A resource for investing and doing business in Japan and understanding Japanese tax issues and Japanese culture.
The Japan Tax Site is intended to help people understand the Japanese tax system and its implications for their business or life in Japan. The site includes reporting on Japanese tax issues, explanations of key concepts in domestic and international tax along with analysis of Japanese tax policy and the Japanese business environment.
In the UNCTADs 2010 World Investment Report foreign direct investment (‘FDI’) in Japan in 2009 was USD11.9Bn – only 70% of the USD16.8Bn FDI figure for Singapore. This is despite Japan having a population twenty five times and an economy eighteen times the size of Singapore.
High tax rates are undoubtedly one of the reasons for Japan’s record in attracting FDI but a lack of understanding of the Japanese legal, business and cultural environment is also a factor.
This site aims to play its small part in promoting FDI into Japan by making tax and other business regulation more transparent to foreign investors.
In line with its objective of helping investors have a fuller understanding of the country and also to provide some light relief from tax, the site includes pictures and articles on Japan’s rich cultural and natural heritage.
Please take time to enjoy some of the pictures, articles and other artworks on the site.
The accounting section includes information on Japanese accounting practice useful to an understanding of the tax implications of Japanese transactions.
The accounting rules around intangible assets and group re-organisations including flow-charts and updates on current Japanese GAAP accounting issues relating to corporate reorganisations. Read more.
The policy section includes links to public and private sector tax policy analysis as well as articles on tax policy developments and tax reform.
Articles on the progress of tax committees within Japan’s government ministries including the influential tax committee of the Japanese Cabinet Office and tax subcommittees established in the Japanese Ministry of Finance. Read more.
The news section includes shorter articles on recent developments, court cases, translations of tax law or commentary and tax court judgements. These short sections will often be cross referenced by longer articles elsewhere in the site.
News on audits, litigation or other miscellaneous developments not included under any of the news sections below. Read more.
Summaries of recently decided Japanese court cases and of older cases that are still have value as precedent to current tax issues. Read more.
Short reports on policy matters, committee meetings, government announcements or on work coming from think tanks and academic policy research. Read more.
Brief articles commenting on non statutory guidance from the tax authorities including occasional translations.Read more.
A picture from 1966 advertising the ‘Miyako Odori’ – an annual dance performed in Gion in Kyoto, a center of historic geisha culture and one of the few remaining areas of Japan maintaining some of the related traditions.
Japanese tax law includes a comprehensive range of provisions aimed at mitigating international tax anti-avoidance, a well developed body of academic literature on international tax issues and Japan has long been a leader in promoting APA negotiations with its trading partners.
The scope of Japanese taxation of foreign companies and non-resident individuals and more detailed interpretations of the scope of different sources of Japanese income. Read more.
Summaries of withholding taxes on different sources of Japanese income, interpretation of tax treaties, forms required for Japanese treaty benefit claims and links to the English text of tax treaties where available. Read more.
How to apply Japan’s thin capitalisation regulations, diagrams, safe harbor rules and anti-avoidance rules included in the thin capitalisation regulations. Read more.
The Japanese taxation of foreign companies based in low tax jurisdictions, often an issue for subsidiaries of Japanese groups based in China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Read more.
Issues with a strong domestic tax element and limited cross border consequences such as tax consolidation, audits, interest and penalties and tax administration.
Tax filings, statute of limitations, penalties and interest and other issues administrative issues. Read more.
Tax and accounting treatment of intangible assets including goodwill. Their relevance to mergers, corporate or supply chain reorganisations. Read more.
Issues in structuring transactions in Japan, looking at entities, corporate reorganisations, capital market transactions and corporate recovery.
The Japanese taxation of parties to tokumei kumiai contracts, a partnership form extensively used in securitisation, real estate transactions and cross border investment into Japan. Read more.
The tax and accounting treatment of Japanese corporate reorganisations: Mergers, corporate splits, capital contributions, asset sales and similar. Read more.
Debt equity swaps, debt forgiveness and other tax issues or procedures arising in the course of Japanese bankruptcy or corporate rehabilitation procedures. Read more.
While the main focus of this site is on corporate and international taxation, the individual tax section covers tax issues key to expatriates living in Japan.
This site is continuously being developed and listed below are areas where content will be added in the near to medium term.
Please be patient if an area you are interested in has not yet been covered, and also please use the contact form to let the editor know if you have any other areas of interest.
In the short to medium term additional site content is planned for the following areas: