Tag Archive Japan tax refund

What is a Blue tax return system for income tax purposes in Japan?

Blue tax return system in Japan is intended to improve accounting practices of taxpayers and encourage honest self-assessment. Those who maintain proper accounts as required under the blue tax return system are given certain privileges for tax purposes. Basically, there are two types of income tax returns which taxpayers can choose from: White Form or Blue Form. Blue tax return is usually preferable because it offers some extra tax benefits, including special deductions.

 

Blue tax return system for individuals

When sole traders start a business in Japan, they can take advantage of income deduction by filing an application form for approval of filing blue return. White filing is the default, so if you do nothing you are automatically considered as a White-form filer. The tax authority requires the following for the blue return taxpayer:

1. Filing the application form by March 15.
2. Filing the application form within 2 months of business commencement if taxpayers start a business after January 16 of the year.
3. Taxpayers are required to keep correct accounting records and journals.
4. The blue tax return must be filed together with the balance sheet, income statement, and other documents indicating the items necessary for calculating the income amount.

 

What is the tax merits for blue tax return filing status?

Once a taxpayer obtains approval, he or she is entitled to file a blue return for all subsequent years. If the taxpayers meet the above requirements, the blue tax return system provides the following benefits:

1. A deduction of up to JPY650,000 is available if the taxpayers keep double-entry accounting records, and attach the income statement and the balance sheet on the return.
2. A deduction of up to JPY100,000 is available if the taxpayers keep single-entry records for their business.
3. A net loss for a year can be carried forward to the next 3 years.
4. A net loss for a year can be carried back to the preceding year.
5. The taxpayer is allowed to treat the payment of wages as deductible expenses when it is paid to relatives living in the same household (family employees).

Please note that JPY100,000 is deducted from the taxable income for property owners. If they operate more than 5 houses or a building with more than 10 rooms, JPY650,000 is deducted. If you plan to apply for JPY100,000 deduction, you need to prepare a spreadsheet which includes the detailed amount of revenue, expenses and cash balance. Using accounting software is recommended when you apply for JPY650,000 deduction.

 

Blue tax return system for corporations

If the company has blue-form tax return filing status, tax losses can be carried forward and utilized against taxable income for the following periods:

①9 succeeding years – tax losses incurred in fiscal years ending on or after April 1, 2008 and beginning before April 1, 2018
②10 succeeding years – tax losses incurred in fiscal years ending on or after April 1, 2018

Submission of an application should be done by whichever is earlier, either 3 months from the establishment of the company or the end of the first fiscal year. Generally, corporations file the application for blue tax return filing status together with a notification of commencement of business establishment to the tax office.

Guide to income tax refund in Japan

You might think that claiming an income tax refund in Japan can be confusing and complicated. Filing a tax return isn’t easy, and especially doing it in another country can be particularly challenging. K.S. Accounting has the expertise and vast experience in the international tax field in Japan, and we have the right people to handle your income tax needs. You can still claim your tax refund up to five years. Click here for more information about our taxation services.

 

Income tax refund for employees

 

If you work for a Japanese company and that’s your sole source of income in Japan, your company will take care of every tax matters for you. However, it would be advisable to file a tax return in a certain situation, as you can get a tax refund when certain conditions are met. For example, you can claim a tax refund in the following:

 

・If you left a company and your company didn’t carry out a year-end adjustment procedure for you, you may get a tax refund.
・If you have a large amount of medical expenses, you can apply for medical expenses deduction on your income tax return.
・Income tax on lump-sum withdrawal payments*
・If you buy or build your own home in Japan and has an outstanding loan balance, you can apply for special tax credit about the housing loan.**

 

*Certain persons who enrolled in Japanese public pension schemes for 6 months or longer can apply for lump-sum withdrawal payments to the Japan Pension Service after they leave Japan. When you receive the payments, income tax at a rate of 20.42% on the amount to be paid is withheld from the payment. In this case, you may claim a tax refund if you opt to file a tax return.

**There are a bunch of rules associated with this system. For example, the tax credit is only available for personal residences and cannot be applied for holiday homes, second homes or rental properties. The tax office will require a proof of residence. Your personal annual income must not exceed JPY30M, and the tax credit is only available for a period of 10 years from purchase. Please note that non-residents (those who are living overseas and who do not have residence in Japan) are eligible for purchase after April 2016.

 

Income tax refund for non-resident property owners

 

If the tenant of your property is a company (e.g. a company renting the apartment for their employees), the tenant must withhold 20.42% of the monthly rent. If the withholding tax paid is higher than your income tax payable, the excess can be refunded.

You must pay income tax on the profit you make from renting out the property, after deductions for “allowable expenses”. Allowable expenses are things you need to spend money on the day-to-day running of the property. If your property business is in deficit, you don’t need to pay tax and you can claim a tax refund. (Maintenance costs or depreciation expenses tend to be large for property business, and income tax can be often refunded.)

In that case, you will need to appoint a tax agent in Japan to file a tax return on your behalf to the tax office. We’d be glad to offer tax preparation services online even for overseas residents. If you have any concerns about Japanese taxation, please feel free to contact us.