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Be wary of your investments -- the TAXMAN is watching

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  • Originally posted by caramellocap View Post
    The Japanese NTA aren't fools - they know gaijin have bank accounts back home and most don't say anything about it at tax time.
    It's clear that they can get info if they want it. I would hope that other countries' tax authorities require the NTA to prove a need for the info, but I wouldn't assume anything. They probably have a lot of leeway. I wouldn't be surprised if in addition to going after likely targets, they pull a certain number of random names for discovery.

    I have no intention of hiding earnings, but am more concerned about being surprised by a change in tax treatment. As I said before, I'd hate to file one year, then get a letter stating that they're now taxing 401(k) earnings annually. "No problem, so sorry. Just pay tax and fine, then all done." The only guarantee about tax is that they'll take more if they need it.

    I didn't know that Japanese accountants don't advise their clients on reducing tax. Is the tax shelter concept very common in Japanese tax law?
    Last edited by gaijin ga iru; 2012-12-10, 04:04 PM.

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    • An update -- for some

      There has been talk that appeals can be made to tax audits/income tax filings. I definitely wanted to revisit my own audit, knowing that I was taken advantage of by virtue of not having known enough. So I asked for clarification from my accountant who has advised me today that the law includes income of or from 2011. Hoping this helps someone! If so, I'm in the mood for a Hoegaarden white.

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      • Originally posted by caramellocap View Post
        Yeah and he'd been transferring small or relatively small amounts for a long time. There's a pattern there. I'm surprised that somebody like you with permanent residency doesn't realise how under the microscope we are.

        Most gaijin whether Engrish teachers or business people like me will be scrutinised far more as the world's countries are broke and as usual seek to obtain whatever they can get hold of from the productive. That includes people with savings etc that haven't been declared even if these are small compared to those of the bigger fish. That's the way the world works.
        Oh, bullsht. NTA isn`t going to waste time scrutinizing a return unless you draw attention to yourself or earn over a certain amount and (unlike the IRS) NTA has as never required information on my overseas accounts. Now if NTA suddenly does decide to keep closer tabs all they need do is require us to declare said accounts including the account#, interest/dividends earned as well as any funds over ten thousand dollars. They can submit the information to the IRS for example for verification. This business of grandom auditsh and being "under a microscope" especially if you don`t earn much is nonsense. You want to avoid getting nabbed? Be careful about how you move money around.

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        • Originally posted by Ken44 View Post
          Oh, bullsht. NTA isn`t going to waste time scrutinizing a return unless you draw attention to yourself or earn over a certain amount and (unlike the IRS) NTA has as never required information on my overseas accounts. Now if NTA suddenly does decide to keep closer tabs all they need do is require us to declare said accounts including the account#, interest/dividends earned as well as any funds over ten thousand dollars. They can submit the information to the IRS for example for verification. This business of grandom auditsh and being "under a microscope" especially if you don`t earn much is nonsense. You want to avoid getting nabbed? Be careful about how you move money around.
          I dunno why you seem so thick or ____y on this subject as you're a decent poster on other issues.

          You're saying 'NTA has never required information on my overseas accounts' but all gaijin who have spent 5 yrs residency in Japan ARE TREATED AS PERMANENT RESIDENTS FOR TAX PURPOSES regardless of whether they actually have the PR visa or not. I'm assuming you're like me, supergrover, chainbolt, etc and have legal Permanent Residency.

          In that case and in the case where you don't have PR but have been resident for 5 yrs in Japan, at tax time you have to tell the taxman if you have accounts, savings, investments outside Japan including of course in your home country. In other posts you've admitted you've told the Japanese taxman that no, you don't have anything outside Japan. Risky.

          Of course they're gonna target you and I more than a gaijin who is not married to a Japanese, doesn't have legal PR and is likely to leave Japan rather than keep renewing or get PR. I loathe the habit govts have of ratcheting up taxation in all forms to pay for their waste, their crooked politicians and public servants who will live high on the hog when they finish their cushy jobs - in Oz these scum are getting gold pass travel for life for them and their families, virtually taxless high incomes for life and are building hugely expensive houses or buying hugely expensive houses to live away from all the illegals and so called 'refugees' that are sometimes criminals in disguise that they allowed to come into my country and soak up middle income savers' money.

          But the fact is I have to declare my earnings/investments etc in both countries. You telling the Japanese tax authorities you don't have these things outside Japan means they will most likely catch you in the future and clobber you the way they did to supergrover and others. Risky business for you to lie to the taxman here.

