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How do I pay income tax after first year in Japan?

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Good Afternoon,

I am looking for help with this question I have relating to tax, its something im really worried about. Looking for answers from obviously foreigners who are actually living and working in Japan and have been here over a year.

I came to Japan in April 2016 on a Working Holiday Visa and started working right away part-time. I changed to a Spouse Visa in April this year. As you may know the tax rates for foreigners in their first year are very low. Anyway, everyone keeps telling me after the first year I have to pay income tax, which is fine, however nothing has changed so im worried about back payments building up.

I had my paycheck from my job last on May 10th and again paid no income tax. Is it simply a case of calling the city office and saying that I want to pay income tax? Sure it cant be this difficult to WANT to pay tax.
I just dont want to break any laws.

Thanks!
 
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Mike Cash

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Employers usually take care of all that. Do you not receive a payslip from yours indicating your wages and deductions for various taxes?

Ask your employer what they take out and submit for you. Anything else, you will need to take care of yourself. At the risk of p!ssing you off again....you're married to a Japanese adult; she can help you with this.
 

Lothor

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Good Afternoon,

I am looking for help with this question I have relating to tax, its something im really worried about. Looking for answers from obviously foreigners who are actually living and working in Japan and have been here over a year.

I came to Japan in April 2016 on a Working Holiday Visa and started working right away part-time. I changed to a Spouse Visa in April this year. As you may know the tax rates for foreigners in their first year are very low. Anyway, everyone keeps telling me after the first year I have to pay income tax, which is fine, however nothing has changed so im worried about back payments building up.

I had my paycheck from my job last on May 10th and again paid no income tax. Is it simply a case of calling the city office and saying that I want to pay income tax? Sure it cant be this difficult to WANT to pay tax.
I just dont want to break any laws.

Thanks!
Did you get a 源泉徴収票 (gensenchoushuuhyou, I still find it a mouthful after 13 years in Japan) from the people you were working for in 2016?
This is a statement saying how much you earned last year, which your employer should give you at the start of the year. I always get mine on my first payday in January. Once you have this, all you need to do is go to your local tax office and they will help you to declare your income and they will work out how much you owe/are owed and use it to calculate your local taxes for the coming year. There is a time of year that you are supposed to do it (roughly Feb and March where I live) but the first time I visited them was out of season and there were no problems.
Take your passport for reference, you will probably have to fill in a separate form (in English if you want) on income from abroad and exact dates when you have been in and outside Japan.
By the way, I've always found the people at the ward tax office unfailingly friendly and helpful, so the experience might be less traumatic than you expect. Let us know how it goes.

Mike Cash - "you're married to a Japanese adult; she can help you with this." In theory, yes, but my Japanese wife's employer takes care of all her tax payments and she was completely ignorant of how the system worked, and I had to work it all out for myself.
 

Mike Cash

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Mike Cash - "you're married to a Japanese adult; she can help you with this." In theory, yes, but my Japanese wife's employer takes care of all her tax payments and she was completely ignorant of how the system worked, and I had to work it all out for myself.
My employer takes care of all my taxes as well.

My point was not that Japanese people automatically know everything about living in Japan. I long ago learned the hard way that they don't and that it is foolish to think they do. She is, however, perfectly capable of googling information in Japanese and of telephoning public offices in search of information. His posting history gives the impression he has a certain reluctance to accept as valid any information that doesn't come from his fellow gaijins.
 

Lothor

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Take your wife with you to city hall or the local ward office and ask these questions.
That's also a good idea. Me and Mrs Lothor sometimes deal with things in this way and have found that a 'good cop, bad cop' routine works well - I'm the smiley, polite, diffident person with limited language skills and she's the native Japanese speaking dragon.
 

Mike Cash

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Don't forget to look into things like your 市民税 and 県民税 in addition to your income taxes. Make sure you're squared away on your health insurance, pension, and all that stuff as well. You don't want it all coming up and biting you in the butt later on.
 

KyushuWoozy

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Me and Mrs Lothor sometimes deal with things in this way and have found that a 'good cop, bad cop' routine works well - I'm the smiley, polite, diffident person with limited language skills and she's the native Japanese speaking dragon.
That's interesting because we usually do it the other way around. She's the polite smiley one who does the endless skirting around the point (especially when money is concerned). My role is to be way too direct but to the point. We played this several times this week dealing with car salesmen.
 

Lothor

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That's interesting because we usually do it the other way around. She's the polite smiley one who does the endless skirting around the point (especially when money is concerned). My role is to be way too direct but to the point. We played this several times this week dealing with car salesmen.
I think that our method is more disconcerting because most Japanese would expect the opposite - it also more closely matches our personalities!
 

KyushuWoozy

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As you may know the tax rates for foreigners in their first year are very low. Anyway, everyone keeps telling me after the first year I have to pay income tax
I don't quite get this. I've been reading quite a lot about (yuk!) taxes in Japan and never came across this. Is there some kind of waiver for foreigners in our first year (yipee!). What I did read is that the prepayment isn't due because prepayment of taxes is based on previous year's income (and obviously a newbie in Japan didn't have a previous year's income). But at the end of the tax year aren't we subject to the same taxes as everyone else?

Or am I missing something? Hope so ...
 

KyushuWoozy

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Perhaps it's this tax that people mentioned to you rather than income tax:

"Residential tax (juminzei) is paid as a local tax. This tax is based off the previous year´s income, and must be paid if an individual has lived in Japan for more than a year. Residents pay this tax to the municipality that they lived in on January 1."
 
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