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hotel and restaurant tax 2008/2/18 11:58
Can anybody steer me to an explanation of how tax is calculated on hotel and restaurant bills in Japan? In one of the guidebooks I came across something vague about how the tax varies with the size of the bill, so that it can be advantageous to pay for things on separate bills on an ongoing basis, rather than piling room, meals, and other charges all onto one big bill to pay at the end. Does this make sense?
by bofak  

... 2008/2/18 12:28
1) There is a 5% consumption tax observed nationwide

2) Depending on the municipality, there are municipal taxes. For example, in Tokyo, you pay about 100 or 200 yen depending on the room fee. In many hot spring resorts, there is a "bathing tax" added to accommodation bills. Again, it is usually just 100 yen or so.

3) Some hotels (mostly luxury hotels, I believe), add a 10-15% service charge.
by Uji rate this post as useful

taxes 2008/2/18 14:39
All my meals receipts from Japan shows the tax included in the advertised price (same as in France and other countries). For example if the meal is 1000 on the menu, you pay 1000. The receipt will itemize the price w/o tax and the tax. I must add that we never go to bars, night clubs and expensive restaurants.
For hotels, many of them(especially business hotels like the Toyoko-inn) shows both prices on their Internet site: with and without taxes. I checked my bill for a suite we got in the Tokyo Nishi-Shinjuku Hilton a few years back and the price they quoted us originally was the price we paid at the end. it included the tax.
by Red Frog rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/18 18:36
My first post was about hotels only.

As for restaurants, taxes are included, as mentioned by Red Frog. Only a few number of restaurants (again, mostly the more expensive places) will add a 10-15% service fee and possible cover charge). In many izakayas a seating fee and a otoshi (apetizer) fee is often added (a few hundred yen), the latter of which can theoretically be refused.
by Uji rate this post as useful

hotel and restaurant tax 2008/2/19 08:13
Thanks, guys, for your prompt responses. Of course, the taxes that you mention are unavoidable if one wants to go to those places.

So, to go back to my original question: in a hotel there would be no advantage in paying separately for food or other services in order to keep down the amount of the total bill?
by bofak rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/25 11:05
So, to go back to my original question: in a hotel there would be no advantage in paying separately for food or other services in order to keep down the amount of the total bill?

Since you will be taxed the appropriate rate for each item in the bill I don't see how there would be any advantage of splitting up the bills. The tax rates are fixed so larger bills don't incur larger tax rates.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

hotel and restaurant tax 2008/2/25 12:32
To go back, yet again, to my original question, I have just been informed, from a source in Japan, that a 3% local tax (in addition to the regular 5%) is added to hotel bills over JPY 15,000 and to restaurant bills over 7,500.

So who am I to believe here? It's a nice case of the blind leading the blind. :-(
by bofak rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/25 12:40
Which city are you referring to for the local tax?

Tax is built into the price of what you buy in Japan. What you see listed as the price is what you pay, so I don't see how the total of your bill can change the tax amount. Maybe this is specific to a certain city in Japan. Where is your source located?
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

hotel and restaurant tax 2008/2/26 01:28
This was in reference to Osaka, but I think it applies to all over. It doesn't apply to articles in shops, or to cheaper eating places. It refers to hotels and restaurants where the total bill is above a certain amount. Very fancy places may also (optionally) add on a service charge, but what I'm referring to is not optional.
by bofak rate this post as useful

taxes 2008/2/26 04:26
I go to Osaka regularly and all the taxes have always been included in the quoted room price, including at the Hilton hotel in Umeda. The hotel told me a room was ....yen per night and I paid that amount X number of nights. There was no added taxes afterwards, unlike in North America, where I live. I am not sure what the original poster concern is?
by Red Frog rate this post as useful

. 2008/2/26 06:24
Tax is built into the price of what you buy in Japan. What you see listed as the price is what you pay..

yllwsmrf: Not sure if you meant this in reference to just hotels and restaurants or in general. But this statement is not strictly true. Department stores like Mitsukoshi, Sogo and Takashimaya add the 5% tax when you purchase. The product will scan at, say 420 Yean and then 21 Yen tax will be added. This is also true in 99 and 100 Yen stores.
by RobBeer rate this post as useful

. 2008/2/26 09:18

In Tokyo, if you spend more than 20,000 yen per night for a hotel room, they add 300 yen(I believe.) If you stay in a cheaper place you only pay 200 yen per night in tax. It's per night bases and it doesn't matter if you pay your bill every day or at the end of your stay.
by tokyonet rate this post as useful

. 2008/2/26 09:20
I forgot to add that it works the same way in Osaka. It's only less than $2 USD a night we're talking about.
by Tokyonet rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/26 09:38
I was under the impression that the most recent tax laws required that all things sold include the total price including tax to be displayed somewhere either on the item or, in the case of the 100 yen store, in the store.

The price tags and displays often have two prices, one before tax and one with tax included. And in the 100 yen store there is usually a sign that states that everything is 105 yen with tax included.

Also, often times the price tax on the item will include tax, but it will ring up at the register without tax and then taxes are added back in as a separate line item.

Anyway, in regards to hotels, and as Tokyonet mentioned, Tokyo hotels do have a city tax based on the price of the room but it is minuscule (100-200 yen per person per night). That is not built into the price. This may be what your source in Osaka is mentioning, and if so, splitting a bill won't be of much benefit as its based on the room price.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/26 09:43
here's the Tokyo city accommodation tax breakdown (room price - tax per person per night):

under 10000 yen - 0 yen
10000-15000 yen - 100 yen
above 15000 yen - 200 yen

Onsen towns have a 150 yen per person per day bathing tax

btw, Osaka and Kyoto don't appear to have the accommodation tax.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

hotel and restaurant tax 2008/2/26 10:32
Thanks, guys, for all your responses. I think some of my information may have been out of date.

So it is simply not true that in a hotel, if I take meals or drinks, or use other services that cost extra, I shouldn't pile them all onto the room bill because I would risk putting the bill into a higher "tax bracket"? Is this everybody's opinion? (because that was really my original question).
by bofak rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/26 10:40
That seems to be the general consensus. Have a great trip, and report back on how it went.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

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