Japan - Taxes for Freelance Translators
Thread poster: JoBee

JoBee  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 07:47
Japanese to English
Jan 20, 2014

Hey everyone! I'm particularly interested in hearing from freelance translators working in Japan.

Basically, I just left my in-house job (last day was effectively 12/31/2013) to work from home, and had been building up clients for some time before that. I'm planning on continuing as a freelancer and possibly starting a sole proprietorship, but I haven't gotten that far yet.

For my 2013 taxes, due in mid-March, I'm curious as to how taxes will work. I know that I will have my 年末調整 performed by my former company and that I'll do a 確定申告 in order to reconcile all of my funds (using the payment slips from each client/agency I have), including those from freelancing.

As I was essentially doing 2 jobs (in-house and freelance) last year, the figure will not be representative of my average salary at all--I'm somewhat scared of how my residence taxes and insurance premiums will jump because of having one year with significantly higher income.

Is it possible to declare business expenses for 2013, even though I didn't have a sole proprietorship? Also, should I declare one right away, or will it handicap me in some way?

As with many issues in Japan, the answer doesn't seem to be so clear-cut, but as I will honestly report every yen I earned, I'd be overjoyed to find a solution that won't cripple me with high taxes.

I apologize in advance for all the questions, but would really love to hear from someone with experience in this area, especially if they have declared freelance income along with an in-house salary.


 

Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 07:47
Japanese to English
+ ...
Can you defer to the following year? Jan 21, 2014

I heard somewhere that you can defer paying taxes on income until the following year, which I think you can also do in the States. If that is possible, would it help you to defer your freelance income (or part of it) for FY2013 until March 2014 for tax purposes?

Anyways, it's something to look into.


 

JoBee  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 07:47
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Definitely something to look into! Jan 21, 2014

Thank you very much for your reply, Orrin.

I still have a decent amount of time before I need to file, and deferring would be the perfect solution in this case, if it is indeed a possibility.

By the way, can I ask whether you would recommend a sole proprietorship (個人事業)?


 

Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 07:47
Japanese to English
+ ...
Sorry Jan 21, 2014

I'm afraid I can't answer that. I'm in the same boat myself in a way, but I just can't summon enough interest to read through all the stuff about taxes. As tax season approaches we should start seeing those consultant booths around, so I plan on just going to talk to one of them about it for my situation.

 

Cristina Escudero
Spain
Local time: 00:47
English to Spanish
+ ...
Include tax in invoices for agencies abroad? May 31, 2017

Hi,

I just found this thread and even though it's not 100% related to my question, I was wondering whether any of you may be able to offer me some answers.
I just established myself as a freelancer in Japan (I was working in a company before), and I was wondering whether I should include the taxes when issuing an invoice to an agency that is not based in Japan.

Thanks in advance!


 


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