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Big non payment of ward tax bill!

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  • Big non payment of ward tax bill!

    For various reasons I have fallen badly behind with my ward tax and they have sent me a letter telling me that they are going to investigate my finances, sieze my assets and so on.
    The thing is, the investigation into my finances happens the day before I leave Japan for good.
    Im not looking to be torn to shreds because I know Im in the wrong but I really dont have the money to pay it.Im just looking for some opinions as to what people would do in this situation.
    Im thinking either go to them and try to come to some arangement whereby I could pay it off in installments or just put my head down and hope I get through immigration with no questions asked.
    Its nearly half a million yen.

  • #2
    Immigration has absolutely no connection to the ward gov't. They won't ask and won't care.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by keeva72 View Post
      The thing is, the investigation into my finances happens the day before I leave Japan for good.
      Do, why not to leave it for good? You said you don`t have any money to pay. If you don`t leave, the money will show up?

      You don`t have a bid choice here. Take your passport, do not leave any cash in Japanese banks and go home. Or pay your taxes in full.

      Comment


      • #4
        Or settle with the ward office. If he went in and told them he was leaving soon, they'd let him get away with a pittance.

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        • #5
          tell them you would like to pay but can't pay in full, they're usually flexible about making partial payment arrangements over a span of time.
          pay part of it at least, and they probably won't investigate, or at least they'll put off the investigation until later. How long have you not paid?

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          • #6
            See Ya...

            Settle it if you are coming back,.. otherwise why bother.
            With the financial problems you seem to had,.. Japan isn't for you, is it?

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            • #7
              Ask for an application for "bunkatsubarai" - divided payment plan.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by keeva72 View Post
                Its nearly half a million yen.
                OP, WTF?!? Did you just avoid paying it, hoping it would go away. Early on I did something similar, much to my stupidity. Luckily it's sorted. For what it's worth, I seriously doubt local government bureaucracy is any where near as far reaching or quick to act as you might imagine. If you are never coming back, there's not much to worry about.

                Originally posted by trip_hop View Post
                Ask for an application for "bunkatsubarai" - divided payment plan.
                Not meaning to be combative, but why would someone on the verge of leaving for good, want to ask for a divided payment plan?

                Two questions...

                Is there some kind of international facility to help people pay up once they've left Japan?

                Is the recovery of the debt enforceable once the debtor has left the country?

                I'm guessing the answer is no to both. What would be the point in bunkatsubarai? Other than to stall for time, or be a good egg, it would be unnecessary, no?

                Correct me if I'm wrong.
                Last edited by derv.dervish; 2009-11-15, 01:51 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by derv.dervish View Post
                  Not meaning to be combative, but why would someone on the verge of leaving for good, want to ask for a divided payment plan?

                  Two questions...

                  Is there some kind of international facility to help people pay up once they've left Japan?

                  Is the recovery of the debt enforceable once the debtor has left the country?

                  I'm guessing the answer is no to both. What would be the point in bunkatsubarai - other than to stall for time, which, if the OP were to empty their account now ,would be unnecessary?

                  Correct me if I'm wrong.
                  Im thinking either go to them and try to come to some arangement whereby I could pay it off in installments...

                  Just answering the OP's original question.

                  Of course in the long run, it does make it harder for those who remain here, but I guess that does not cross your mind. It adds to the negative perception of foreigners; yet another one who does a runner...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by trip_hop View Post
                    Just answering the OP's original question.
                    Fair enough, I just thought that as the OPs worry had been assuaged slightly by other posts - and as the OP had managed to clock up half a mil in debt in the first place...

                    Originally posted by trip_hop View Post
                    Of course in the long run, it does make it harder for those who remain here,
                    How?

                    If the Japanese government wants to behave like blinkered xenophobes on the back of a handful of tax dodgers, I'm sure they'd find another excuse if need be. Obviously the Japanese themselves are exemplary in paying their taxes and insurance premiums.

                    Originally posted by trip_hop View Post
                    but I guess that does not cross your mind.
                    Actually it did, but I seriously doubt policy responds in that way. And if I'm going to be an ambassador, I want a tray of Ferrero Rocher for my troubles. If not, you can stuff the Unkie Tom bleats, because Japan aint the land of opportunity it was for the older, more established expats amongst us.

