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Leaving Japan – A Checklist

Happy New Year!

It is a new year, and some of you may be preparing for a new beginning.

Some of you may be leaving Japan to live in another country for various reasons. I will outline some of the necessary general steps to take before you depart. (Tax is not my specialized field so I will only mention some general matters. I will not go into the pension, health insurance card and income tax return matters here either.) We hope you will find this information helpful as you prepare to leave Japan.

Leaving Japan - A ChecklistPhoto by on Unsplash

Notification of Moving Out (転出届)
If you are moving out of your municipality, you must submit a notification of moving out to the municipal office. If you are moving abroad, you must submit this same notification of moving out to put an end to some responsibilities.

Some people left Japan with the intention of going for only a short period and have yet to be able to return to Japan due to the Corona Disaster, which resulted in the expiration of their period of stay. In such cases, their Japanese residency did not last without submitting their notification of moving out. Suppose your employment contract with a Japanese employer will soon expire, and you no longer intend to stay in Japan. In that case, you are required to submit a notification of moving out to your municipality before leaving Japan.

Resident Tax(住民税)
Resident Tax(住民税) is a tax that must be paid to the municipality in which you live, even if you are a foreign resident, as long as you have an address in Japan as of January 1 and receive a certain amount of salary or other income. The taxable amount is determined based on the amount of income such as salary received from January 1 to December 31 of the previous year.

Generally, the corporation where the employee works deducts the tax from his/her salary (特別徴収 special collection), but in certain cases, individual residents may pay the resident tax (普通徴収 ordinary collection).

There is also a way to have the corporation deduct all of the unpaid resident tax from your salary or retirement allowance and pay it to the municipality (lump-sum collection) before you leave Japan.

However, if your permitted period of stay extends after January 1 of the following year and you leave Japan without giving notification of your moving-out, you may be subject to resident tax even though you are no longer living in Japan.

Tax payment administrator(納税管理人)
A Tax payment administrator(納税管理人) is a person who receives tax notices and pays taxes on behalf of the taxpayer. Depending on the corporation you work for, you may only be guided to appoint a tax agent, but we recommend that you properly check with the corporation you work for before leaving Japan.

Wishing you all the best for 2023.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information on this article is accurate at the time of posting, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ. If you do require advice or wish to find out more about the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

Text by: Masayo Boston (Certified Administrative Procedure Legal Specialist), January 2023
Legal Associates Office Boston (Fukuoka City)
Click here to contact by email

Fukuoka Prefecture
Published: Jan 12, 2023 / Last Updated: Jan 12, 2023

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