tokyodev forum

Dual taxation accountant

Apologies if this is too far off topic;

I’ll be moving back to Japan from the UK on my spouse visa. I’ll be keeping my employment in the UK but will need to be declaring my income in Japan in line with the dual taxation treaty in place between the two countries.

It’s been advised that I consult with an accountant familiar with/specializing in dual taxation.

  • Is there anyone on here who is/has been in similar situation?
  • Did you have a good experience with an accountant that you would be happy to recommend?

For this sort of question you might have more luck posting on the JapanFinance reddit.

Thankyou Paul - I’ll have a look in there :slight_smile:

Hey there, did you find any useful info in the reddit or somewhere else? I’m in the exact same situation as you, but coming from Australia (we also have the tax treaty). Every piece of information I come across seems to have a different answer so it’s quite confusing :frowning:

Hi Andy,

The information was a mixed bag of facts and opinions, reddit style, but there are some people on there who are pretty knowledgeable on the subject so it’s worth a look. Some of the chat on there in combination with my own research kinda got me where I needed to go. There’s also a lot of good financial advice on the RetireJapan.com forum.

For my situation it turned out that what I would need is a tax advisor in the UK rather than Japan.

It appears that from the Japan side; things are pretty straightforward. In simple terms I would declare my earnings from my job as Overseas Income on an annual tax return and would then be taxed on them accordingly.

The complications lie more in the UK (surprise surprise). I can continue to earn and have my earnings visible to the tax office in the UK and my employer would need to issue me with an annual document to state that my tax affairs in the UK are in order. I would likely be entitled to have most or all of that income tax rebated at some point as Foreign Tax Relief, depending on how my activities compare against a set of thresholds (hours worked in UK/Japan, time spent in either country, etc) in any given year.

I would sever residency in the UK on the date that I leave. This would trigger the tax office to instruct my employer to update my tax code eventually and after that point it’s unlikely that I would be paying income tax in the UK on my earnings (or at least be paying at a lower rate) but it would likely take a year or two for things to settle to the point where I’m able to just pay my taxes in Japan without chasing rebates in the UK.

I don’t know how this would differ in Australia but the resounding message was to seek an accountant/advisor in the country where I’m earning the money because that’s where the complications would arise from.

Plot twist; for all my ongoing efforts in getting informed on these matters my employer in the UK announced at the beginning of this week that they would be “letting me go” at a date that coincides with my leaving the country (as part of a round of redundancies) so I will be looking for a job in Japan after we arrive. Mixed blessing, I think; I’m gutted to be leaving the job as it’s somewhere I’ve really enjoyed working but I’m glad to not have to deal with the hassle of managing the dual tax situation on top of everything else (flights, visas, house hunting, school application, nursery application, container shipping etc.). Looking forward to a new start.

I realise that descended into an anecdotal ramble - hopefully there was something of use in there.

Wow, thanks for the detailed information and I’m sorry to hear that you went through all that for nothing, but I’m sure now the path is easier and things will work out for you. I’ll continue with what you gave me and hopefully there will be a way possible. In my case, it’s currently “shadow tax/payroll” being the issue, however I’ve come across so many people who have not required that on an individual basis - and when searching for shadow payroll, the only results are from the companies offering such services (and stand to make a profit) so I’m really unsure on how necessary it actually is. If it’s simply a case of reporting all your income/earnings in both Japan and your home country then I got no problem with that :slight_smile:

Hopefully it’s more straightforward in the Australian system :crossed_fingers: