2% rebate eyed on all items paid for by cashless means at small shops after planned 2019 sales tax hike
Japan Times -- Oct 22
The government is considering giving effective 2 percent rebates for cashless purchases of all goods and services at small shops after next year’s planned consumption tax hike, it was learned Saturday.

The rebate program will be in place for about one year from October 2019, when the tax rate is slated to rise to 10 percent from the current 8 percent.

The tax will stay at 8 percent for food and some other items, but the rebate program will also cover the items to which the lower rate is applied, informed sources said.

The program will distribute reward points worth 2 percent of purchases made at small shops through cashless means, such as credit cards and quick response, or QR, code cashless payments.

The government hopes that the measure will help shore up sales at small shops and encourage the introduction of cashless payment systems, the sources said.

For the program, the government will provide subsidies to credit card and other companies. The program will cover all goods and services in principle because it is difficult to exclude particular items, a senior Finance Ministry official said.

However, many small shops do not accept cashless payments. Credit card and other companies charge retailers from 3-5 percent of the value of purchases as commission, a heavy burden for small shop owners.

News source: Japan Times
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