Japan Will Begin Taxing Foreign Downloads in 2015

Japan Will Begin Taxing Foreign Downloads in 2015

Amazon global

Companies outside of Japan selling e-content to Japanese consumers will have to pay taxes.

As early as fiscal year 2015, Japan will begin collecting taxes on sales of downloaded content such as electronic books and music from distributors such as Amazon, Nikkei Asian Review reports. Domestic firms will have to register with the local tax authority and pay the tax; however, Japanese firms buying foreign e-content will have to pay the tax instead.

Domestic firms in Japan selling e-content are at a disadvantage because they pay taxes levied on domestic servers while foreign companies currently do not have to pay the tax. Companies like Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft with foreign servers could sell apps, ebooks, and music for the same price that domestic firms charge but avoid the tax. Physical products from abroad are already taxed when they clear customs.

To compete, some Japanese vendors acquired overseas distributors, such as online retailer Rakuten, which acquired the Canada-based Kobo. As a result, the Rakuten Kobo site sells ebooks to Japanese readers without the consumption tax.

The government hopes to put the tax on foreign downloads into effect by October 2015 when the Japanese sales tax rises to 10 percent. Lawmakers initially tried to enact the change by the spring when the tax rises from 5 percent to 8 percent, but this was put on hold to sort out the details of the change.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review via PC World

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Damn it... sales tax is going up again. The digital tax doesn't really bother me that much since the only digital service I really use is Steam, but I do buy a lot of my physical products locally.

Eh, I'm sorta used to this already since we in California already have to do this sorta thing anyway. We have to pay both federal tax and an import tax as well. Plus, I always usually get physical copies of things anyway, so this doesn't affect me much at all. :P

Although it does suck that their sales tax is gonna be 10%. Down where I live it's 8%, but in my city they've been trying to raise it to 11%...>.>

As far as taxes go, I think at this point "fair is fair" can be applied to all of this. Not having taxes on digital sales was a pretty big blind spot in the tax code.

If an electronic product is created entirely by a private company, is transmitted entirely via private infrastructure, and is utilized by customers in the privacy of their own homes, why does any government have a right to claim any tax on it?

Neronium:

Although it does suck that their sales tax is gonna be 10%. Down where I live it's 8%, but in my city they've been trying to raise it to 11%...>.>

I used to live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They raised their sales tax to 10% about a year before I left. A lot of people I knew started shopping in neighboring counties. Personally, I just moved back to my home state.

Judging from the weekly sales charts of video games in Japan, the sale of foreign video games will earn the government, oh maybe a dollar or so a month.

Ok I know it applies to all downloads, so it's probably fair enough. That was just my first thought on seeing the headline.

It reminds me of the time a few years ago when there was all that trouble with the Danish newspaper that printed the cartoons of Mohammed. I turned on the news one evening to hear that "many in the Middle-East are urging all Muslims to boycott all Danish products". For a second I honestly, unironically thought to myself "That's going to hurt the sale of bacon..", before realising that it probably wouldn't.

MinionJoe:

I used to live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They raised their sales tax to 10% about a year before I left. A lot of people I knew started shopping in neighboring counties. Personally, I just moved back to my home state.

Honestly the tax rate and everything everyone here is pretty much used to, so not many people really complain about having to pay extra on things. Mainly because for the longest time California was one of the only states that enforced a sales tax on top of the federal and state tax. So we've had it for ages and many just see it as every day here.
Hell, our gas prices down here usually range from $3.50 (only 1 place in that last year has had it that low) to $5, while in other states it's way cheaper.

Sales tax of 10% must be nice... its already 19% here.
No wonder Japan is broke.

Edit: I see nothing wrong here btw. just fixing a loop hole.

I'm just wondering... how does Japan propose to enforce this on foreign companies? Seems like it would be hard to enforce a Japanese law in the UK, for example. Not like they can arrest 'em for it.

wonder how they'll regulate this

online transactions aren't the easiest thing to get after

Sales tax of 10%? Try 21% and see how you like it.

weirdguy:
wonder how they'll regulate this

online transactions aren't the easiest thing to get after

ISP's register whether a site is foreign or not, thus levying the tax automatically from the distributor or they get blocked. You could easily scan for any transaction authorization requests.

Royas:
I'm just wondering... how does Japan propose to enforce this on foreign companies? Seems like it would be hard to enforce a Japanese law in the UK, for example. Not like they can arrest 'em for it.

The usual way to enforce things like this is to prevent the foreign company operating in your country if they don't comply. That might still be a little tricky in some of these cases, unless the Japanese government is happy to make their ISPs block misbehaving websites (I literally have no idea what their policy is on that).

Neronium:
Eh, I'm sorta used to this already since we in California already have to do this sorta thing anyway. We have to pay both federal tax and an import tax as well. Plus, I always usually get physical copies of things anyway, so this doesn't affect me much at all. :P

Although it does suck that their sales tax is gonna be 10%. Down where I live it's 8%, but in my city they've been trying to raise it to 11%...>.>

Man, lucky you. Our sales tax is 20%.

Anyhow, this law seems pretty fair. As far as I'm aware it's similar here in the UK.

razer17:

Neronium:
Eh, I'm sorta used to this already since we in California already have to do this sorta thing anyway. We have to pay both federal tax and an import tax as well. Plus, I always usually get physical copies of things anyway, so this doesn't affect me much at all. :P

Although it does suck that their sales tax is gonna be 10%. Down where I live it's 8%, but in my city they've been trying to raise it to 11%...>.>

Man, lucky you. Our sales tax is 20%.

