After postponing the rise of consumption tax twice, Japan has today brought in the long-delayed policy into effect. The increase is the first time in five years, from 8% to 10%.
Rebate to provide shoppers relief
The new rate applies to nearly all goods and services, from electronics to books. The government has introduced measures, however, including discounts for certain purchases made using cashless payments. This is in a bid to offset negative consumer sentiment and to drive the usage of electronic payments.
Impact on food and grocery mixed
Tax rates for foods vary depending on where items are consumed. A meal eaten in a shop or restaurant is now taxed at 10%, but the rate remains as before for takeout food.
Restaurants and stores across the country have been adjusting to the new tax rate. Some operators failed to update their systems in time and will likely have to settle any differences.