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Announcement of METI’s Efforts Regarding Measures for Securing Smooth and Appropriate Transfer of Consumption Tax as of the End of March 2017

Following the rise in the consumption tax rate to 8% in April 2014, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has been conducting a variety of measures for ensuring the smooth and appropriate transfer of the increased consumption tax. METI hereby announces the compiled results of the specific measures undertaken for that purpose as of the end of March 2017.

METI will continue to prevent the refusal to transfer the consumption tax as well as to strictly address violations of related regulations through the monitoring of consumption tax transfers and policing under such regulations.

Outline of efforts

1. Efforts to monitor and police violations

  • Following on from the FY2016 surveys, in FY2017, METI also conducted full-scale written surveys to collect information on the refusals of customers to pay the additional tax to their vendors.
  • As of the end of March 2017, METI and the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) had provided instruction to a total of 3,317 businesses, requested action from seven businesses, and sent recommendations to 38 businesses (figures are for the total number of cases METI and the JFTC dealt with), concerning such refusals.
  • Inspectors that monitor customers’ refusals to pay the additional tax are patrolling certain areas and taking actions such as collecting information on such refusals and providing consultation services.

2. Efforts to raise public awareness and provide consultation services

  • METI prepared about 1.8 million copies of guides and manuals to help the public easily understand the measures in place to secure smooth and appropriate consumption tax transfers, and distributed them to businesses across Japan.
  • As of the end of March 2017, about 23,000 seminars concerning such measures had been held for SME associations and government-approved support organizations, with about 520,000 people attending.
  • METI held explanatory meetings to inform related industry associations and businesses about the guidelines for promoting fair subcontracting practices that were revised to include compliance for the smooth and appropriate transfer of consumption tax.
  • Four SME associations have opened 2,324 consultation counters to provide the public with face-to-face consultation services. As of the end of March 2017, about 1,860,000 cases had been accepted.
  • The Small and Medium Enterprise Agency (SMEA) has opened an online consultation counter to receive public petitions with full consideration of anonymity. Please use this website to take advantage of the consultation services concerning tax transfers. Note that the SMEA is still providing telephone consultation services.
  • METI instituted a monthly monitoring survey for businesses concerning the current situation of consumption tax transfers, aiming to periodically ascertain the situation. In the written survey in March 2017, 85.6% of the target businesses answered that all of the tax was transferred for transactions between businesses, and 74.0% answered the same for transactions between businesses and consumers. Meanwhile, 3.0% of the target businesses answered that the tax was not transferred at all for transactions between businesses, and 4.4% answered the same for those between businesses and consumers.

Appendix

Release date

June 2, 2017

Divisions in Charge

  • Fair Trade Division, Business Environment Department, Small and Medium Enterprise Agency
  • Competition Enhancement Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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