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Report: Japan could tax foreign downloads in 2015

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Japan could begin collecting taxes on content downloaded from servers outside of the island nation, according to a report from Nikkei Asian Review.

The tax would affect purchases like apps, ebooks, music and video game downloads originating on foreign servers.

Nikkei reports that this content is currently untaxed, which puts domestic sellers at a disadvantage. A company like Amazon, Apple or Microsoft could sell identical content from overseas servers and avoid the taxes levied on domestic servers.

Under the proposed changes, foreign companies who sell electronic content to Japanese consumers will have to register with tax authorities. Current plans would put the tax into effect in October 2015, when the Japanese sales tax will rise to 10 percent.