Taxes for export business

New Member
6 0 0

Hi,

Just wondering if someone could help me with a question regarding taxes for a business that exports items overseas. I am currently located in Japan and am looking to setup an online store that exports physical items. I will not be selling within the country. How do I deal with tax here?

I shouldn't need to collect taxes from sales made in any other countries presumably - and obviously I will be responsible for reporting revenue to my local tax office.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
80 0 1

Hi Foniks,

You'd probably want to check in with a tax expert or acounting agency on that one! Tax laws are often very complex and differ depending on the type of product, where it's going to, overall value and any number of other factors. if there are any other merchants shipping from Japan that want to weigh in they for sure can, but I'd definitely look to a professional of some kind for the best advice :)

Nathan McClung, Plus Onboarding Specialist
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New Member
6 0 0

Oh I will for sure - I'm looking for an English speaking accountant currently.

But my issue isn't so much with local law as international tax law, which I don't know if I can get local help on.

I'm just really unclear on what the purpose of taxes are in Shopify - I setup a shop in Japan, am I affected by international taxes. I wouldn't have thought so - but everything in the instructions is very US centric. 

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New Member
6 0 0

(This may get double posted - I think I'm being treated as spam - so apologies!)

I will be talking to a local tax professional as soon as I can - but my concern isn't so much about local tax laws (I can get local advice for that) as international.

Is there a situation where I would have to setup taxes for international sales that would have to be remitted in those territories. This isn't a matter of what is required in Japan - but what is required internationally, and how would I find out (I have had no success in months of googling). The reason I am asking is the EU was also looking at broadening their ridiculous digital download taxes to physical products too.  Is there anything similar in the US? 

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Shopify Staff (Retired)
Shopify Staff (Retired)
290 0 160

Hey there!

Testing to see if I can post here as we were talking about in our ticket.
Can you try posting now?

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New Member
6 0 0

Yup! It works! Thank you very much for your patience and getting this sorted everyone. :)

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New Member
3 0 0

foniks,

Please be advised that I am no expert, but my understanding in general is that you need to follow only those tax rules that you get from your own tax authority (Japan in your case). What they tell you should include any rules derived from any bilateral or multilateral agreements or relations that Japan has with other countries. It is in their own interest. No need to check anywhere else, I believe.

So, as for the digital goods tax in the EU I assume your Japanese tax authority will inform you about those. In the event that the same approach is one day taken for all kinds of consumer goods, then they will probably expand the MOSS to cover that purpose too. (The MOSS allows you to pay the digital goods tax in one single place and have it redistributed to the various EU countries.) As far as your Shopfy setup is concerned it is no big deal - just set the VAT rate for each of the EU countries and pay via the MOSS. Competion-wise it affects everyone equally, at least an paper (as such taxes are payable even today, but by the importer).

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New Member
3 0 0

Please be advised that I am no expert, but my understanding in general is that you need to follow only those tax rules that you get from your own tax authority (Japan in your case). What they tell you should include any rules derived from any bilateral or multilateral agreements or relations that Japan has with other countries. It is in their own interest. No need to check anywhere else, I believe.

So, as for the digital goods tax in the EU I assume your Japanese tax authority will inform you about those. In the event that the same approach is one day taken for all kinds of consumer goods, then they will probably expand the MOSS to cover that purpose too. (The MOSS allows you to pay the digital goods tax in one single place and have it redistributed to the various EU countries.) As far as your Shopify setup is concerned it is no big deal - just set the VAT rate for each of the EU countries and pay via the MOSS. Competition-wise it affects everyone equally, at least on paper (such taxes are payable even today, but by the importer).

BTW, I am having huge problems with this forum, too. Mt threads and posts seem to not "stick", and even when they do stick they are often totally removed after a while. I seems to have been excommunicated ;-)

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