The native guide; All about unique JapanHow to get "TAX REFUND" when you shop in Japan
Sponsored Link

How to get “TAX REFUND” when you shop in Japan

How to get TAX REFUND when you shop in Japantravel tips
Sponsored Link

Do you know the consumption tax rate in Japan raised up to 10% from 8% on the first of October in 2019?

For some people, collecting a small refund is such a pain in the neck but if you spend much money more than you expect for shopping, it is worth to get a refund.

The average cost that foreign tourists used for their shopping in Japan are about $475 in 2018 by the Japan National Tourism Organization.

You aren’t allowed to refunds on the consumption tax you spend on accommodations, transports, attractions, and meals like that, but you can get back the most consumption tax for general goods and consumption items if your purchase is qualified.

The procedure of tax-return is a little bit different from other countries, you must do procedures at the same “Tax-free” store you paid on the same day.

What is Consumption tax in Japan

The“consumption tax” is the tax similar to VAT, GST or sales tax in other countries.

The consumption tax rate in Japan is 10%, but certain items are subject to “the reduced tax” rate of 8%.

The price on the price tag should be added to the tax, or displayed actual price and tax, from April 1 of 2019.

Who can claim the tax refund?

  • The foreign visitor who enters Japan within 6 months (except for an employee of company or office in Japan)
  • The foreign visitor who works for the foreign government or the international organization
  • The person who lives overseas over 2 years and has a Japanese passport ( entered Japan within 6 months)
  • The actual person who paid the consumption tax
  • Non-resident Japanese who live in foreign countries over 2 years

Where can you buy “Tax-free” items ?

You can buy “Duty-free” items at LICENSED STORES ONLY in Japan.

*The licecsed store means the store is permitted to sell products without consumption tax. Unlike other countries, airports are not involved in tax-return procedures in Japan.

You need to find the sign says “Japan. Tax-free shop” on the window or by the chaser. you can also look up the list in the “Japan Official Travel App“.

Which item is subjected to the tax refund?

 
 A. General goodsB. Consumable ItemsA + B
 Home appliances
Clothing, Shoes,
Bags,
Watches, Jewelry
Handmade-crafts, local souvenirs,
Kimono
Food and Drinks,
Tobacco,
Medicines,
Cosmetics.
 
Application Due dateOn the same day you purchase items
Exempt ItemsItems are not for commercial use
Passport

 Required to show your actual passport with entry date stamped on, not a copy.
If you are a Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) user,  bring your passport and  a registeration Card.
Cruise ship Tourists are required to show the permit.

Total Purchase Amount ¥5,001 or more. (Excluding Tax)

Minimum ¥5,001
up to ¥500,000
(Excluding Tax)

Special PackageNot requiredRequired
Can you use it before leaving Japan?Yes

No.

Once the package is opened, it will not be quolified.

Expiration date of exportMust be taken out of Japan whithin 6 months from the entry date. Must be taken out of Japan whithin 30days after purchased

Please note…

  • The total purchase amount should be at the same store on the same day (*except for at shopping complexes which participate “the consolidated tax exemption program” )
  • Some stores may not allow tax refunds combined with general goods with consumable items.
  • If you buy a combination of general goods and consumable goods, general goods will be treated the same way as consumption items, which means you are not allowed to open the special package. Once you open the package, it will lose entitled tax-return.
  • Some stores may not allow tax refunds combined with general goods with consumable items.
  • Meals in Japan are not entitled tax-return.
  • Commercial goods for your business are not entitled to a tax refund.
  • Make sure the rules and regulations “Import Tax & Duty” of your country. ( If you want to check out: US Customs and Border Protection )
  • Make sure differences in operating voltage, frequencies, language settings, and other standards that may be present in products purchased in Japan.
  • The total purchase amount should be at the same store on the same day (*except for at shopping complexes which participate “the consolidated tax exemption program” )

How to go through procedure

Make sure you have the passport entry date stamped on.

passport stamp

 

Make sure you have the passport with an entry date stamp, you need to stop getting the entry date stamp if you go through an automated passport check gate.

Cruise ship Tourists are required to show the permit.

If you are a Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) user, bring your passport and a registration Card.

At the store which has “Tax-return” counter or cashier

tax free uniqlo

In most of the cases, you can find a “Tax-free” counter inside the “Tax-free” licensed stores.

Go to the counter or the cashier says “Tax-free” BEFORE purchasing, you can pay the total amount excluded consumption tax.

At the Shopping Complex

shopping complex

If you purchase merchandise at several stores in the shopping complex (such as a shopping mall or a department store), you have to pay the total amount included tax at each store, but you can get ‘tax-return” when you finish the procedure at the “Tax-free” counter.

You have to check whether the shopping place and each store participates in “the consolidated tax exemption program” BEFORE you purchase.

You have to check whether the shopping place and each store participates in “the consolidated tax exemption program” BEFORE you purchase.

The consolidated tax exemption program is the total purchase amount at each store in the shopping complex can be combined all, which means

When you go the “tax-free” counter, they can put all receipts together although you don’t purchase merchandise over ¥5,001 at each store.

Both the shopping complex and stores must be participating in the consolidated tax exemption program.

Sign the “Covenant of Purchaser.”

At the counter, you have to sign the purchase agreement.

  • Name/ Country / Birth of date/ The entry date
  • The passport information
  • The seller information
  • The date of purchase
  • The toatal amount of purchase and details
  • The agreement pledge of expiration date of export

Read the contents thoroughly and sign it.

Finish payment exculded tax or get tax-refund

After procedure done, they will put the receipt on a page of your passport with the stamp and the pledge.

Consumable items will be sealed in a special bag or box, and you can not unseal it untill you leave Japan.

At the airport

airport check-in counter

Because you are supposed to carry “tax-free” items with you in general rule, you have to take all  items out the carry-on bag. 

If you have “Tax-free” items in your check-in bags, ask the air line staff.

At the Narita airport, ususally the custom require you to submit receipts only ( or to drop all receits into the box at the costom).

However, it depends on the airport, please check the staff when you check-in bags. 

Go through the security check, and go to the custom desk.

Submit the receips and the pledge to customs, then ALL DONE!

New system coming soon!

showing passport

From the first of April, the new automated system of the tax-refund procedure is going to be introduced to “Tax-free” stores.

You will be not required to sign the purchase agreement, and receipts and the pledge will no longer put on your passport.

You will just show the passport for “tax-free” shopping, and declare the items at the airport.

Copied title and URL