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Thread poster: Brandon Wood

Brandon Wood  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 00:15
Japanese to English
+ ...
Jun 7, 2006

Hi everyone, I know this is a topic that gets posted over and over again, but it seems like each person is always in their own individual situation so I'm going to ask again. I'm moving to Japan next Tuesday and plan on continuing my freelance work as a Japanese->English translator there. This means that from the time I move there I will be making my income in Japan, which means I will report all income to the Japanese government and pay the appropriate taxes to them, correct? Unfortunately, I know nothing of Japanese tax laws or of the process involved when filing taxes in Japan. Can anyone in a similar situation let me know how this works? Should I get some sort of accountant to help me with my tax calculations and filing procedures? Thanks in advance.

-Brandon


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:15
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Get professional help Jun 7, 2006

Brandon Wood wrote:

This means that from the time I move there I will be making my income in Japan, which means I will report all income to the Japanese government and pay the appropriate taxes to them, correct? Unfortunately, I know nothing of Japanese tax laws or of the process involved when filing taxes in Japan. Can anyone in a similar situation let me know how this works? Should I get some sort of accountant to help me with my tax calculations and filing procedures? Thanks in advance.

-Brandon


I think it is the best if you find a professional to help you, preferrably someone familiar not only with the Japanese tax system, but also US GAAP and taxation issues, and the international double-taxation treaties. If you are staying for a long time, you may learn the procedure from them, and could possibly do your own filing after a while, but I think it could be very risky trying to do it on your own, especially if you are freelancing, in other words, your income is coming from multiple sources, with some of them located outside of Japan. If you were to work for a single company, as an employee, that would be simpler, as they would deduct the taxes and in most cases would file for you at the required time.

I think if you are a US citizen working in Japan, you do not need to file State taxes, but you do need to file Federal.

But check with a pro. I would recommend an international accounting firm, such as KPMG or Ernst & Young. If their services are too expensive for you as a freelancer individual, you may be able to find a tax accountant that used to work for one of these companies and then went on his own.

Oh, one more thing: I hope you are sure that whatever visa you are going to be on while in Japan, would allow you to legally work there. (You cannot work while on a tourist visa, and student or exchange-type visas may have limitations, too.)

[Módosítva: 2006-06-07 22:52]


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Brandon Wood  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 00:15
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jun 7, 2006

Thanks for the reply, I will look into those firms that you mentioned. As for my visa situation, I will be married to a Japanese citizen so I will be getting my visa through that so no problems there. I just don't want the tax man to be knocking at our door trying to take our stuff if you know what I mean hehe.

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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:15
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Congrats, etc. Jun 8, 2006

Brandon Wood wrote:

Thanks for the reply, I will look into those firms that you mentioned. As for my visa situation, I will be married to a Japanese citizen so I will be getting my visa through that so no problems there. I just don't want the tax man to be knocking at our door trying to take our stuff if you know what I mean hehe.


First of all, congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
Secondly, if your wife is a Japanese citizen, you should discuss this whole issue with her, or the two of you shoudl sit down with with a tax accountant, and chew this through, because you may as well be considered her dependent, if she works full time. I think there is an income limit, and if you fall below that, you are her dependent, and the whole tax situation is different.

Take a look at this earlier thread as well:
http://www.proz.com/topic/38798

Good luck to your new life, I hope you will enjoy it!
Katalin


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Brandon Wood  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 00:15
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
She does work but... Jun 8, 2006

Thanks for the response! I think I will definitely sit down with an accountant and talk about this, but I'm pretty sure I won't fall into the category of her dependent because I make quite a bit more than she does through translating. I at least have an idea of where I want to go with this though, thanks for the help.

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