View Full Version : VAT in Japan

Oct 30, 2005, 19:17
I was wondering, do the Japanese have the same habit of the US and Canada by not including sales tax on various goods? Let me clarify. In the UK if I were to buy clothes the price tag would include the VAT in the price ie: if it said 9.99 I would pay 9.99. In the US and Canada the price tag would not include the sales, state etc tax. So if it was marked as 9.99 I would go to the checkout and actually pay a dollar more than the price tag says. I know that Japan has been influenced by American more than any other western country since 1945. I just wondered if they did this in their shops? It really threw me first time I went to Canada.

Dutch Baka
Oct 30, 2005, 19:46
If can remember it well, I think that both prices are on it. First you got the price ex. tax , and then inc tax.. while in my country we get the inc price, and under it the ex. price.

Oct 30, 2005, 21:39
This is a recent law. Before the law, there were some products that had it before and after, but now, if I"m not mistaken, it is required to show at least the after tax price. I guess that would look tacky on a menu, wouldn't it?

Oct 31, 2005, 00:11
I prefer to see the price with the tax included as they do in Japan. If an item is marked 4,200 yen, then that I what I expect to pay.

Oct 31, 2005, 08:49
I thought they had the price that included sales tax on a tag, but I can't remember for sure. Sorry, I should know better...

It went up from 3% to 4% in the 90's and was a big thing. I'm not sure what it is now.

Oct 31, 2005, 12:22
It went from 3% to 5% in 1997... September I think. I was there on a study abroad, either just after it happened or when it happened. Still cheaper than 8% on my home town.

EDIT: Looks like it had just happened a few months prior to my visit.


Japan's sales tax jumped from 3 to 5 percent across the board on all products, effective April 1. This action, taken by the Japanese government to meet a growing budget deficit, appears to have affected passenger car sales in two ways.

Source: http://www.jama.org/autoTrends/detail.cfm?id=136

As a side note to anyone, you don't get the benefit of no sales tax on purchases made online outside of your local city/prefecture like you do in the US, as sales tax is the same across the board.

Oct 31, 2005, 20:04
It went from 3% to 5% in 1997... September I think. I was there on a study abroad, either just after it happened or when it happened. Still cheaper than 8% on my home town.

I am certain the price is with tax when you purchase items in Japan. In Denmark, you also buy including VAT - which is quite high: 20-25% is VAT in Denmark, but that doesn't mean that items are more expensive though.....E.g. a computer costs about the same as other European countries... :blush: However, for people who can have their VAT deducted (e.g. tourists from outside the EU, and company owners) get their goods very cheap here in Denmark!!!! :-) Many Japanese buy incredibly much when vacationing in Denmark, and get their VAT deducted at the airport (approx. 20%) - meaning a Louis Vuitton bag of e.g. USD 42000 can cost about USD 33600 - a BARGAIN!!! :D

Nov 1, 2005, 06:28
Yes, in Japan the price is with tax. The price listed on the shelf or on the item includes tax. This was changed last year or the year before by law. So if you put twenty items in your basket, you know exactly how much you will be paying at the register!

Nov 1, 2005, 08:30
Many itmes have two prices. ō (the higher of the two) is the price w/ tax. As long as it's on there, you can have them both. If not, lots of people are breaking the law.