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How to submit Japanese income tax returns online

This is a how-to guide for submitting your tax returns using Japan's e-Tax online self-evaluation website, current as of 2018. This guide might be useful to you if, like me...

 

 

Firstly, this guide is just a compilation from my own notes, from submitting taxes in Japan over the last few years. I am a permanent resident of Japan, living in Kitakyushu, running my own consulting design business. If you have comments or amendments to make, please email me.

 

In order to complete this process smoothly, you will need to keep accurate records of all incoming and outgoing payments during the year. I recommend either using Excel software or a similar alternative, or a custom-built accounting program like me (please let me know if you need one!). You are recommended to keep all receipts and invoices for 7 years, by the way.

 

Submitting Japanese income tax returns using their online website should take 1~2 hours if you have all the necessary records to hand. It is bewilderingly complicated even for Japanese people (not helped by a 'website' that could have been designed by a blind monkey), unless you know exactly how to work through it!

 

 


 

 

The online submission process is a 2-step procedure:

 

Forms #1:

  1. Go to https://www.keisan.nta.go.jp/kyoutu/ky/sm/top_web#bsctrl .
  2. Click on 作成開始 button to open the submission program in an annoying popup window.
  3. Popup address is https://www.keisan.nta.go.jp/kyoutu/ky/sm/top_web#bsctrl (you can copy and paste this address back in your browser now to bypass the stupid popup window).
  4. Click on 印刷して書面提出する button (right).
  5. Next page just asks you to confirm you are not using a computer from the 1980s, or a fax machine. Click on the 利用規約に同意して次へ button, bottom right.
  6. Select the year you want to submit taxes for. Oh look, it's the archaic heisei year system. Yay. Click the down arrow to expand the dropdown menu.
  7. Click on the blue 決算書・収支内訳書 box.
  8. Click on blue 作成開始 button.
  9. Select 「印刷して郵送等で提出する」 and 「白色申告書に添付する収支内訳書を作成する」. Click on 入力終了(次へ).
  10. Click on 収支内訳書(一般用) 入力する button.
  11. Click on 売上(収入)金額 (#1) link to start. This section will deal with incoming payments you received.
  12. Enter 4 client names, addresses and total amounts received (for the whole year), for payments you received. These obviously should be written in Japanese. I recommend using your 4 biggest clients.
  13. Enter your total annual income (from payments received) minus those 4 company totals, in the box on the fifth line, and check the grandtotal matches your files.
  14. Nothing should be entered for 家事消費 or その他の収入 (at least in my case!). Click on 入力終了(次へ).
  15. Save a copy using the 入力データの一時保存 button (bottom right) then the download button on the subsequent page. Then return to continue entering outgoing expenses data using the 戻る button.
  16. Enter the total cost of water used for business purposes (1/10th in my case, as I work at home), electricity (1/2 in my case - those aircon bills!) and gas (1/10th) in the 水道光熱費 (#ハ) box at the bottom.
  17. Enter the total cost of petrol receipts and travel expenses in the 旅費交通費 (#二) box on the right. You will need printed receipts in case of challenges.
  18. Enter the total cost of mobile phone bills for business usage, internet/phone, and other communication fees (such as web hosting) in the 通信費 (#ホ) box on the right.
  19. Enter the total cost of advertising costs (website fees, flyers, print ads etc) in the 広告宣伝費 (#へ) box.
  20. Enter the total cost of entertaining clients in the 接待交際費 (#ト) box. As always, you will need to keep printed receipts in case of challenges.
  21. Enter the total cost of physical supplies (PCs, software etc) in the 消耗品費 (#ヌ) box.
  22. Enter the total cost of insurance in the 福利厚生費 (#ル) box. Sadly, only a few companies in Japan offer tax-deductable policies (and expat insurance is generally not one of them).
  23. Click on 次へ button.
  24. Check the incoming and outgoing totals. Click on 入力終了(次へ) button.
  25. Click on 次へ.
  26. Fill in your address details as follows:
    @住所
    ABC filled in as normal.
    E push the 住所と同じ button.
    F is same as C if you work from home.
    G tax office is the official name, usually found on documents provided by mail (in my case "門司").
    H and I are both surname and firstname, in Japanese.
    J 整理番号 is shown top right of a white/orange form from tax office. Changes every year.
    K to be left blank and filled in by hand, when submitting tax forms at the tax office.
    #1 業種名 at bottom of page is your business type (「ホームページ作成」in my case).
    #2 屋号 is your business name  (「A Touch of Tensai」 in my case).
    #3 加入団体名 is to be left blank.
  27. Click on 次へ.
  28. Make sure both forms are checked, and click on the 印刷 button.
  29. Save PDF and print all 4 pages. Don’t staple them. Handwrite in any details that were too long to be entered by keyboard (e.g. your name in katakana).
  30. Click on the 印刷終了・次へ button.
  31. Click on the 入力データを保存する button, to save the data. Then return to continue.
  32. Click on the red 終了する button.


Congratulations! You have finished the first half of the submission process.