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          • Originally posted by caramellocap View Post
            ...Of course they're gonna target you and I more than a gaijin who is not married to a Japanese, doesn't have legal PR and is likely to leave Japan rather than keep renewing or get PR.

            Why would they target me at all?

            Time and money is better spent elsewhere than randomly auditing a gaijin PR or no PR.

            Originally posted by caramellocap View Post
            ...
            But the fact is I have to declare my earnings/investments etc in both countries. You telling the Japanese tax authorities you don't have these things outside Japan means they will most likely catch you in the future and clobber you the way they did to supergrover and others. Risky business for you to lie to the taxman here.
            Why should I worry about getting audited just because you tell NTA about your overseas earnings/investments?

            I say NTA (much like the IRS) focuses on those individuals or returns which catch their attention. If anything NTA is likely to focus their energy looking at high-income J-citizens with earnings/assets abroad and not go fishing after low-income gaijins on the off-chance they might be hiding something.
            Last edited by Ken44; 2012-12-15, 11:17 PM.

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            • Originally posted by Ken44 View Post
              Why would they target me at all?

              Time and money is better spent elsewhere than randomly auditing a gaijin PR or no PR.

              Why should I worry about getting audited just because you tell NTA about your overseas earnings/investments?

              I say NTA (much like the IRS) focuses on those individuals or returns which catch their attention. If anything NTA is likely to focus their energy looking at high-income J-citizens with earnings/assets abroad and not go fishing after low-income gaijins on the off-chance they might be hiding something.
              It's simple - Japanese residency after 5 yrs is considered PR and thus worldwide income has to be declared. For those gaijin like us who are PR in legal fact as regards our visa, the NTA is far more interested in us than in the gaijin who has lived in Japan for over 5 yrs but is still on an Instructor or Specialist in Humanities visa or whatever and does not have the status of Permanent Resident that we do.

              The reason for this is they are less likely to have significant money/investments than a Permanent Resident who obtained PR by marrying a Japanese citizen or somebody who obtained official PR by living and working long enough in Japan to have a vested interest in this country and will stay rather than go back home after a certain period like most Engrish teachers who are not married to Japanese, for example.

              I am not suggesting you tell the NTA every detail of your income/investments outside Japan even down to an ordinary account with a few thousand in it. I am telling you that when you lie to any tax authorities including the Japanese when you have PR and are expected to declare your income etc abroad as well as that in Japan, then it's going to probably end in tears some time in the future.

              You yourself have said you replied 'No' when the tax people asked you about income outside of Japan. You lied, I don't blame people for doing that as I am ideologically opposed to govts that levy a tax to pay for war, tell the people of their country that it's temporary and then never remove the tax but keep adding to the burden. What I described was the history of post WW2 taxation in our home countries in a nutshell.

              I'm also opposed to the welfare state (not to welfare to assist those who genuinely cannot survive or live to a certain standard of living without it) that keeps growing as govts and politicians keep re-distributing the earned and saved income of the productive and thrifty to those who see this money going to them as an entitlement.

              Govts and politicians often are simply ensuring their own political gain by targeting groups who will keep them in power as long as the freebies keep coming courtesy of those taxpayers who save and look after themselves instead of blowing their money and expecting others to replace it.

              Govts and politicians take a generous helping to keep themselves and their families in free travel, expensive private property and other privileges for the rest of their lives when they have finished with governing and politicking.

              There is nothing moral about paying taxes when they are used like this and in other ways like them.

              There is no moral/ethical obligation to pay taxes to service the interest govts have to pay on the debts they run up when they borrow from the private banks that control the system - anybody who thinks our taxes pay for 'services' needs to do some serious reading.

              Just as there is no moral/ethical obligation to give your taxes to the govt to give to people who are unwilling to pay for things such as plasma tvs, eating out, brand clothes, the latest electronic toys, drinking alcohol etc by being thrifty and saving for them.

              Significant numbers of Australians and Brits on welfare benefits don't want to pay necessities but are the ones blowing their tax payer funded money on eating out, giving their kids the expensive newest toys etc from the money they get from taxpayers who do make sacrifices to save their money.

              Then the rent etc goes unpaid and yet again the tax payer who is productive and thrifty pays again for those who want what the affluent have despite the fact they don't have their qualifications, skills, income or even the mindset that would make them see that if you don't have the bucks to pay for these kinds of things, stiff sh-it, you shouldn't expect it from others.

              So much of our tax yen goes on redistribution to cronies of govt and politicians and a surprisingly high amount on dubious projects linked to criminals. Let's not forget the disgusting waste on laying concrete everywhere.