Anyhow, this law seems pretty fair. As far as I'm aware it's similar here in the UK.

Yeap UK sucks ballz so hard. was meant to rise to get us out of the recession, then it went up again to 20% and we are ment to be out of the recession now. Just seems abit greedy speaking for the UK anyway.

The tax here in Mexico is 16% but ironically people seems to live better with less money here than in USA, thats why most mexicans come back after they manage to accomplish their american dream (which is hard).
We pay like 30 to 60 cents for public transport, we only pay a seventh of the electricity we use and many of us dont pay for water at all, UNLESS we need to make repairs, the rent of housing in the "living counties" (the equivalent to the suburbs) is around 250 USD per month, the taxes for owning a car are just 25 bucks a year (if you play your cards right), school is free, and you only have to pay 45USD per year to get to the UNAM or the Politecnico, which are the best university one can aspire here, and our "becas" are actual scholarships, we receive a small amount of money and we dont have to pay anything like in USA, our health care sucks, but our medicines are quite cheap.
I dont know where am i going with this, we still win less money anyway, so it sort of evens out, except when you become moderately rich (which is the equivalent in earnings to be accommodated in USA), becuase you can finally enjoy the relative cheapness of mexican life... I was like that once, but my family business was murdered by foreign corporations that sold the same products than my family business, but more expensive, and yet people stopped buying us... I will never understand the ignorance of my people.
You dont understand Mexico. Nobody does, not even mexicans.

Taxing is only bad if said taxes are not used properly to help the society grow and prosper. If I saw this new tax was being used for stuff that has no purpose but to give advantage to another company or fill the politics pockets I would go on a rampage of sorts. If it is done in a fair use across the board and said taxes are going into infrastructure, health, and education to keep society as a whole moving and not just going to a set few I can be ok with that if I knew that was where the taxes where going.

AstaresPanda:

razer17:

Neronium:
Eh, I'm sorta used to this already since we in California already have to do this sorta thing anyway. We have to pay both federal tax and an import tax as well. Plus, I always usually get physical copies of things anyway, so this doesn't affect me much at all. :P

Although it does suck that their sales tax is gonna be 10%. Down where I live it's 8%, but in my city they've been trying to raise it to 11%...>.>

Man, lucky you. Our sales tax is 20%.

Anyhow, this law seems pretty fair. As far as I'm aware it's similar here in the UK.

Yeap UK sucks ballz so hard. was meant to rise to get us out of the recession, then it went up again to 20% and we are ment to be out of the recession now. Just seems abit greedy speaking for the UK anyway.

No matter the Country you hail from one thing is for certain in all society and that is political greed. But if the tax is used correctly and not say to just milk the people, then it is not so bad since you will get a return investment if done rihgtly with better and faster traffic flow, healthcare, education, etc. How much of said new tax actually goes to those things and not some aholes pocket is the big question.

Ishigami:
Sales tax of 10% must be nice... its already 19% here.
No wonder Japan is broke.

Edit: I see nothing wrong here btw. just fixing a loop hole.

I think it could be more of where are the current taxes going and are they being invested properly verse say we need to just hike up taxes and that will fix it. Some countries can tax little and get good results be it for one reason or another and the same with a country that taxes everything on high. As long as the taxes are being used correctly and not wasted on things that don't show much progress or are being used for backroom deals the percent of tax only needs to be as high as how well it is being used or used for. It all boils to the people in charge on spending said tax for your Countries infrastructure, health, education, security, and etc. USA has low taxes on things but increasing the taxes would not fix some of the current problems for one of those current problems is that the taxes that are used right now are not even being properly used so even if we increased the taxes on things we would just be huting the average citizen with no actual benifit except so ahole up top now has some extra money. I think my country needs more taxes, but only if said taxes actually are being properly spent back to better set the tax payer and the country as a whole and not just the few and leave a broken infrastructure. My apologies for my long winded post. Oh and tax loopholes is a big problem in the states that would solve many issues if there was enough push in the Gov't to fix that, but there is not because some are being paid off...

razer17:

Neronium:
Eh, I'm sorta used to this already since we in California already have to do this sorta thing anyway. We have to pay both federal tax and an import tax as well. Plus, I always usually get physical copies of things anyway, so this doesn't affect me much at all. :P

Although it does suck that their sales tax is gonna be 10%. Down where I live it's 8%, but in my city they've been trying to raise it to 11%...>.>

Man, lucky you. Our sales tax is 20%.

Anyhow, this law seems pretty fair. As far as I'm aware it's similar here in the UK.

Is this a competition to determine who's got it worse? Cause I'll gladly play. We've got 25% here.

OT: Honestly I don't know enough about Japan's prices and existing taxes as it is to make a good statement of what I think of this. I've heard that games are generally expensive over there when compared to the average income though.

Regardless of what that extra money is going to be used for it does suck when you see prices increase.

MinionJoe:
If an electronic product is created entirely by a private company, is transmitted entirely via private infrastructure, and is utilized by customers in the privacy of their own homes, why does any government have a right to claim any tax on it?

Well, because that's pretty much how government works. Before the income tax was instituted, the U.S. government got almost all of its income from tariffs (import taxes). I'm not sure if the government charges tariffs on digital downloads from other countries now... they probably should.

 

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