Il Giappone alla prova del rialzo dell’Iva

TOKYO – All'inizio di ottobre, il primo ministro giapponese Shinzo Abe ha annunciato l’intenzione del suo governo di aumentare l'imposta sui consumi dal 5% all'8% il prossimo aprile, ipotizzando di portarla al 10% dopo altri diciotto mesi. Il contrasto con ciò che sta avvenendo negli Stati Uniti non potrebbe essere più netto. Mentre gli oppositori interni del presidente americano Barack Obama continuano ad avversare la riforma sanitaria che porta il suo nome per via dei trasferimenti di ricchezza implicati, i burocrati giapponesi stanno cercando di riappropriarsi dell'autorità di amministrare il gettito fiscale per garantire la sostenibilità dei programmi di sicurezza sociale.

Sono molte le ragioni dietro l'aumento dell’imposta sui consumi deciso dal Giappone. Sul governo grava un onere del debito a dir poco colossale, inoltre l'aliquota sui consumi è di gran lunga inferiore a quella dell'imposta sul valore aggiunto prevalente in Europa. D'altro canto, però, l'aliquota effettiva sul reddito d’impresa è più alta in Giappone che in altri paesi, il che rende difficile per il paese attrarre investimenti, sia stranieri che nazionali. Per sopravvivere alla concorrenza fiscale sul piano internazionale – e quindi essere in grado di contare sull’imposta sulle imprese come fonte di reddito – l'aliquota sul reddito d’impresa vigente in Giappone andrebbe gradualmente diminuita.

Ciò nonostante, con l'economia giapponese che inizia solo adesso a riprendersi dopo un periodo di stagnazione durato oltre quindici anni, un rialzo così brusco dell'imposta sui consumi non è l’ideale. In realtà, mai in passato, o forse solo di rado, era stato annunciato un aumento del genere, e questo per il rischio che potesse indurre i consumatori a spendere prima della sua entrata in vigore, facendo calare i consumi successivi. Inoltre, va ricordato che qualunque incremento improvviso degli oneri fiscali ha come conseguenza un’inefficienza allocativa.

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