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与党税制大綱 家計と景気への目配り十分か

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 13, 2013
Reduced consumption rate system must be at same time as hike to 10%
与党税制大綱 家計と景気への目配り十分か(12月13日付・読売社説)

 ◆消費税10%と同時に軽減税率を

We are concerned that increasing the consumption tax rate to 8 percent from April may dampen personal spending. The latest tax policy agreement between the ruling coalition parties has left unresolved problems regarding measures to shore up business activities.
 来年4月に消費税率を8%に引き上げた後、個人消費の失速を招かないか。景気下支えに課題を残したと言えよう。

The Liberal Democratic Party and coalition partner New Komeito decided Thursday on an outline for tax system revisions for fiscal 2014. The decision signifies the ruling parties’ endorsement of a government budget draft for next fiscal year and a set of tax revision bills to be presented to the Diet early next year.
 自民、公明の与党は2014年度の税制改正大綱を決めた。政府の来年度の予算案と、税制改正法案を裏付けるものだ。

The LDP-Komeito agreement has fallen short of deciding on a specific date to introduce a reduced consumption tax rate system to curb the tax rate on food and other daily necessities to benefit low-income people. The agreement also has incorporated such items as income and residential tax levies on salaried workers. Steps to impose heavier tax burdens on households are conspicuous in the accord.
 低所得者対策として、食料品などの消費税率を低く抑える軽減税率の導入時期の決定を見送ったほか、会社員を対象にした増税などを盛り込んだ。家計の負担を増やすメニューが目立つ。

Specific timing ambiguous
 ◆導入時期は曖昧なまま

The biggest focus in the tax revision discussions was whether a reduced tax rate system should be introduced at the same time as an increase in the sales tax to 10 percent scheduled for October 2015.
 最大の焦点は、政府が15年10月に予定通り消費税率を8%から10%へ上げる場合、同時に軽減税率を導入するかどうかだった。

In January, the ruling coalition reached an agreement to “make efforts to introduce” a tax break on necessities when the planned hike to 10 percent occurs.
 与党は今年1月、10%増税時の「導入を目指す」と合意した。

The ruling parties' accord, this time, however, said a reduced tax rate system “will be introduced at a time when the consumption tax rate is 10 percent, after necessary financial resources and understanding from the public, including businesses, are secured.” It added that the ruling camp will “reach a conclusion on the matter by December 2014.”
 だが、今回の大綱は「必要な財源を確保しつつ、事業者を含む国民の理解を得た上で税率10%時に導入する」と記し、「14年12月までに結論を得る」ことにした。

The proviso added to the ruling coalition’s accord, such as “understanding from the public,” will weigh heavily on future discussions on a reduced tax rate, since the wording in the accord can be interpreted as either “at the same time as the hike to 10 percent” or “sometime after” the hike.
 導入に「国民の理解」などの条件を付けた意味は重く、「10%に引き上げと同時」とも「10%に引き上げ後のいつか」とも解釈できる。

This is the product of compromise between the LDP, which has remained wary of implementing a reduced tax rate, and Komeito, which has strongly insisted the proposed tax break on such items as food and newspapers be introduced when the rate is raised to 10 percent.
 導入に慎重姿勢を崩さない自民党と、10%への増税の時期と合わせて食料品や新聞などを対象に導入すべきだとする公明党との妥協の産物にほかならない。

A reduced tax rate system would mitigate tax burdens on all taxpayers, including lower-income people, helping shore up a broad spectrum of household budgets.
 軽減税率は、低所得層を含む国民全体の税負担を幅広く和らげて家計を下支えする。

It is also problematic that the tax system revision outline this time has come short of discussing specifics, such as which items would be eligible for a lower tax rate.
 今回の大綱が、軽減税率の対象品目など具体的な検討に踏み込めなかったのも問題である。

Decisions on specific items to be covered and plans to put the reduced rate system into practice must not be postponed unnecessarily. A decision should be made quickly to introduce a reduced tax rate at the same time the rate is increased to 10 percent.
 いたずらに対象品目や制度設計などの決定を遅らせてはならない。10%増税と同時の導入を速やかに決断すべきだろう。

During the ruling camp’s tax discussions, the LDP’s Tax System Research Commission and the Finance Ministry pointed out the introduction of the reduced tax rate system would make it necessary to employ an invoice system to log the tax rates and amounts item by item, leading to complicated clerical work for businesses.
 今回、自民党税調と財務省は、軽減税率の導入には、商品ごとに税率や税額を記載したインボイス(税額票)が必要で、企業の事務負担が増すと指摘した。

Given that business deals free from the consumption tax, including land transactions, and those subject to the tax have been in place even under the existing tax system, Komeito refuted that argument in the discussions, noting a reduced tax rate system could be realized without an invoice system. The LDP tax panel and the Finance Ministry should have more aggressively addressed resolving impediments to employing a reduced tax rate.
 ただ、今でも土地売買など非課税取引と消費税を課す取引は混在しており、公明党はインボイスは不要だと反論した。自民党税調と財務省は積極的に課題解決へ取り組むべきだったのではないか。

