Are you in the market for some tea that is green? Peaches, perhaps? Specialty rice painstakingly homegrown in a small village in Japan? You are in luck, as all you have to do is pay your residence and income tax for the year, and these gifts can be yours for practically free! It’s hard to believe there is actually a program like this, but Japan’s relatively new gift/tax or “Furusato Nouzei” program promises a unique way for residents to pay a portion of their taxes.
What is the gift/tax program?
The gift/tax program was started in 2008 as a way to boost the economy of smaller towns in Japan. As many Japanese are aware, the migration of young people from their pint-sized hometowns to metropolitan cities like Tokyo and Osaka puts a growing economic burden on small towns and villages across Japan. As the jobs and money move to larger cities, these small towns encounter trouble staying afloat.