Initial consumption tax relief measures unlikely to be extended to books and magazines


The government and the ruling camp are considering not making books and magazines subject to the planned consumption tax relief at the time of its introduction, informed sources said Saturday.

This is because of the difficulty in developing a scheme to exclude books which include excessive violence and pornography from the relief measure, according to the sources.

To limit the impact on households of the consumption tax hike to 10 percent from the current 8 percent in October next year, the government decided to keep the tax rate at 8 percent on food and beverages, excluding food consumed at restaurants and alcoholic drinks, as well as on regular newspapers.

The ruling camp, in its package of tax revision proposals for fiscal 2016, included a plan to leave the status of books and magazines for further discussions, hoping to examine their significance in daily lives and look for ways to prevent the reduced tax rate from being applied to books considered to be harmful in nature.

As no specific proposals concerning the handling of that type of book have been made since then from within the government, and some tax research commission officials from the ruling camp have voiced reluctance about increasing the kinds of items covered by the relief measure, books and magazines are now likely to be excluded from the initial list of such items, the sources said.