Tax-free Info

Tax-free system in Japan

What is Tax-free and what are tax-free shops?

Tax shopimage

The consumption tax is the tax levied by the Consumption Tax Law which is the municipal law in Japan. This system can be considered as similar to the VAT (value-added tax), GST (goods and services tax) or sales tax. In Japan, consumption tax is a flat 8% on all items and is scheduled to increase to 10% in April 2017.

Tax-free Measures and Procedures (Consumption Tax Exemption)

When you buy certain articles in Japan, prices include consumption tax (8%). However, as a special measure, tourists from overseas are exempt from paying consumption tax if they follow certain procedures at licensed tax-free agencies (such as department stores, home appliance stores, discount stores and others) on condition that they are taken out of Japan.

How Japan’s tax-free System is different from other countries

Unlike other countries, in Japan the airport is not involved in the consumption tax exemption since it is handled at each individual licensed tax-free store.
Therefore, 8% exception on consumption tax will be given at the time of purchase but only at the tax-free shops.

Commodities (non-consumable items)

No consumable items

Tax exemptions are available on; electric appliances, clothing, accessories, shoes, etc. Items must be purchased from the same store on the same day for a total amount of ¥5,000 or more. (Tax not included)
On May 1, 2016, the minimum spending requirement was changed to an amount greater than or equal to ¥5,000.

Consumable Items

Consumable items

Tax exemptions are available on; food and drinks, tobacco, medicines and cosmetics.
Items must be purchased from the same store on the same day, and the total spending amount has to at least ¥5,000 but be no greater than ¥500,000. (Tax not included)
On May 1, 2016, the minimum spending requirement was changed to an amount greater than or equal to ¥5,000.