Japan To Tax Foreign Downloads Starting Next Year
Fans of digital downloads that live in Japan, will have to pay a little bit more starting in 2015. As reported by Nikkei digital content like music, e-books, apps, game downloads, comics, etc., from foreign servers will have a consumption tax added. Physical goods imported into Japan are already taxed, this will do the same for foreign downloads.
The argument is similar to the battles over taxing digital goods here in the United States. It is argued that by purchasing digital goods or those online are automatically cheaper because there is no tax, in essence a built in discount. In Japan, downloads from domestic Japanese servers are taxed. Japanese merchants have complained for years, just as American brick-and-mortar stores also have complained.
Here in the United States there is a massive lobbying effort to change this with retailers focusing on states and the federal government to pass legislation to collect taxes from customers.
Just a heads up for our readers in Japan, expect to pay more for your digital comics and manga starting in 2015.