTHING online from overseas. Music, movies, games. etc. Amazong won't let you buy anything digital online either, game codes, music, movies. etc. Apple is the only program that lets you buy music digitaly that I have found.

I sorta understand this tax... Apple songs are 250 yen in Japan. Are they out of their MIND? New CDs 2500 to 3000 yen. You would think it was the year 2499 and inflation set it. I can't believe Japanese people pay 6000 for a DVD and 3000 for a CD and 8000 for a new game. When I tell my students what I pay for these things, their heads explode.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It's hard to see how they could make that work. If I use my VPN I can appear to be in some other country and the tax won't apply.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How are you going to make that work? You can buy digital goods from anywhere

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let's face it, the tax difference is a pittance compared to the price gouging endemic here.

Retailers should find other ways to be competitive, or TPP will be a perfect storm .

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This tax will just encourage online piracy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Scrote: like it or not, but what you are doing is nothing smart, but illegal smuggling!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

...their heads explode.

Literally?! Must be messy where you work.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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