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What is Residence Tax?

Taxes are an unavoidable expense no matter where we live. In Japan, aside from the familiar income tax, there’s another type that may come as a surprise.

This is called the residence tax or the juminzei. The residence tax is used to help pay for maintenance of your city’s infrastructures, social welfare programs, and local public workers’ wages. All residents in each city is required to pay the residence tax. The amount you will pay will depend on your annual income of the previous year.

If you’ve just arrived in Japan this year, you won’t be charged resident taxes. You will have to start paying the next year. You will also need to pay to the city office where you stayed on January 1st of the same year. For example, if you lived in Yokohama until January 1st, and registered as a new resident in Kawasaki on January 2nd, you will still have to pay your resident tax in Yokohama.

Generally, you will receive a bill from your local city office of the amount you must pay. This will arrive around early June. Although the amount may be surprising (since you’ll be charged for the whole year), you will have the option to break the payment into 4 months (June, August, October, and January).

Payment is also quite easy as most bills will come with a bar code that you can present to a convenience store. Just present your bill and pay the necessary amount and you’ve paid your residence tax.

By Starr Gimotea/ Staff Writer