From Oct. 1, a new tax regulation decades in the making will go into effect — and hundreds of thousands of workers in Japan are angry.
The Qualified Invoicing System, which requires taxable businesses to issue invoices containing tax information for transactions, has generated a full-fledged movement against it. A petition on Change.org to halt the regulation has received nearly 450,000 signatures. The social movement #STOPインボイス (invoice) has held regular demonstrations and conferences advocating against the law, alongside significant protest from the world of pop culture: Animators, filmmakers, voice actors, manga artists and V-tubers of all stripes have joined together against it.
While the law is complex, the reason it’s hated is not: It’s effectively a tax increase. While the system was created to ensure that businesses will properly pay consumption tax, for many freelancers and small businesses the result will amount to a 10% increase in taxes — a high enough jump to potentially devastate creatives who already make a living by the narrowest of margins.