National

Tax on foreign digital content delayed

Kyodo

The plan to impose the consumption tax on music, e-books, movies, games and other digital content sold online in Japan by foreign vendors will not be ready when the levy is raised in April.

Minoru Nakazato, a University of Tokyo graduate school professor who chairs the Tax Commission, an advisory body to the prime minister, said at a news conference Thursday that it “might be difficult” to introduce the measure at that time. He said he hopes to clarify by spring when it can be introduced.

The Finance Ministry has yet to complete studies on transaction patterns and the design for the taxation system. At the tax panel’s meeting Thursday, the ministry presented three draft plans.

“If there is a loophole (in the tax code), the Japanese industry will move out (of Japan),” Norio Sasaki, vice chairman of the board at Toshiba Corp., said as he called for accelerating the rollout.

Takero Doi, a Keio University professor, pointed out that the government needs to study the volume of transactions currently not subject to the consumption tax.

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