Apple’s Japanese division must pay 13 billion yen (92.03 million euros) in back taxes for wholesale sales of iPhones and other Apple devices to tourists who were wrongly exempt from consumption tax, the Nikkei said.
Bulk purchases of iPhones by overseas buyers have been uncovered at some Apple stores, with at least one transaction involving someone buying hundreds of phones at once, and the store failing to tax at least one possible reseller.
Japan allows tourists staying for less than six months to buy goods without paying the 10% consumption tax, but the exemption does not apply to purchases for resale. According to Nikkei, Apple Japan filed an amended tax return.
Apple’s decision on back taxes comes shortly after Tim Cook visited the country. The manager documented his stay there with several messages and photos shared on Twitter. In particular, this involved a meeting with Sony, who confirmed in passing that the Japanese company supplies photo sensors for the iPhone.
On the other hand, Japanese authorities have recently pushed Apple to support more iPhone app stores. Apple also saw record declines in App Store revenue in Japan and other countries. This problem could be exacerbated by increased competition, as Apple intends to allow third-party app stores and sideloading, starting in Europe, with iOS 17.