Under Japanese Tax Law, Can Expenditure at Cafes When Going Alone Be Considered a Business Expense?

【Koshida Accounting Firm Column Date:

Hi, my name is Taisei Koshida, and I am a certified public accountant and tax accountant.


I aim to assist non-Japanese business owners who need help with reading or writing in Japanese. If you find the Japanese tax return system challenging, I can help you with your tax filings.


If you are unclear about expenditures at cafes when going alone under Japanese tax law, you might find this blog helpful.




What is the Purpose?

Whether the expenditure can be considered a business expense depends on the purpose of the visit. If the visit is for relaxation, it cannot be counted as a business expense. However, if the visit is intended to get some work done during the idle time while out, it can be considered a business expense, as the purpose is for business. Essentially, the determination depends on the purpose of the visit.


What Happens During Tax Audits

Considering the expenditures for cafes, it’s usually around one thousand yen at most. Even if you frequent cafes, it doesn’t amount to much on an annual basis. Therefore, even if you have numerous receipts from solo cafe visits, it’s unlikely that you would be questioned by tax auditors. They are typically focused on identifying significant discrepancies or fraudulent activities, and aren’t concerned with minor expenses like cafe visits.



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