From manga artists to independent taxi drivers, Japanese freelancers and small businesses frustrated with the potential loss of a tax break are among the growing numbers pushing down Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s approval rating to record lows.
About 4.6 million businesses that were previously exempt from paying sales tax have been impacted by a new invoice system that came into operation last month, according to the Cabinet Secretariat.
Exempt businesses that pocketed the sales tax they charged clients will now have to hand that extra income over to the government if they adopt the system. Those that don’t switch to the new procedure may lose customers or face demands to lower their prices. All those embracing the new invoices will have a lengthier billing process to follow.