You may have noticed that since April 1 of this year, stores have been including the 5% consumption tax in their prices. This is due to a change in the tax laws that requires retailers to include the tax. Until now, they have had the choice of whether to include it or not. Many people are suggesting that this is a precursor to raising the consumption tax (it was raised from 3% to 5% in 1997), and some suggest that the revenue from the tax hike will go towards padding the national pension funds. What do you think?
Article from the Japan Times
Article from the Japan Guide
You might also like to read Wendy Jonas' comments (http://www.japaninc.com/newsletters/index.html?list=fw&issue=4) in her weekly Frugal Watch Column (http://www.japaninc.com/newsletters/index.html?list=fw) for J@paninc (http://www.japaninc.com/).
And here is some information on the consumption tax system (http://www.nta.go.jp/category/outline/english/1832/text/02/04_6.htm) from the National Tax Agency (http://www.nta.go.jp/).
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