Ever wonder what and how much gets deducted from your monthly pay? You’d be disgusted to find out. Withholding national income tax (7.5% for purposes of this article but actual rate differs for each individual due to progressive tax rate system) throws you a punch and then inhabitant tax (1% for purposes of this article but actual rate differs for each individual) follows with a jab. Health insurance premium (8.2%) whacks you in the head and welfare and pension insurance premium (7.321%) throws you an uppercut. To finish you off, employment insurance premium (0.8%) tackles you down. At the end of every month, you’re paycheck is beaten down to roughly 75% of its gross amount.
This withholding and deduction from your pay is made possible by Labor Standards Law Article 24 which states that partial deduction from wages is permitted in cases where it is allowed by law (income tax law, inhabitant tax law, health insurance law, welfare and pension insurance law, employment insurance law, etc.) or agreed upon by the employer and its employees in written form.
There are, however, several ways to decrease withholdings and deductions and preserve as much gross pay as possible. One way is by claiming as much family members as possible as your dependents for tax purposes. If you’re parents are retired and live off pension, you may want to claim them as your dependents. This will lower the amount of income tax withheld from your gross pay. But be careful. Don’t abuse the system by claiming as dependents family members that you’re not supporting in any way (like uncles and aunts, nephews and nieces outside Japan). You’re in deep shit if the tax authority audits you finds that you’ve intentionally abused the system. By deep shit, I mean monetary penalty and possible jail time.
Another way to protect your gross pay is by increasing your tax refund at year-end. There are several ways to achieve this but one common way is by utilizing insurances (保険クリニック) Stay tuned to WJA for details on for more ways to protect you paycheck from being beaten down.
Thinking about working in Japan? Preparing to move overseas almost becomes a full-time job in the final weeks of your departure. Many people quit their jobs weeks before so they can devote their time to preparation. But what about your health insurance? Short-term health insurance plans are a great solution. ↓
Below are links to Certified Social Insurance and Labor Consultants providing services in English. Also below are useful links related to working in Japan and links to women balancing career and personal happiness. WJA realizes and promotes women's increasing value in the labor market.