Business

Tax on takeout food and nonalcoholic drinks in Japan to remain at 8 percent

JIJI

Food eaten while walking or on public benches at amusement parks will be subject to a lower tax rate than food eaten in stores after the planned consumption tax hike in October, according to guidelines revised by the National Tax Agency on Thursday.

The consumption tax rate will be raised from 8 percent to 10 percent. But for a handful of products, including takeout food and nonalcoholic beverage products, it will remain at 8 percent.

According to the agency’s collection of example cases, food eaten while walking and at tables and chairs not managed by food stores will be given the lower tax rate.

Similarly, food bought at movie theaters and baseball stadiums will be charged the 8 percent tax rate if consumers eat it at their seats, while the same food will be subject to the 10 percent tax rate if consumers eat it at tables provided by the shop.

The guidelines also describe a situation concerning simultaneous purchases of eat-in and takeout food products.

According to the agency, a meal set at a fast food store comprising a hamburger and a drink will be subject to the 10 percent tax rate if either the food or the drink is consumed at the store, even if the other products in the set are consumed outside of the store. When bought separately and not as a set, however, the product consumed at the store will be taxed 10 percent while the product taken home will given the lower rate.

With two months until the tax hike is implemented, agency staff will conduct public lectures nationwide to raise awareness of the tax rate scheme among consumers.