It’s quite common for foreign physical goods being taxed when imported, but not so much with digital goods. According to a report out of Nikkei, however, that might be set to change in Japan by 2015.
The report says that content such as apps, music, ebooks and digital video games that originate from foreign servers could be taxed as soon as next year. The reasoning behind this most likely being since these types of content currently go untaxed, it puts domestic sellers at a distinct disadvantage. Foreign companies can sell the same content as their domestic counterparts, but because the content isn’t coming from a server within Japan, they don’t have to pay the taxes local companies do.
The new proposal will require companies that sell digital content to Japanese consumers to register with the appropriate tax authorities. The change is set to take place in October of 2015.