Japanese employers submit employees’ tax returns on their behalf (but there are exceptions)
All residents in Japan who get incomes here are required to submit their tax returns to their local tax office year by year. In Japan tax returns are called “Kakutei Shinkoku [確定申告]” As you know, you report your annual incomes and exemptions through your tax returns and pay taxes according to the report. So it is the rule that you are required to submit them in the beginning of the next year.
However in Japan, it is also the rule that employers (basically) withhold taxes and social security payments from employees’ salary, that is called “Gensen Choshu” system. Employers in turn submit employees’ tax returns on their behalf, that is called “Nencho” or “Nenmatsu Chosei”. For details of them please see this article of this blog.
So ordinary employees in Japan don’t have to submit their tax returns by themselves. But there are exceptions as follows:
[You need to submit tax returns]
- If an employee receives his/her annual salary over 20 million yen, then he/she is required to submit the tax return in anyway.
- If an employee earns incomes outside his/ her salary (rent, capital gain, self-earning activities, etc) over 0.2 million yen per one year, then he/she is required to submit tax the return even if receiving salary under 20 million yen.
- If an employee receives his/her salary from two or more employers at the same time, then he/she is required to submit the tax return.
[No responsibility to to submit a tax return but you might get tax refunds through submitting]
- Some employers don’t proceed “Nencho” and let their employees proceed their tax returns. In such a case you can see “年調未済 [Nencho Misai]”, meaning “not ‘Nencho’ proceeded”, on Gensen Choshu-hyo. Above all employers usually print “年調未済” in the Gensen Choshu-hyo of the final employment year. If you can find “年調未済” on your Gensen Choshu-hyo, then it is possible that you can get a tax refund through submitting a tax return by yourself.
You can submit this year’s tax return from February 16th of the next year
Japanese local tax offices accept your tax return from February 16th of the next year. For example, you can submit 2023’s tax return from February 16th of 2024. Local tax offices designate the date to submit tax return from February 16th to March 15th.
What happens if you forget submitting a tax return by March 15th? Even so local tax office will accept your tax return. But too late to submit might force you to pay a penalty tax of delaying. So please submit your tax return by March 15th of the next year, if you are required to do it.
Tax return not to pay a tax but get tax refunds only
You can claim your tax refund if employer(s) withhold your income tax (“Gensen Choshu”) more than the amount you are required, and no “Nencho” is proceeded. In that case you can see “年調未済” on your Gensen Choshu-hyo.
In such a case you are permitted to submit a tax return before February 16th. Especially if you end the employment and leave Japan in the middle of the year, some local tax offices accept your tax return just after you leave Japan because your income in Japan won’t get added anymore for that year.
- [Example] If you end your employment and leave Japan in March 2024 and you have only tax refund but no more tax payment for year 2024, then some local tax offices accept your tax return just after you leave Japan, from April 2024.
However, some local tax offices might not accept such a tax return as the above example. In this case the tax office will send your claim back and request it to get submitted again when year 2025 comes.
After leaving Japan you need to designate your tax agent (“納税管理人”. For details, please see this article of our blog) and let him/her submit your tax returns. So we recommend you to let him/her submit the tax return of year 2024 after year 2025 comes, even if you have only tax refund but no more tax payment for year 2024.
YouAT LLC gives you services for Japanese pension and tax refunds
We YouAT LLC has more than 10 year’s history to support non-Japanese employees’ “Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments”, “Old Age Pension”, and income tax refunds.
We have staff of Labor and Social Security Attorney, Administrative Scrivener, and Tax Accountant.
YouAT LLC website — > www.youat-jp.com/
Email –> email@example.com
(Oda Mitsuo, YouAT LLC)