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Never paid ward tax/health insurance. Am I a criminal??

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  • Never paid ward tax/health insurance. Am I a criminal??

    With all the talk of taxes I am starting to deeply reconsider my frivolous actions.

    Is it true that ward tax from your first year in Japan does not have to be paid once you have lived here for over 1 year?

    I have lived in 4 different wards in Tokyo so far and have never really had the liquidity or presence of mind to pay my residence tax. I have received the payment slips and still sometimes receive mail from wards I have previously lived in. But is it okay to disregard all from my first year in Japan and just start paying for whatever I have been owing since the start of 2012?

    Also, I have a National Health Insurance card but have never paid the premiums..... If I wanted to use the 70% discount, would I have to be up to date on payments first? I am not planning to use it but you never know when you might need medical assistance, and it isn't free (unlike in the UK )

    I am asking because I am into my 2nd year now and not planning to leave Japan. My financial situation has also taken a dramatic turn for the stable and I really want to become an upstanding citizen!

    Thank you for your advice.

  • #2
    No, you will be paying back whatever ward tax you still owe them. That is everything you owe them in any ward you have lived in. They will ask for a lumb sum payment which you may decline. Instead ask to pay it back in installments together with your new ward tax. Failure to pay up for a number of years will result in them taking sudden possession of your money in any bank account you have and in some cases even your property such as luxury items etc.

    As long as your insurance card is valid (see expiry date) you can use it at dentists and hospitals etc. Once it expires you will need to go to the ward office and apply for a new one at which time they will confront you with your outstanding bills. Again, pay the lump sum or go for installments.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Esc View Post
      No, you will be paying back whatever ward tax you still owe them. That is everything you owe them in any ward you have lived in. They will ask for a lumb sum payment which you may decline. Instead ask to pay it back in installments together with your new ward tax. Failure to pay up for a number of years will result in them taking sudden possession of your money in any bank account you have and in some cases even your property such as luxury items etc.

      As long as your insurance card is valid (see expiry date) you can use it at dentists and hospitals etc. Once it expires you will need to go to the ward office and apply for a new one at which time they will confront you with your outstanding bills. Again, pay the lump sum or go for installments.
      Okay! Thank you for the clear advice on how to proceed.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sideways_gun View Post
        With all the talk of taxes I am starting to deeply reconsider my frivolous actions.

        Is it true that ward tax from your first year in Japan does not have to be paid once you have lived here for over 1 year?

        I have lived in 4 different wards in Tokyo so far and have never really had the liquidity or presence of mind to pay my residence tax. I have received the payment slips and still sometimes receive mail from wards I have previously lived in. But is it okay to disregard all from my first year in Japan and just start paying for whatever I have been owing since the start of 2012?

        Also, I have a National Health Insurance card but have never paid the premiums..... If I wanted to use the 70% discount, would I have to be up to date on payments first? I am not planning to use it but you never know when you might need medical assistance, and it isn't free (unlike in the UK )

        I am asking because I am into my 2nd year now and not planning to leave Japan. My financial situation has also taken a dramatic turn for the stable and I really want to become an upstanding citizen!

        Thank you for your advice.
        The NHI premiums in your first year should be very low, so you probably don't have much to catch up on. Also, you wouldn't start owing the local tax on your 2011 income until after mid-2012, so you're probably not as far behind as you think.

        Go down to your ward office and inquire. Then report back.

        Financially,
        A.

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