CG on increased exit taxes on health insurance and residency when you change jobs and domiciles in Japan


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Hi Blog.  I just wanted to put this one out there as a general query.  Anyone else experienced this and gotten an explanation why?  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

June 17, 2016
From: CG
Hello Dr. Arudou:

First, I just wanted to say “Thank You” for all the writing you’ve done. I purchased your handbook a while ago and it was a big help when applying for permanent residency here (successfully!)

I was hoping to ask you a question. I’ve done a fair amount of searching online and haven’t found an answer, and the people directly involved in the issue can’t (or won’t) give a plausible answer either. Recently I switched jobs and moved to a new town here after over ten years working for the previous town’s 教育委員会 [BOE]. When I received my final paycheck, they deducted twice the normal tax amount for 社会保険 [shakai hoken; health and pension insurance] and three times the normal amount for 住民税 [juuminzei; local residency taxes]、helping themselves to an extra over 8万円 [80,000 yen]。 Have you heard of such a situation before? The fact that I can’t find any information about such a “moving tax” or get clear answers strikes me as very strange.

If you have a moment, I’d be very glad to know your thoughts. Best, CG
MY THOUGHTS: Not sure. Anyone out there with this experience who figured out what was going on? Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

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11 comments on “CG on increased exit taxes on health insurance and residency when you change jobs and domiciles in Japan

  • Could it be extra for months of partial work and/or bonus? This link suggests something like that, and also suggests checking with your employer to ask why.

    Potentially on-topic quote from one of the answers provided: “こんにちは。よく聞く話ですから心配ないです。月末日に退職する場合は、最後の給料が小さな額になることが多いため、最後は2か月分の保険料を天引きしてもよいと、わざわざ健康保険法に書いてあるくらいですからね。”

  • Not sure about the shakai hoken but juuminzei is normally taken out of the pay over 10 months from July to May based on the previous years income. If you left in March, the employer may have taken out the April and May portions as well. On the other hand, the new employer should not have deducted anything for juuminzei in these two months.

  • Over the past few decades, many people on the JET Program had their final paycheck illegally reduced. Their employers deducted a lot of money to “pay the residence tax after you leave Japan” but didn’t (and couldn’t) pay those taxes. Perhaps your employer is trying something similar? If you’re staying in Japan, it is even more alarming.

    In Tokyo, there are free labor consultation offices that can help you get a handle on these things, though for other places I dunno.

  • If you didn’t pay the full amount for the health insurance at the beginning they could in theory take more out. As for the residence tax it feels not right.

  • One thought: both of these are annual charges that are averaged over monthly paychecks and start in June, so they might have taken March, April, May out of the March paycheck. The new job will hopefully then only charge CG from June.

    I take it CG actually asked their employer? I guess you could also call the city hall or ward office responsible and see if they have an answer.

    *I have never encountered this situation before and this is just a guess 😉

  • Mark in Yayoi says:

    Aside from pre-paying your taxes and health insurance for future months, they could also be recovering train fare for future months for which they had already paid you. My employer pays us for a six-month train pass every April and October. If you already received your commuting allowance for future months in which you will not be commuting to work, they will take this back.

  • AFAIK the calculation methods for health insurance and city/prefecture tax are the same natiowide, they only tailor the pertantages and the fixed amounts from municipality to municipality.
    Most municipalities (if not all) publish this information on their website but you can also go to your local city hall and ask them to do the calculation with pen and paper in front of you based on your tax numbers.
    It’s not that complicated, I’d say, sometimes questionable as they make you pay tax on top of another tax but that’s another story and it applies to everyone not just NJ.
    If you call them in advance they can prepare for it, but otherwise give it an hour or so to get things clarified.

  • I’m sure I had extra charges out of my last salary (Dec) when I left my job and house. It was, however, correct, something to do with annual charges being taken out over fewer than 12 months IIRC. A few years ago now. Incidentally, something similar sometimes happens in the UK with local couuncil taxes (eg 1 year paid over 10 months meaning an extra payment if you move). So it’s not a specifically Japanese oddity.

    Worth checking but chances are they are doing it right according to the rules (which are not necessarily perfectly fair, but no getting round that).

  • Health insurance is usually paid in arrears, and therefore the last paycheque has the previous and current month’s amount deducted.

    City tax when automatically deducted from your pay cheque (特別徴収) is the yearly amount divided by 12, paid from June to May I believe. As you quit before May, you paid the remaining 3 months (March to May).

    — Thanks for explaining. It would have been nice if the authorities had also explained this to the person’s satisfaction.

  • Thank you so much to 有道博士 and 樋口さん for the legal details on the 住民税. I just parted ways with a company and am glad I knew to ask them not to deduct everything from my last check.


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