JET Programme participants live and work in Japan, and because they are working residents, they are liable for Japanese taxes. The specific liabilities for each participant will depend upon his or her status of residence and nationality. What follows is accurate as of January 2006 unless otherwise noted. (All JETs are strongly encouraged to read the country-specific information in the GIH.)
The following are excerpts from the JET Programme website’s Taxes page. For more general information about taxes, please visit their Taxes page directly.
Personal Income Tax
Your tax status in Japan depends largely on your nationality, the length of your stay and your occupation in Japan.
It is important to note that first and second year Canadian and New Zealand ALTs, all third year ALTs, and all CIRs and SEAs of all nationalities are liable for tax in Japan.
Tax Exemption Form
Those JET participants eligible for tax exemption in Japan according to the information in the previous section should make sure they fill out forms for tax exemption (examples in the GIH). Your Supervisor will present you with these forms for signing shortly after you arrive.
Local Inhabitants’ Tax
JETs who are liable for income taxes will likely be liable for inhabitant taxes also. Inhabitant taxes are calculated based on the previous year’s income in Japan.
The inhabitant tax bill is delivered around June for the previous January to December’s income. However, even when you are liable for taxes your first year (as are CIRs and SEAs), inhabitant taxes are generally not required in the calendar year in which you arrive. So, if you arrived in July 2006, you will have inhabitant taxes due in 2007.
Contracting organisations generally handle payment of your inhabitant taxes in one of three ways:
- They will make monthly or quarterly payments for you.
- They will include the money in your gross monthly salary, and you will be responsible for using this to pay your tax bill in June.
- They will pay the money in a lump sum in June when your tax bill comes.
It is very important to confirm whether you will be liable for inhabitant taxes, and if so which method your contracting organisation is using. Ignore this, and you may find yourself with a large inhabitant tax bill and no funds to pay it. Please clear this up early on, and check on it from year to year to be sure it has not changed.
Note that all JETs who arrive in 2012 or later are on a pre-tax salary and are responsible for paying any non-exempt taxes on their own.
The JETs in Kumamoto Prefecture have put together detailed guides on how to complete Federal Tax returns for citizens of the United States of America. Please visit their taxes website for more information.
For more information about the pension refund procedure, visit the 茨城 JET PA Space website’s Pension page.