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 Amazon.com 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."© Japan Today