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Dodging inhabitant tax

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  • Dodging inhabitant tax

    Hi there,

    Disclaimer: I expect the following scheme to be at least impractical, more likely not working - and I'm probably not going to do it anyway, but I'm curious to know why it wouldn't work.

    Inhabitant tax is due only if you were "resident" in Japan on 1st Jan of that year. For foreigners, that means holding a gaijin card.
    So what about, I decide to leave the country on 30th December, give up my gaijin card at the airport, go "back home", but on 2nd January I actually change my mind and I decide to go to Japan once again, and start over with a new gaijin card etc.

    Someone (including people in J-gov) must have thought about this already. What's preventing this from being an effective way of dodging inhabitant tax?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by pizzayama View Post
    Hi there,

    Disclaimer: I expect the following scheme to be at least impractical, more likely not working - and I'm probably not going to do it anyway, but I'm curious to know why it wouldn't work.

    Inhabitant tax is due only if you were "resident" in Japan on 1st Jan of that year. For foreigners, that means holding a gaijin card.
    So what about, I decide to leave the country on 30th December, give up my gaijin card at the airport, go "back home", but on 2nd January I actually change my mind and I decide to go to Japan once again, and start over with a new gaijin card etc.

    Someone (including people in J-gov) must have thought about this already. What's preventing this from being an effective way of dodging inhabitant tax?

    Thanks

    Probably doable, although youLll have to decide if your employer is OK with your constantly changing visa situation.

    I know one English guy who lived here for 25 years on a succession of Tourist visas, so yes it has been done.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks.

      Originally posted by Derukugi View Post
      Probably doable, although youLll have to decide if your employer is OK with your constantly changing visa situation.
      If I'm here on a spouse visa I'd expect that not to be an issue. Do they cancel my visa at the airport if I give up my gaijin card? I would think not.
      On the other hand I'm wondering if J-gov can challenge my alleged intention to leave the country given my continued employment in Japan. Mind you, with an expat assignment from abroad it would probably be a very tough thing for them to prove.

      Originally posted by Derukugi View Post
      I know one English guy who lived here for 25 years on a succession of Tourist visas, so yes it has been done.
      Wow, are you allowed to do any work on a Tourist visa?

      Comment


      • #4
        well, if it was that easy, one would think that it had been tried already, and therefore there was some sort of way to prevent it.

        break the sequence of events down, though, and there would be the most obvious issues of acquiring a new card and a new visa in a 4 day span over a holiday with information matching that of a person who made money in japan up until 4 days prior and then being ready for work.

        'losing' and getting a new passport and staying home 2 months or so could possibly throw off suspicion when re-entering but how many times can you trick both your home country AND japan on such a regular schedule before someone gets suspicious?

        what i DO know is that if you do not pay any or all of your resident taxes, the reminder bill wont come until theyve looked over your paperwork come tax season. if this was definitely your LAST year here, then why not? take home an iphone for 0 yen while youre at it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ask your friend Debito !! Save the plane fares, pay the tax.
          Last edited by easa; 2009-06-08, 08:55 PM.

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          • #6
            If you do not have a re-entry permit when you leave you cancel your visa. When you come back you either have to have a visa or you can come in on a tourist visa.
            Turning in or keeping your gaijin card doesn't matter , it's that "welcome back" permit that counts.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by easa View Post
              Ask your friend Debito !!
              i have to say it.
              Lol
              read that name a few times before assuming the ability of insight into the japanese psyche.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by pizzayama View Post
                If I'm here on a spouse visa I'd expect that not to be an issue. Do they cancel my visa at the airport if I give up my gaijin card? I would think not.
                I would think they do. So when you come back the next day, you are not on a spouse visa; you are another lowly tourist.

                Originally posted by pizzayama View Post
                Wow, are you allowed to do any work on a Tourist visa?
                Nope. I only reported on what the guy did; not on the legality of it.

                In the event, he did not have steady employment; he was in the translation business, making a lot of money on translating huge tender documents (this was all in the boom years).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Derukugi View Post
                  I would think they do. So when you come back the next day, you are not on a spouse visa; you are another lowly tourist.
                  Yeah, that makes sense actually. You give up residency, therefore we also reserve the right to tear up your re-entry visa, good luck with any future application, especially if you submit it tomorrow.

                  Originally posted by Derukugi View Post
                  Nope. I only reported on what the guy did; not on the legality of it.
                  Fair enough. I am merely interested in the reason why such a possible *legal* loophole is (probably) ineffective/not worth it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    See the first thread in this forum. Maybe that will convince you that while it is understandable, it is also stupid to dodge inhabitant's tax.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by caramellocap View Post
                      See the first thread in this forum. Maybe that will convince you that while it is understandable, it is also stupid to dodge inhabitant's tax.
                      Once again, I was asking about a *legal* loophole. But thanks for the heads-up.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        the what tax? ive never paid it, am I in trouble and how much is it??

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by currypanman View Post
                          the what tax? ive never paid it, am I in trouble and how much is it??
                          Read Section 2

                          http://www.hi-ho.ne.jp/yokoyama-a/taxationinjapan.htm

                          or read:

                          http://www.pref.saitama.lg.jp/A12/BF...e20guide09.pdf

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hello Pizzayama,

                            I think there are a couple of problems with the process you were contemplating.

                            1. You don't actually hand in your ARC to the ward, you hand it in to immigration when you leave the country. Usually you will fill out that purple card that is stapled in your passport, and that notifies immigration that you are leaving for good. That is also when they will ask you to hand over your ARC. So this makes it rather difficult for someone to leave and come back.

                            2. There is also the question of intention. If you live in Shinjuku, and you tell Shinjuku Ward that you will be leaving on Dec 30th, but then spend the New Year holidays vacationing in Guam, and return on January 2nd - and decide you would once again like to take up residence in Shinjuku Ward, I think you will have a very hard time convincing them that you actually "left" the ward. It will be particularly problematic if your address is unchanged, and you did not cancel any utilities or other services.

                            There was a mile-wide loophole with regard to resident taxes a while ago. If I recall correctly, some politicians were doing something like #2 above - and were holidaying on January 1st, thereby claiming that their physical absence from their ward/city made them exempt from having to pay those taxes. This loophole got a lot of press, and the politicians were exposed for being the tax-dodgers they were. The loophole was subsequently closed, and now its pretty tough to get around the residence taxes without doing something extremely aggressive (and costly).

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