How do I get a Qualified Invoice Number?

A Qualified Invoice Number is a unique identifier required under Japan’s new tax system for valid invoicing and claiming tax credits. It is a part of the invoice criteria set by the National Tax Agency for transparent and efficient consumption tax processing.

For more background on the recent history of the development of the new tax regime, read our post History of the Japanese Consumption Tax Regime (1989-2014).

For more information on whether you should get a Qualified Invoice Number, read our post Do I Need a Qualified Invoice Number?


This article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Consult your tax advisor or local tax office (税務署) for advice specific to your situation.

Simply Put

Go to your local tax office (税務署) and the staff will walk you through the process of submitting the application.

Who Needs a Qualified Invoice Number?

  • Registered businesses in Japan engaging in taxable transactions.
  • Foreign entities conducting business in Japan.
  • SMEs, unless they fall under specific exemption criteria.

Exemption for Smaller Businesses

Notably, businesses with annual taxable sales under JPY 10 million may be exempt from the requirement of issuing qualified invoices. However, understanding the nuances of this exemption is crucial, as it affects the ability to claim input tax credits and maintain compliance.

Understanding the Necessity and Exemption Criteria

The necessity of a Qualified Invoice Number, or understanding if your business qualifies for an exemption, is vital for:

  • Ensuring eligibility for tax credits.
  • Maintaining compliant financial practices.
  • Streamlining audits and tax reporting.

Implications of Non-Compliance and Misunderstanding Exemptions

Neglecting the proper use of Qualified Invoice Numbers, or misinterpreting exemption criteria, can lead to:

  • Ineligibility for input tax credit claims.
  • Increased risk of financial penalties and audits.
  • Complications in tax reporting and record-keeping.


Determining the need for a Qualified Invoice Number, or understanding your exemption status, is a pivotal aspect of Japan’s tax compliance. This is especially relevant for SMEs and foreign businesses aiming to operate effectively within Japan’s regulatory framework. For more detailed information and guidance, refer to our white paper here, and always consult with your local tax office (税務署) or a tax professional.