The colorful wolf

June 13, 2010

An unfortunate surprise

Filed under: japan,Spirit of Japan — randy @ 15:50

Am I never free of Atsugi?!? It seems that the longer I stay here, the more things I need to do. Can’t wait to be back on my bicycle again..

I finally organized my heavy luggage, threw away a lot of old clothes and went to the post office to send my stuff back to Holland. Note for people in similar situations: if you send by SAL it takes 2-3 weeks (but probably less) and is fairly cheap, but EMS takes one week and is more expensive. Here’s the nag: SAL only accepts luggage up two 20kg, whereas EMS accepts up to 30kg for one piece of luggage. If you have a suitcase heavier than 20kg you’re stuck with the expensive option. Fortunately my suitcase was exactly 21kg, and after removing a heavy coat I was able to send it by SAL for 10.000 yen less. That’s nice savings!

Feeling happy about saving some money I skipped and whistled towards the city hall to ask if there was anything else to finish up. As usual, I have done no research on this topic whatsoever, and I kind of forgot to let the city know that I hadn’t been living in Atsugi for the past two months. I explained my situation to a friendly person there, who told me there was nothing for me to do, just at the moment of leaving the country to mention at the immigration at the airport that I won’t be coming back. Fairly easy, right? Then the nice friendly person told me to go to the second floor and ask at the tax counter if there was anything else for me to finalize. The tax counter was a very friendly pretty lady, who kindly presented me with a smile and a request to pay two hundred fifty thousand yen.

Uh, what? Did I miss something here? Here I thought I was being nice and all, formally finalizing my stay in Japan by deregistering myself from the city hall, and they present me with a bill of 250.000 yen (~2000 euro btw)? That’s not very nice. When I asked about the how and why, the nice happy lady turned evil and started spouting many long and complicated Japanese words that I didn’t at all understand. Finally I managed to get the gist of it, and it seems that usually the company pays the tax, but since I quit my job now I have to pay it myself. And not just the tax since I quit my job, all the tax from this year and last year as well. Argh. Feeling doubtful about paying such a large amount of money I asked an acquaintance to confirm it, but haven’t received a reply yet. I’m going to gather a bit more information before settling this..

Right now I’m wishing that my Japanese skill was higher. Then I would be able to read Japanese websites much faster, and I would be able to read the pamphlets that I got from the city hall about taxes. With my current skill I’m just lacking information and running into surprises like this is not helping my morale a lot. I’m guessing it’ll take at least 2 more years before I’m able to read and understand tax-related legalese in kanji, though…



  1. What a cheek. Tell them to get stuffed.

    Comment by blackwatertown — June 13, 2010 @ 19:54 | Reply

  2. I’d do the same…if you want someone to translate kanji for you, and if no other Japanese person is available, Google Translate could help 😉

    Comment by Kamil — June 13, 2010 @ 20:20 | Reply

  3. Tax: I had the same when I left Sony a few years ago. I was without a job, but got an extremely expensive resident tax bill. You have to take into account this: it’s based on your income of the yeare before.

    Resident tax it’s very expensive in Japan, but do not forget that it is compensated by low income tax levels

    A friend had the same prroblem as you recently. She left her job in December. In March she got a resident tax bill of more than 300.000 yen. As she planned already to move to another Asian country, she just left Japan without paying. You could try the same, but in that case I do not recommend you to come back to Japan

    Comment by vincent — June 14, 2010 @ 15:36 | Reply

  4. Vincent, that sounds very sensible, except that I did not actually live in Atsugi for the past months. I only lived in my apartment for 1 month while I was without a job. I don’t understand why I have to pay for 18 months worth of this shit when I was only unemployed and living in Japan for one month. It doesn’t make sense to me right now, but when I have more time I will investigate this further.

    Comment by rheide — June 14, 2010 @ 16:12 | Reply

  5. I don’t get it. “And not just the tax since I quit my job, all the tax from this year and last year as well. “But it seems like you left the job at this year’s April,right? You only stayed in Japan for two month. The company supposed to pay for your tax for the last year already. Even without a job being an excuse to pay tax,you only have two month tax to pay,right?

    Comment by Wendy — June 14, 2010 @ 23:50 | Reply

  6. Wendy, that’s why I’m confused o_0 still waiting for more info from you-know-who…

    Comment by rheide — June 15, 2010 @ 7:54 | Reply

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