If I move to another city in Japan, do I owe residence tax to my previous city?

Since 2022 is just around the corner, we want to answer this frequently asked question. Many people move in January or between January and March, which is the busy season in the Japanese rental market.

  • When you move from one city to another in Japan in the middle of the year, will you end up having to pay double residence tax?
  • Who do you owe residence tax to, where you used to live or your new municipality?
  • How will you know how much to pay and where?

What is Residence Tax (Jyumin zei)?

Residence tax (住民税, jyumin zei) is a tax levied by the prefectural or municipal authorities where you live on January 1 and is based on the income you earned in the previous year. The tax is actually due in June of the year following the year in which you earned the income.

If you live in Japan less than a year, you do not owe residence tax.

If you move to a new municipality (for example one ward to another in Tokyo; or from Tokyo to Osaka), on January 2nd, 2022, for example, you will be charged residence tax from the municipality of your old address. You will start paying residence tax to your new municipality in 2023.

How do I pay my residence tax after I move?

When you move to another ward or city in Japan, you need to register your new address at your new city or ward office. For more information on how to do this, please see this article: Procedures for registering at your city or ward office

There are no special procedures you have to do with regard to residence tax as long as you file a Notice of Moving Out (転出届, tenshutsu todoke) with your previous ward office; and register your new address at your new municipal government office within 14 days of moving.

If you are paying residence tax as an individual, the municipality where you used to live will send a payment slip to your new address. You can pay the specified amount at a bank or convenience store. You also have the option of making an annual lump-sum payment or to divide the payment into four parts. There is no interest penalty for dividing up the payment into four parts, but be sure to pay your tax by the deadline specified on the payment slip. Late payments are charged an interest penalty.

Most people who work for a company have their residence tax automatically deducted from their monthly salary. When you move, you should also inform your company of your new address. Your company’s accounting department will then take care of deducting the correct amount from your salary. In this case, you will not receive a separate payment slip in the mail.

Because of the deferred payment schedule explained above, you will not be “double charged” for residence tax, since you will be post-paying for the previous year of income. You will only be billed by your new municipality the following year.

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Lead photo: Mover loading a moving truck, photo by Govinda Sharma for the GaijinPot Housing Service