• SHARE

This week’s featured article

KYODO

Amazon.com Inc. has paid nearly ¥30 billion ($274 million) in corporate taxes in Japan over the past two years after changing its policy to book sales in the country, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

The Japanese unit of Amazon used to engage in online retailing with the help of outsourcing fees from its U.S. parent, basically avoiding any involvement in contracts with its partners here and thereby avoiding higher tax bills, the sources said Sunday.

But Amazon Japan G.K., which does not disclose earnings figures, started making contracts on its own after it was formed by the merger of the U.S. retailer’s logistics and sales units in Japan in May 2016, the sources said.

The main purpose was to expand operations and seize more business opportunities in Japan, the sources said. Making the local unit the main body for signing contracts will make it possible for Amazon to tap into highly regulated sectors, such as medical products.

In both business 2017 and 2018, Amazon paid more than ¥10 billion in corporate taxes in Japan and is expected to pay even more as sales headed for record levels in 2019, the sources said.

Amazon and other major digital companies have come under scrutiny for the way they prepare their taxes because they operate globally and can often choose to report sales in low-tax jurisdictions. Amazon entered Japan in 2000.

In a related development, there have been active discussions on digital taxation in many countries and at an international level, although the United States, which is home to a large majority of tech giants, is opposed to the idea.

First published in The Japan Times on Dec. 23.

Warm up

One minute chat about Amazon.

Game

Collect words related to taxes,

e.g: government, financial, money.

New words

1) disclose: make something known, e.g. “The candidate needed to disclose his taxes.”

2) scrutiny: intense examination, e.g. “The candidate’s tax returns came under scrutiny from the media.”

Guess the headline

Amazon’s Japan unit has p_ _ _ nearly ¥30 b_ _ _ _ _ _ in taxes over past two years

Questions

1) How could Amazon avoid paying tax?

2) What was the purpose of their actions?

Let’s discuss the article

1) Do you use Amazon? How often?

2) Is it good that Amazon is paying taxes?

3) What would you like to see done with your tax money?

Reference

一企業のサイズを超え、アマゾンは一つの業界のような形で日本国内でのそのビジネスを成長させています。しかし、その利益を税金という形では日本社会に還元しないというのが一つの特徴的な手法でもありました。多くの意見もあったこのやりかたが見直され、それによって日本は多くの法人税を得ることになります。

この変化はアマゾンの日本国内での成長や勢力に、また日本社会の変化にどのような影響をもたらすのでしょうか。朝英語の会に参加し皆さんで話し合ってみましょう。

「朝英語の会」、はじめてみませんか?

「朝英語の会」とは、お友達や会社の仲間とThe Japan Timesの記事を活用しながら、楽しく英語が学べる朝活イベントです。この記事を教材に、お友達や会社の仲間を集めて、「朝英語の会」を立ち上げませんか? 朝から英字新聞で英語学習をする事で、英語を話す習慣が身に付き、自然とニュースの教養が身につきます。
「朝英語の会」の立ち上げ、もしくは参加に興味がある方はこちらまで。

株式会社ジャパンタイムズ「 朝英語の会」運営事務局
Phone: 03-3453-2337 (平日10:00 – 18:00)
email: info@club.japantimes.co.jp | http://jtimes.jp/asaeigo

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)