Having a day job, but freelancing on the side

Hi there!

I’m currently employed in a Japanese company as a developer, but I’d like to do some freelancing gigs on the side. I’m also a total newbie to doing income tax, so although I do intend to hire an accounting, reading in here that it’s the recommended thing to do, I would like to understand the basics. So I have a few questions.

-Does the fact that I’m already employed in a company change the freelancer registration process?
-Will my company be able to see the income that I get from my side-business?
-How shall I declare my taxes when I have income from both my day job and my freelance jobs?

Thank you!

The first limiting factor is your visa. If you have a spouse visa / permanent residency, its not an issue, but otherwise I’d consult with immigration / a lawyer about the legality of freelancing.

Assuming the visa situation works out, there isn’t anything different with registering as a freelancer when you’re employed. As far as I’m aware, your employer doesn’t need to know you’re doing freelancing (double check your contract though). Once you’re receiving income from multiple sources, you need to file your own tax return (if you’re only working for a company, you don’t need to do that). Follow up with the tax office about the procedure for doing so.

Engineer visa should not be a problem as long as your freelance work is also things within its area (programming for example) and your company is not forbidding you taking that extra job.

As for tax, if you company doesn’t deduct your local tax (住民税), then they won’t know your income. If they do, then one day they’ll know.

Filing your own tax form is really straightforward and every year there are new books on this topic. After your company file that for you, you just do it yourself from Feb 15 - March 15.