The New Tax-Free System

Selections

The tax-free system in Japan has been changed on October 1st, 2014. Consumer products such as foods, cosmetics, and medicine are added to the list of items eligible for tax exemption. The procedure of applying for tax exemption is simplified and the number of stores implementing tax-free system has increased.

Requirements for tax refund (starting on October 1st)

When you shop in Japan, 8 percent consumption tax will be charged. However, as a special measure, foreign visitors to Japan are exempt from paying tax if they meet certain criteria.
Under the new tax-free system starting on October 1st in 2014, items popular with foreign visitors to Japan such as snacks, cosmetics, and medicine are added to the list in addition to the items that were already on the list, such as appliances and clothing. It is now easier to purchase consumer goods as the applicable price for exemption has been lowered. Also, not only department stores and appliance stores, but also convenience stores and drugstores have become licensed tax-free agencies.
Shopping in Japan gets more enjoyable now.

Items under the previous tax-free system Newly added items in the new tax-free system
Applicable items General items such as appliances, bags, clothing Consumer goods such as food, beverage, tobacco, medicine, cosmetics
Applicable purchase price Over 10,000 yen per shop per day per person (No upper limited) Above 5,000 yen and below 500,000 yen per shop per day per person
Tax rate/refund rate 8%/6.9~8%
*Refund rate may differ depending on the store
8%/6.9~8%
*Refund rate may differ depending on the store
Package Wrapped to be recognizable as tax-exempt Wrapped as each store regulates
*Tax will be charged if you open and consume the products while you are in Japan.
Purchase proof document Submit the purchase proof document that notes you take the purchased items out of Japan Submit purchase proof document that notes you take the purchased items out of Japan within 30 days
Conditions for tax exemption *You must not consume the purchased items in Japan.
*You must take the purchased items out of Japan when you depart.
*You alone are allowed to consume the purchased items.

Eligible persons under the new tax-free system are below.
*Foreign visitors to Japan who stay less than 6 months
*Diplomat passport holders (Over 6 months stay in Japan is allowed)
*Japanese passport holders who live out of Japan for more than 2 years


 

Tax refund process

These logos are posted standing out at the licensed stores.
 
japan-tax-free
 

To apply for tax exemption, show your passport (a copy is not allowed) to the cashiers.

There are two kinds of processes of applying for tax exemption depending on the store.

(1) You pay the amount during purchase less 8 percent tax when you purchase the products.
(2) You get a refund at the tax refund corner in the store by showing your passport, purchased items and receipt.
In case of (2), you must do the procedure on the same day as you purchased. The tax refund rate may differ depending on the store. Recently, as the tax exemption process has been simplified and digitized, you can process smoothly in short time.

When you purchase items, fill up the purchase proof document and submit it to the store where you shop. The purchase proof document will be attached to your passport and collected at customs.