Takashi Yamaguchi, English Speaking Japanese Tax Accountant

Simple questions about Japanese final income tax returns (3)

It is already March.
There is only two weeks left for the 2018 income tax return filing.
It is (may be) about time that this “Simple questions about Japanese final income tax returns” also ends.

Difference between spouse deduction and spouse special deduction

As they are substantially the same deduction item, designed that either only one of them is applicable.
If spouse’s total income amount is less than 380,000 yen “Spouse deduction” is applied. Otherwise “spouse special deduction” is applied.
The system changed from the declaration for Heisei 30 (2018) years, and the deduction is determined by the combination of the income amount of the taxpayer and the spouse.
Please refer to the table below (Income Tax for Heisei 30 (2018 ) Years and Reconstruction Special Income Tax Manual · Final Declaration Form B p 20) for how it is actually determined.


Neither spouse deduction nor spouse special deduction can be applied if the total income amount of the taxpayer exceeds 10 million yen. As for “spouse deduction”, additional deduction is allowed when the spouse is over the age of 70, but no such additional deduction for “spouse special deduction”.

Scope of dependents deduction

It is one who meets all the following requirements (applicable dependent relatives).

  • Relatives other than the spouse (within the 6th degree of kinship or the 3rd degree of a relative by marriage)
  • Relying on the taxpayer’s livelihood
  • his/her total income is 380,000 yen or less
  • Not get his/her salary paid as an employee of the taxpayer
  • 16 years old or elder

Besides, the following people who are not “relatives” originally are also included in “relatives” when applying the dependents deduction.

  • A child entrusted with child rearing by the governor of a prefecture (so-called foster child)
  • An Elder entrusted with nursing care by the mayor of a municipal

In addition, additional deduction is granted for a child who is 19 years old or elder but youger than 23 (specific dependent relatives), an elder who is 70 years old or elder (elderly dependent relative) .

Timing of determination of tax deductible spouse/dependent relatives

It is determined based on status as of December 31st.
However, those who died in the middle of the year will be judged as of the date of death.

Tax return of the person who passed away

If a person who is obligated to file a final return dies in the middle of the year, the heir will be obliged to submit the final return form for that year on behalf of the decedent (The Income Tax Law Article 125).
The same applies to the case where a person who is obliged to submit the final return dies before doing so (the Income Tax Law Article 124).
In this case, the heir needs to submit tax returns for both of the prior and current year (January 1 to the date of death as for the current year).
In either case, the filing due date is within 4 months from the day when the heir become to know that the inheritance has commenced (usually the date of decedent’s death).

If there are two or more heirs, each heir jointly has to prepare and sign the below schedule then files together with the tax return.


Tax return filing when relocating abroad

If a person who is obliged to submit the final tax return relocates abroad in the middle of the year, it is necessary to file the final tax return before departure from Japan regarding his/her income earned from January 1st to the date (the Income Tax Law Article 127).
As the same, if a person who is obliged to submit the final tax return relocates abroad after January 1, it is necessary to submit the final return before the departure as well (the Income Tax Law Article 126).
In this case, he/she needs to submit tax returns for both of the prior and current year (January 1 to the date of death as for the current year) (the Income Tax Law Article 130).
It is really busy.

By the way, regarding the “Departure”, the Income Tax Law has the following definitions.

Departure (the Income Tax Law Article 2, item 42)
As for a resident, it is a person who becomes having no address nor domicile in the country without filing notification provided in the Article 117, Paragraph 2 (Tax Agent) of the Act on General Rules for National Taxes. And as for nonresidents , it is a person who becomes having no domicile without filing notification under the same paragraph (omitted).

So, if you had filed the notification of the Tax Agent to the tax office, you will not be regarded a ‘departure”d person for the purpose of the Income Tax Law therefore you do not have to rush for the tax return filing or tax payment.

“Tax Agent” is an agent who administers all the tax procedures, such as receipt of tax related documents, tax payment and receipt of tax refund, on behalf of the taxpayer.
Those who are likely to need tax filing and tax payment in Japan even after relocation abroad would better to file the notification of the Tax Agent to the tax office and municipal office before leaving Japan.

Is it necessary to report the My Number (National ID number) in the final tax return form?

Some say “not necessary” but it is necessary as a result.
Their rationale is the practice that tax offices have been accepting the tax return even if no My Number is stated, and the fact that there is no penalty clause in the law.
However, it is obliged under the law (the Income Tax Law Article 120, Ordinance for Enforcement of the Income Tax Law Article 47).

May my family submit the tax return on behalf?

Yes they may.
Although the tax return forms per se has to be prepared in the name of the taxpayer, filing of the document can be undertaken by someone else.
Even when filing is done by a proxy, the “identity confirmation document” to be attached to the tax return must be of the taxpayer himself/herself.
Documents of the proxy is not necessary.


The next week, the week after next are the peak season of the final tax return filing.
Both the prepares (taxpayers, tax accountants) and the recipient (the tax offices) are getting busier.
Please take care of yourself not to catch a cold.

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