Tokyo High Court Nixes Sapporo Breweries' Tax Petition


Tokyo, Feb. 12 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo High Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling rejecting a petition from Sapporo Breweries Ltd. for the return of 11.5 billion yen in what it claims to be overpaid liquor tax on a beer-like beverage product.

In 2013, the Sapporo Holdings Ltd. <2501> unit launched Goku Zero as a so-called third-segment beer-like drink, subject to a lower liquor tax rate.

But tax authorities decided that Goku Zero could not be classified into the third-segment category. In 2014, Sapporo relaunched Goku Zero as a "happoshu" quasi-beer product with a higher tax rate.

The company voluntarily paid 11.5 billion yen in liquor tax for the product with the higher tax rate, but an in-house investigation found that it was a third-segment beverage.

After tax authorities turned down Sapporo's request for the return of the tax paid, the company filed a petition with Tokyo District Court in 2017, only to be rejected.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press