              Much taxation is immoral and unethical - but it's a fact of life and lying to the tax authorities by not declaring your income outside Japan is a big risk. I don't believe the J authorities are as stupid as you think to take your declarations of no other income at face value.
              Last edited by caramellocap; 2012-12-17, 06:55 PM.

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              • Originally posted by Ken44 View Post
                Why would they target me at all?
                The need for "drinkin'-silver" is the only plausible reason I could suggest.

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                • Originally posted by caramellocap View Post
                  It's simple
                  ...............
                  Much taxation is immoral and unethical - but it's a fact of life and lying to the tax authorities by not declaring your income outside Japan is a big risk. I don't believe the J authorities are as stupid as you think to take your declarations of no other income at face value.
                  You had me at "It's simple".

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                  • Originally posted by caramellocap View Post
                    ... In that case and in the case where you don't have PR but have been resident for 5 yrs in Japan, at tax time you have to tell the taxman if you have accounts, savings, investments outside Japan including of course in your home country. ...
                    Oh, really? I have never told them and have never found a requirement to do so. Could you provide a reference for this requirement?

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                    • Originally posted by Hijinx View Post
                      Is it only me who thinks the "Really?" interrogative needs to be out to rest? So overdone, that is.


                      As is "seriously", and "just saying"...

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                      • Originally posted by TJrandom View Post
                        Oh, really? I have never told them and have never found a requirement to do so. Could you provide a reference for this requirement?
                        http://www.nta.go.jp/tetsuzuki/shink...011/pdf/43.pdf

                        carmellocap is right. There is no doubt that the obligation exists. People saying they have zero savings or income abroad is not credible. It isn't smart, legal or moral to evade all tax on overseas income, by deception, for years and then get hit with it all in one go plus possible penalties.

                        You have to play the game. I don't have to be an angel - just better than a significant number.

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                        • Originally posted by Brown Cow View Post
                          http://www.nta.go.jp/tetsuzuki/shink...011/pdf/43.pdf

                          carmellocap is right. There is no doubt that the obligation exists. People saying they have zero savings or income abroad is not credible. It isn't smart, legal or moral to evade all tax on overseas income, by deception, for years and then get hit with it all in one go plus possible penalties.

                          You have to play the game. I don't have to be an angel - just better than a significant number.
                          There are 70 pages in that document... could you help a fellow out and tell me the page number, or section reference? I am referring to the requirement that one must disclose information on bank accounts or other forms of savings.

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                          • Originally posted by TJrandom View Post
                            There are 70 pages in that document... could you help a fellow out and tell me the page number, or section reference? I am referring to the requirement that one must disclose information on bank accounts or other forms of savings.
                            Used to be a requiring for anyone earning over JPY 20M to declare all assets and liabilities including those overseas. With changes introduced in 2012 this is being applied more broadly.

                            Discussed here:

                            http://www.expat-cafe.com/bbs/viewto...p?t=507&p=6825

                            Obviously, compliance is your choice.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by iago View Post
                              Used to be a requiring for anyone earning over JPY 20M to declare all assets and liabilities including those overseas. With changes introduced in 2012 this is being applied more broadly.

                              Discussed here:

                              http://www.expat-cafe.com/bbs/viewto...p?t=507&p=6825

                              Obviously, compliance is your choice.
                              50 million yen? No one here on GP needs to worry about that requirement.

                              "Where an individual Japanese tax resident (not including non-permanent residents) owns assets outside Japan having a value greater than fifty million Japanese Yen (around USD625,000 at USD1=JPY80) during a calendar year ended 31 December then the individual is required to prepare a schedule of those assets (below a gForeign Asset Reporth and in Japanese gŠO‘àŽY’²‘h or gaikoku zaisan chousho) that should be submitted to the relevant tax office by the 15th of March after the year concerned. 15 March is also the final due date for submission of a Japanese individual income tax return."

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Hijinx View Post
                                50 million yen? No one here on GP needs to worry about that requirement.

                                "Where an individual Japanese tax resident (not including non-permanent residents) owns assets outside Japan having a value greater than fifty million Japanese Yen (around USD625,000 at USD1=JPY80) during a calendar year ended 31 December then the individual is required to prepare a schedule of those assets (below a gForeign Asset Reporth and in Japanese gŠO‘àŽY’²‘h or gaikoku zaisan chousho) that should be submitted to the relevant tax office by the 15th of March after the year concerned. 15 March is also the final due date for submission of a Japanese individual income tax return."
                                You don't have to prepare a schedule of assets if the portfolio is less than 50 million but you still have to declare the income generated on your tax return. In other words, you are exempted providing the details but you still have to declare the bottom line.

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