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Small and Medium Enterprise AgencyAnnouncement of METI’s March, 2014 Efforts regarding the “Campaign Months for Securing Smooth and Appropriate Transfer of Consumption Tax”-March and April are the months during which METI is enhancing monitoring and policing violations as well as raising public awareness and providing consultation services to ensure smooth transfer of the new consumption tax.-

In response to the consumption tax hike in April 2014, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) decided to launch a campaign, titled “Campaign Months for Securing Smooth and Appropriate Transfer of Consumption Tax” in March and April 2014, and has been conducting measures to ensure smooth and appropriate tax transfer. METI hereby announces the compiled results of the efforts it made for that purpose in March.

1. Outline

In response to the consumption tax hike in April 2014, there is concern that businesses may refuse to pay transferred consumption tax to contracting companies. So METI decided to launch the campaign, titled “Campaign Months for Securing Smooth and Appropriate Transfer of Consumption Tax”, particularly focusing on March and April this year. Jointly with the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), METI has been enhancing monitoring efforts and policing violations as well as raising public awareness and providing consultation services, aiming to prevent refusals to pay transferred tax, and swiftly correcting any violations. METI hereby announces the compiled results of the efforts it conducted as of the end of March.

2. Results of the efforts in March

1) Enhanced monitoring and policing violations

METI and JFTC have been dispatching inspectors to monitor for violations and, more specifically, to monitor buyers’ refusals to pay transferred tax, and additionally to police any violations since the beginning of the campaign. They also conducted on-site inspections at 861 locations and provided instruction to 1,199 businesses to avoid violations, as of the end of March. This number is the total sum of METI’s and JFTC’s cases (for details, see Appendix(PDF:132KB)PDF File (in Japanese)). They will continue to strictly address such violations.

Furthermore, METI instructed the inspectors to patrol certain areas as part of a proactive approach to supporting any subcontracting SMEs and micro enterprises. Specifically, in order to provide consultation services, it dispatched the inspectors to 13 seminars concerning appropriate procedures for consumption tax transfers which were organized by commerce and industry associations and chambers of commerce and industry, as well as dispatching them to 2,429 businesses.

As an enhanced instruction measure targeted at buyers, METI required related industry associations and businesses to smoothly transfer consumption tax (about 500 cases), and revised the guidelines for promoting fair subcontracting practices and changed all the sections concerning 14 of 16 industries, as scheduled.

2) Further raising public awareness and providing consultation services

METI prepared about 170,000 posters instructing the public on the increased tax burden and distributed them to businesses through SME associations and industry associations, and also deployed a campaign to raise public awareness of the tax hike, utilizing media, such as public relations of municipalities and public transportation advertisements, including those on trains.

It also conducted events to raise public awareness so as to make the public and consumers further understand the tax hike, by dispatching groups of officials to shopping arcades across Japan. This series of events was titled “Let’s talk about our lives and consumption tax at shopping arcades.”

In addition, it opened 2,336 consultation counters at four SME associations to provide the public with face-to-face consultation services. Furthermore, in addition to weekdays, it also started providing phone consultation services on Saturdays from March 1 and on Saturdays and Sundays from March 30.

Release date

April 7, 2014

Division in Charge

Competition Enhancement Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau, METI
Fair Trade Division, Business Environment Department, Small and Medium Enterprise Agency

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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