The Japanese government has recently announced an increase of Consumption Tax from 8% to 10%, along with the introduction of a reduced rate of 8% that will be levied on basic foodstuffs and beverages.
This is currently due to take effect on the 1st of April 2017, however this rise has already been delayed once in 2015 and because of the current lack luster economy there is potential for it to be delayed yet again.
The decision to bring in a reduced rate on basic foodstuffs and beverages is being considered to ease the burden on consumers after recent similar rate increases pushed the economy back into a recession. This was the case in 2014 when Consumption Tax was increased from 5% to 8%, raising indirect tax from Yen 8 trillion to Yen trillion in just two years.
Nevertheless, this time it appears that they will still go ahead as Mr Aso, the Finance Minister, told parliament “Without attaching conditions about the state of the economy, we will certainly raise consumption tax to 10 per cent in April 2017”. So companies should start preparing for this as soon as they can to be ready for the tax rate increase and the introduction of a reduced rate early next year.