 

 


 

 

Forms #2:

  1. Next, go to https://www.keisan.nta.go.jp/h26/ta_top.htm#bsctrl to create a new form.
  2. Click on 作成開始 button to open the stupid popup window again.
  3. Pop up address is https://www.keisan.nta.go.jp/kyoutu/ky/sm/top_web#bsctrl (you can copy and paste this address back in your browser now to bypass the stupid popup window).
  4. Click on 印刷して書面提出する button (right).
  5. Click on the 利用規約に同意して次へ button, bottom right.
  6. Select the year you want to submit taxes for. Click the down arrow to expand the dropdown menu.
  7. Click on the pink 所得税 box.
  8. Click on pink 左記以外の所得のある方 button in the middle.
  9. Don’t check @ 税務署から青色申告の承認を受けている場合はチェックをしてください box. Enter date of birth for A. Don’t check the final 申告書の様式をイメージした入力画面で申告書を作成する box. Click on 入力終了・次へ.
  10. Click on 入力する button next to 事業所得(営業・農業).
  11. Enter total income and total-minus-outgoing-expenses on the first line labelled 営業等, as provided on printed form #1 that you finished earlier, numbers @ and ㉑ respectively.
  12. Below that, enter details of any clients or companies that send you official tax form statements (I only have one client that sends me the paper every year):
    種目:報酬
    名称:client's official company name, in Japanese.
    場所:client's official address, in Japanese.
    収入金額: income in yen
    源泉徴収税額: 0
  13. Click on 次へ.
  14. Click on 入力終了・次へ button at bottom.
  15. On the 所得控除入力 page, enter subtractions for charity / spousal / dependants etc. Otherwise, nothing to enter. Click on 次へ.
  16. On the 税額控除・その他の項目の入力 page, enter any subtractions for land tax / foreign tax etc. If you paid 'prepaid tax' last year (lucky you!), click on予定納税額 入力する button.
  17. Enter total of prepaid tax (sent in letter from local tax office). This only applies to people earning over a certain amount, in which case you need to pre-pay some of the next year's taxes. Bad luck! Click on 次へ.
  18. Click on 次へ button.
  19. See if they pay you anything back!! If your income varies from year to year, and your prepaid tax was high based on the previous year's income, a sudden dip might result in you getting money back instead! Click on 次へ.
  20. The next couple of pages just detail methods of paying your tax. Click on 次へ button.
  21. Enter address details etc. Your local tax office and name will be in Japanese probably, as for the previous forms:
    民名 漢字 is written in full-width Romaji (「Millward」 and 「David」in my case).
    民名 カナ should be left blank if it's too long to fit (as in my case!) and handwritten in on the printed form later.
    職業 is your business type, as before ("ホームページ作成" in my case).
    屋号 is your business name, as before (「A Touch of Tensai」 in my case).
    世帯主 is the official head of your household (in my case, that's myself so I push the ご自身が世帯主 button which fills the first box with my name and the second box with "本人"), but should be left blank if the name is too long to fit, and handwritten later.
    If you don't know the date you'll be handing the forms in at the tax office, leave that date box blank.
    整理番号 is shown top right of a white/orange form from tax office. This reference number changes every year.
  22. Save data. Click on 次へ button.
  23. On the next page, you'll be prompted to enter your MyNumber (12 characters long).
  24. Make sure all forms are checked, and click on the 印刷 button.
  25. Save PDF and print all 6 pages. Don’t staple them.
  26. Handwrite 民名フリガナ (your name in furigana) and 世帯主 (head of house's name) information at the top of the page, if your name was too long to enter on a keyboard, in step 21.
  27. Inkan stamp (your normal one) top right on two copies.
  28. This gets a bit fiddly from here. If you received any official tax statement sheets from clients and entered their info in step 12, you have to glue those to your printed forms! Take the small 報酬 paper received from each company, and glue the top edge onto the second printed sheet, where it says A源泉徴収票(原本).
  29. Print out a scan of the front and back of your official "MyNumber" card, and glue the top edge onto the second printed sheet, where it says 本人確認書類(写).
  30. If you receive an official tax-statement paper from your medical insurer (I don't! ... Cry), it gets stuck on the same second sheet at B生命保険.
  31. Click on the 印刷終了・次へ button.
  32. Click on the 印刷後の確認終了・次へ button.
  33. Save the data, and click on the green 終了 button.



FINISHED! Cool

 

You have successfully submitted and printed out the two sets of forms you will need. Remember NOT to staple them together. You can now make a trip to your local tax office before the end-of-March deadline - every city and town has one, full of crowds of tired and bored people! Happily, you have done the hard part, and won't have to queue for hours like the others. They are all waiting to do exactly what you have just done, but you did it from the comfort of your own home! I can usually breeze through the offices, handing in my printed forms at the front desks (labelled "提出") and getting them stamped, in about 5 minutes!

 

 

 

 

 


 

NOTE ON UTILITY BILLS:

 

P. R. from Kobe emailed me to ask how the utility bills were calculated for claimable expenses, and this was my answer....

 

My electricity and gas was worked out based on square footage of the home office I work out of. My house has 6 rooms, of which the office is just one room - so my electricity was simply calculated at 16.666% of the total annual bill. Gas was similarly based on the floorspace, originally. I have to admit that these days I have updated exactly how I choose to calculate that percentage, and base it instead on electricity and gas (for heating) consumed for business purposes, which is much more favourable - since I work for 8 hours a day, and we only use heating/cooling etc for a few more hours in the evenings, I have calculated it at something more like 50%.

Having said that, according to my overblown guide book, utilities can be calculated based on a variety of methods, so I recommend picking the most favourable one for you; floorspace of your office vs total floorspace (called
占有率 SHARE CALCULATED), number of electrical lights (yes, really!) compared to other rooms, or how many hours you have the lights/aircon/power etc on for business purposes (called 使用率 USAGE CALCULATED).

If you read Japanese, here are some more details:
http://biz-owner.net/keihi/suidou

Water is apparently based on number of faucet/taps in your house, but that page recommends sticking to about 20% of bills.