Debate Magazine

VAT is Borne by the Supplier, Part 94: Japan.

Posted on the 29 May 2014 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From the BBC:
Retail sales in Japan fell 4.4% in April, compared with the same period last year, as the effect of an increase in the country's sales tax began to be felt. Japan raised the tax from 5% to 8% on 1 April - the first hike in 17 years.
The country faces rising social welfare costs due to an aging population and is trying to rein in public debt.

So that hopefully puts to rest this nonsense which the politicians bandy about, and which so many armchair economists trot out, that "The consumer pays the sales tax". The consumer only pays the tax if demand is price insenstive (tobacco, booze, petrol/diesel); the supplier pays the tax if supply is price insensitive (fixed supply, such as land, or fixed high overheads/low marginal costs).
Analysts said sales had dropped in part due to consumers rushing to make purchases ahead of the tax rise. That trend was evident in March, when sales surged 11% - the fastest pace of growth since March 1997.
Illustrating why it is a bad idea to announce changes to tax rates in advance.

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