What kind of documents are stamped in Japan?
The Stamp Tax Law provides for 20 types of taxable documents that must be stamped.
If you have prepared a document certifying the taxable matters provided by the Stamp Tax Law, you need to attach a certain stamp. There are 20 types of taxable items, such as real estate sales contracts, loan agreements, contracts, promissory notes, and receipts. The amount of revenue stamps depends on the type of documents and the amount written on the contract. For some documents, there are threshold of taxable amount.
All the original and copies of the contract (except copy) must be stamped, while those that are not printed and issued electronically are not taxed. Also, when you make a contract with a foreign person or a foreign corporation, if the final signature of the contract is made by a foreign party, you can avoid stamp tax. But please be careful that it may be taxed in the country of the other party.
In some cases, it is very complicated to judge whether it is applicable to a tax document and the amount of tax. The tax office also investigates stamp tax alone and checks the contract the officer makes a thorough search of the file of contracts and agreements. If there are missing stamps, the penalty will be three times the amount of the stamp.