Will the new mortgage tax benefits affect you in 2014?

To counter-act any potential slowdown in sales following the proposed hike in consumption taxes from 5% to 8% next year, the government will be increasing the maximum tax reduction for those who take out a mortgage to buy their own home.

Maximum deductions will increase from 200,000 Yen to 400,000 Yen per year for normal housing. Buyers of new homes and apartments that are certified as long-term superior housing will be eligible for a maximum annual deduction of 500,000 Yen.

Avoiding consumption tax increase too late for some

It may already be too late for some buyers looking to build their own home before the planned consumption tax increase next year. A last minute rush by buyers nationwide and a shortage in land and building materials means that some buyers will miss out on the current 5% tax rate.

A clause in construction contracts states that ‘if the contract was signed at least 6 months prior to an increase in consumption tax, the tax rate applied at the time of hand-over will be the rate in effect at the time the contract was signed‘. This means buyers must have their construction contracts signed before the end of September 2013 in order to lock-in the 5% consumption tax rate, otherwise they may be subject to the 8% rate which is scheduled to kick in on April 1, 2014.

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