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Employee deductions are amounts withheld from an employee’s pay check, these amounts are withheld by their employer for purposes such as tax, national insurance etc. In Japan, the amount of deduction from employment income is calculated using a fixed formula according to an individuals salaries and wages.

Business Requirements

Regardless of the changes that went by, Japan has remained to be strong and stable in the business’ economy. For companies, to be successful in Japan means to set up a business structure and the right payroll processing that is in line with the government’s guidelines. The payroll in Japan depends on the structure of the corporation. The four common business structures are:

  • Godo-Kaisha: Operates like an American limited liability company setup
  • Goshi-Kaisha: A company with limited partnership
  • Gomei-Kaisha: A general partnership
  • Kabushiki-Kaisha: A Japanese incorporation

Once a business is properly registered, the next step is to make sure that taxes, payroll, and other business elements are processed appropriately.

Companies in Japan that have employees to pay should also have a Japanese bank account. The account will be used for paying employees, as well as make labor and social insurance payments to the national tax authorities.

Most established companies have easier access to opening bank accounts that the new ones. If you are an entrepreneur who is planning to have a bank account in Japan, start early. The application process will be examined heavily.

Employer Payroll Registration

Payroll registrations should be accomplished before any company can start paying employees in Japan. Typically, Japanese companies pay employees once in a month, usually the 25th.

A few of the common registrations for an employer are:

  • Withholding Tax:

The withholding tax registration allows tax authorities to create and assign a withholding tax number. Both the national and local offices assign it to them to keep employees and companies protected from all noncompliant individuals.

  • Social Insurance:

The registration signals the start of payroll deductions for employees’ social insurances. The deduction is for long-term care and health insurance of individual employees. All employees in Japan have a social insurance card that is government subsidized. The card will give them 70% discount on any medical facility.

  • National Labor Insurance:

With the National Labor insurance, the payrolls of employees are deducted for both accidents and unemployment.

There are year-end adjustments, which are re-calculations of an employee’s income tax. During the entire year, the employee’s taxes are withheld from the employee’s salaries each month. The calculation is based on the tax office’s published rates. Every end of each year, an employee’s exact tax liability is calculated based on number of dependents. Adjustments are then made so the total withheld tax for the entire year equals the employee’s tax liability. The tax withheld is reported yearly in the “Gokeihyo” report filed every January.

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Employment Deductions As Of 2018

In September 2017, companies in Japan made a record of 199.5 trillion Yen in deposits and cash.The record-breaking cash and deports is 33% bigger than the amount five years ago.

Aside from the already decided corporate tax reduction from 29.97% to 29.74%, the measures will also allow huge companies to reduce their tax rate by 25%, if they confirm to increase the pay of their employees by 3% or more. More reductions are also promised if they will increase their investments on human resources and fixed assets.


How Does This Affect My SME?

  •  Tax Break Qualification

Companies who will comply will need to increase their employee’s pay by 1.5% and make a fixed investment regardless of magnitude. Also, the rules governing the human capital investment will be looser.

  • Effective Tax Rate Reduction

All companies will further experience a bigger reduction in effective tax rate by 20% if their investment is on the internet. If they are also able to improve their productivity, they will also experience tax reductions. If a big corporation reports big and steady earnings, but does not improve their wages or capital investments, no tax incentives will be given.


Under the income tax reform, the taxpayers’ basic allowance will rise; all funded by decreasing the income-related allowance. An end-effect of raising the income tax to 8.5 million Yen and more for all workers is expected. The ruling parties agreed for the change partly to support those workers who do not receive salaries.

Under Prime Minister Abe, the wages have remained slow in terms of increase despite the constant economic stimulus because most companies are fearful of losing to foreign rivals.

The 3 percent increase in wage is said to compensate for the years of sluggish wage increase. However, analysts are still unsure if companies will actively respond to the call for an increase pay to gain tax incentives. If the economy leans towards the downfall rather than improvement, the companies fear of struggling a lot.

Japanese Employee Deduction FAQ

What is the tax deduction’s vision?

The Prime Minister’s tax deduction changes are foreseen to pay the coming year’s welfare bill.

When is the expected year of implementation of personal tax increase?

The government is expecting an increase in personal income tax by 2020. The rise is assumed to bring at least 90 billion yen or 800 million US dollars in annual tax revenue.

What is the foreseen average annual net tax upon tax code changes?

Overall, the tax code changes will generate an increased average yearly net tax of 280 billion Yen. The figures were revealed by Yoichi Miyazawa, the tax commission head of the Liberal Democratic Party.

Where will the deductions happen?

The increase in income tax will be achieved through the deductions in salaried workers earnings. In an average, the amount should be more than 8 million yen each year, except in families with disabled members or minor children. There will be increased basic deductions for the rest of the earners to encourage work flexibility.

Which other consumer tax will increase?

Tobacco tax is hiked to 60 yen each pack or 3 yen each cigarette in the coming four years. This will be the biggest change since 2010. Taxes will be increased also on heat-not-burn kind of tobacco in the coming five years. Also, the ruling parties agreed for a 1,000-yen departure tax on individuals leaving Japan. The aim of this change is to enhance tourism through the improvement of infrastructure. The actual implementation is in 2019. The start of an additional 1,000-yen residential tax is also agreed upon. The aim is to fund forests conservation until 2024.