Giving Up on the Permanent Residence?

I moved to Japan in April of 2010 and have just another 2.5 years to go before hitting the 10-year mark, qualifying for permanent residence. The PR position is very much sought after and has been something I’ve been aiming for for some time now. However, new information I learned about gift and inheritance taxation might change all that.

In a bid to catch wealthy Japanese who give up their citizenship to evade taxes on their foreign assets, the Japanese government came up with the inheritance tax in 2013 which affected foreigners on short-term residency statuses (less than 10 years residence) as well. However, they amended the rule in April this year to make it applicable only to Japanese and foreigners with long-term residence statuses (i.e. spouse visa, permanent residence, or more than 10 years’ residence in the last 15 years). This inheritance tax can go as high as 55 percent, which is ridiculous given that more than half of what your parents leave you (or you are leaving your children) will be taken away by the government.

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko is pushing for the government to reconsider this as it goes against Japan’s wish to attract more foreigners. However, it will likely take time before the law will be amended again since the last revision was less than a year ago. For more details on the news, see this Japan Times article.

I’m beginning to think twice about staying here beyond 10 years. Of course, I do not intend to leave as yet, but I only have another 2.5 years to think about this.


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