The tax system revision outline also includes steps to reduce the income tax breaks for company employees and other salaried workers, and raising their income and residential taxes. People whose annual income exceeds ¥12 million will be subject to heavier taxes from 2016, and those whose annual income is more than ¥10 million will be subject to them from 2017.
 大綱は、会社員などの給与所得控除を削減し、所得税や住民税を増税する方針も盛り込んだ。16年から年収1200万円超の人を対象とし、17年からは1000万円超の人まで拡大する。

According to a trial calculation by the Finance Ministry, people with an annual income of ¥15 million are estimated to have an additional tax burden of ¥70,000 to ¥110,000 a year. There are fears this will dampen their motivation to spend in anticipation of an increase in the burden on household budgets.
 財務省の試算では、年収1500万円の場合、年7万~11万円の負担増となる見込みだ。将来の家計の負担増を見越し、消費意欲は減退する恐れがある。

As the planned consumption tax hike is expected to increase the perceived burden on low-income earners, the ruling parties seem to have tried to alleviate the sense of unfairness by imposing increased tax burdens on high-income earners.
 消費増税で低所得者の負担感が増すため、与党は、高所得者への課税強化で不公平感を和らげることを狙ったようだ。

Fast and sloppy
 ◆拙速な所得控除見直し

However, full-scale discussions on the reexamination of tax deductions were conducted for merely a week. It cannot be helped if the ruling parties are criticized for targeting company employees, whose income can be easily ascertained, unlike that of the self-employed, to ensure tax revenue.
 だが、控除見直しを巡る本格的な議論は、わずか1週間だった。自営業者と違い、収入を把握しやすい会社員を狙い撃ちするのでは「取りやすいところから取る」と批判されても仕方がない。

Quite a few people are increasingly dissatisfied over the fact that the ruling parties quickly decided on a tax hike for salaried workers while not presenting a time frame for introducing the reduced consumption tax rates.
 軽減税率の導入時期を示さない一方で、サラリーマン増税を即決したことに、不満を募らせる人も少なくないだろう。

In the case of taxation on automobiles, the tax hike for light motor vehicles was incorporated into the outline of tax system revisions as a measure to secure fiscal resources needed to phase out the automobile acquisition tax from next fiscal year.
 自動車課税では、購入時に課す自動車取得税を来年度から段階的に縮小・廃止するための財源確保策として、軽自動車税の増税などを盛り込んだ。

The tax on light vehicles is less than that on compact cars. As long as light vehicles also impose burdens on roads and the environment, it is unavoidable for the light vehicle tax to be raised in line with the beneficiary-to-pay principle.
 軽自動車税は、小型車の税金に比べて納税者の負担が軽い。軽自動車も道路や環境に負荷をかける以上、受益者負担として引き上げられるのはやむを得まい。

In regard to lowering the corporate tax, which was regarded as a centerpiece of the government’s growth strategy, the outline said merely that the matter will “continue to be studied.” Discussions on concrete measures such as the timing and margin for a tax cut have not deepened.
 成長戦略の目玉とされた法人税率の引き下げは、「引き続き検討を進める」と記しただけで、減税の時期や引き下げ幅などの具体論は深まらなかった。

Japan’s corporate tax rates—even if excluding the special corporate tax for reconstruction from the 2011 disaster, which is planned to be abolished at the end of fiscal 2013, one year ahead of schedule as an economic measure—are higher than those in Europe and many other Asian countries.
 しかし、経済対策で1年前倒し廃止が決まった復興特別法人税を除いても、日本の法人税は欧州やアジアの多くの国より高い。

Cut corporate tax urgently
 ◆法人税率引き下げ急げ

To stem the hollowing out of industry and lure investments from overseas, it will be indispensable to lower corporate tax rates further. The matter must be studied at a faster pace.
 産業空洞化に歯止めをかけ、海外から投資を呼び込むため、税率の一層の引き下げが不可欠だ。検討の加速が求められよう。

Companies that will benefit from the early abolition of the special corporate tax for reconstruction should use improved profits for wage hikes and employment expansion, thereby spreading benefits to households.
 復興特別法人税の前倒し廃止の恩恵を受ける企業は、収益向上を賃上げや雇用拡大につなげ、家計に波及させていくべきだ。

The outline has also put forth a policy of approving up to 50 percent of entertainment expenses used by big businesses to entertain business partners and clients as necessary expenses with no tax levied.
 大綱は、大企業が取引先の接待などに使う交際費の5割までを税務上の経費(損金)として認め、非課税とする方針も掲げた。

It is understandable that the outline aims to expand the tax exemption system, which has been applied to part of the entertainment expenses of small and midsize companies as impairment costs, to big businesses. We hope sales for drinking and eating establishments will increase by making it easier for firms to increase entertainment expenses and that this will prove effective in curbing the adverse effects of the consumption tax hike.
 これまで中小企業の交際費の一部について損金扱いを認めてきた措置を大企業に拡充する狙いは理解できる。企業が交際費を増やしやすくなることで、飲食店などの売り上げが伸び、消費増税の影響を抑える効果に期待したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 13, 2013)
(2013年12月13日01時39分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2013-12-16 06:38 | 英字新聞

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