                    Originally posted by trip_hop View Post
                    It adds to the negative perception of foreigners; yet another one who does a runner...
                    I couldn't care less what the masses in Japan think about foreigners. After almost 7 years here, I'm willing to gamble that paying up or not paying up will change noones perception, becuase I don't think it's based on reason.

                    When you tie short-term WHV and SHIS holders up in a tax system that only partially and begrudgingly provides for them, or a health plan that they don't really need, I'm not surprised they do runners.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by derv.dervish View Post
                      I couldn't care less what the masses in Japan think about foreigners. After almost 7 years here, I'm willing to gamble that paying up or not paying up will change noones perception, becuase I don't think it's based on reason.
                      OK - one example is the stricter requirement for mobile phone purchases, cited by phone cos as due to foreigners skipping on payments. It used to be easy for short-term foreigners or those on visa waivers looking for jobs to get one, now it requires proof of residency... sometimes more.

                      Fair enough, there will not likely be major policy changes due to one non-payee, but it's also fair to think that the OP's ward office rep will be a little less accommodating to the next foreigner he or she comes across, it's a human reaction.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by trip_hop View Post
                        OK - one example is the stricter requirement for mobile phone purchases, cited by phone cos as due to foreigners skipping on payments. It used to be easy for short-term foreigners or those on visa waivers looking for jobs to get one, now it requires proof of residency... sometimes more.
                        When I came to Japan in 2002 I was unable to get a cellphone without my gaijincard and a utilities bill. I had to wait about a month, so I'm not familiar with how things were beforehand. In my country you can buy a pay as you go phone the minute you get off the plane - as a tourist. The market is at fault here - and it's purposely restricted for other reasons that go beyond people skipping on their bills.

                        An interesting anecdote, I remember attempting to subscribe to a mobile internet provider and being knocked back despite having my passport, spouse visa, proof of address, bank details etc. The period of stay date on my gaijincard did not correspond to the extended visa stamp in my passport. The salesperson apologetically explained that the clearly stated addendum on the back of my card - which is standard practice in ward offices through out the country - was not enough to assure them I wouldn't bilk them and skip town.

                        Anyone who argues that kind of purposefully restrictive nonsense is justified can't be seeing the bigger picture. It's just another example of how the byzantine bureaucracy behaves in an overly suspicious way while citing flaccid reasons to excuse itself.

                        Originally posted by trip_hop View Post
                        Fair enough, there will not likely be major policy changes due to one non-payee, but it's also fair to think that the OP's ward office rep will be a little less accommodating to the next foreigner he or she comes across, it's a human reaction.
                        Hell, even my wife hates going to the ward office. That place is full of inept job-for-lifers who wouldn't know 'service' if it jumped up and wet-farted in their face. When they do a little more than half-heartedly stock a tired looking stand of badly translated leaflets for the average noob, I might care about their demeanor.
                        Last edited by derv.dervish; 2009-11-15, 03:05 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Immigration won't stop you

                          You can go home without any bother. You'd have to have a warrant out for your arrest for Immigration to stop you leaving.

                          But....... I know people get into all sorts of financial troubles yet I understand why the J authorities are getting more and more fed up with non payment of ward tax by gaijin.

                          I agree with dervish's principal in one respect - the Japanese (and Korean) authorities treat us as guest workers on one hand, as people with no stake in any kind of future in both countries but when it suits them we are apparently equal to Japanese and Korean citizens who have rights and privileges that we simply do not have. This happens when they want our money. We subsidise all those Japanese citizens not paying their health insurance and we subsidise those Japanese families and old people who pay comparitively less than we do in terms of our average earnings if we are not married.

                          However, paying tax in any country is an obligation of residency. That simple fact won't go away. The only reason gaijin get away with dodging it is because the system is still set up to allow payment in the voucher way rather than automatically taking it out of everybody's pay. That doesn't make it less of an obligation for us.

                          I second Ms Trip Hop - go to your ward office, apologise and say you honestly want to pay it but you are leaving Japan soon and you need to hear some options. You never know when you might want to go back to Japan. Don't burn your bridges.
                          I made sure I paid everything before I left - I could have got away with not doing that but despite what some cynics will say, it's fine to be honest and it does have its own pluses.

                          I should add I now work in Korea. Tax dodging is even more widespread among Koreans here than it was in Japan among the Japanese. My employer makes sure they take everything they can from my packpacket under the guise of 'tax' but some of this is unclear. I am likely subsidising their tax dodging, and relatively recently employers here started a scam with the tax office's blessing whereby they can cut out pension contributions that they are supposed to pay so they only pay 70 percent. There is nothing I can do about this short of quitting but I like my job in many ways and it's a good one.

                          However, if it was up to me to pay my city tax by vouchers and not up to my employer I would pay correctly.
                          Last edited by caramellocap; 2009-11-15, 08:14 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by caramellocap View Post
                            However, paying tax in any country is an obligation of residency. That simple fact won't go away. The only reason gaijin get away with dodging it is because the system is still set up to allow payment in the voucher way rather than automatically taking it out of everybody's pay. That doesn't make it less of an obligation for us.
                            I should have made myself clearer. I'm not advocating not paying, or paying. I'm a faithful tax payer myself, but do so out of avoiding the issues not paying would raise. I couldn't say I was doing so because I thought it was the right thing. I happen to think a great deal of tax money is squandered in this country and foreigners get even less bang for their buck than the Japanese do.

                            Originally posted by caramellocap View Post
                            I second Ms Trip Hop - go to your ward office, apologise and say you honestly want to pay it but you are leaving Japan soon and you need to hear some options. You never know when you might want to go back to Japan. Don't burn your bridges.
                            That's a fair point. In fact, if the OP doesn't pay and returns to Japan at a later date, they're likely to find the bill even bigger.


                            Originally posted by caramellocap View Post
                            I made sure I paid everything before I left - I could have got away with not doing that but despite what some cynics will say, it's fine to be honest and it does have its own pluses.
                            If you never returned to Japan again - given that even if you returned as a tourist they would unlikely flag you - what are the pluses?

                            Originally posted by caramellocap View Post
                            I should add I now work in Korea. Tax dodging is even more widespread among Koreans here than it was in Japan among the Japanese. My employer makes sure they take everything they can from my packpacket under the guise of 'tax' but some of this is unclear. I am likely subsidising their tax dodging, and relatively recently employers here started a scam with the tax office's blessing whereby they can cut out pension contributions that they are supposed to pay so they only pay 70 percent. There is nothing I can do about this short of quitting but I like my job in many ways and it's a good one.
                            Are you saying that the tax office (government) and your employer are colluding to screw you out of pension premiums? In an increasingly cynical world, how can that in anyway inspire foreign workers to do the right thing? If anything, I think that kind of behavior incites tax evasion. Just like the J-gov turning a blind eye to the language schools that dodge shakai hoken payments, while simultaneuously threatening to freeze the assets of people who should have only had to pay half the bill - if their employers had done the right thing.
                            Last edited by derv.dervish; 2009-11-15, 08:56 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by keeva72 View Post
                              For various reasons I have fallen badly behind with my ward tax and they have sent me a letter telling me that they are going to investigate my finances, sieze my assets and so on.
                              The thing is, the investigation into my finances happens the day before I leave Japan for good.
                              Im not looking to be torn to shreds because I know Im in the wrong but I really dont have the money to pay it.Im just looking for some opinions as to what people would do in this situation.
                              Im thinking either go to them and try to come to some arangement whereby I could pay it off in installments or just put my head down and hope I get through immigration with no questions asked.
                              Its nearly half a million yen.
                              Immigration won't stop you. You won't be pursued overseas as the amount is too small. You can even come back on a tourist visa and they won't get you. If you come back in the future and start working again, they will eventually track you down and the bill will be a lot bigger.

                              The above is based on the case files of real people who wish to remain anonymous, even though it's obvious that it's me and some other people I know.

                              One other thing, don't patronise us with that weepy 'various reasons' bullshit. You want to be a tax cheat, well that's fine, but at least act like you have a pair of balls.
                              Last edited by ThePrisonerofZelda; 2009-11-15, 09:20 PM.

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