The Tax Man Cometh

Ah, taxes.  You can’t escape them, no matter how far from your home country you go.  The Tax Man will find you.  Here are two points regarding taxes for this year:

A Quick Word on Filing Taxes from Japan

Now that we’re all settled into the new year, it’s time to make preparations for (and begin) filing your taxes.  The situation varies dramatically depending on your home country, so if you’re new to Japan this year, try asking some of your fellow sempai-countrymen and women for tips.  But remember, make sure to contact the tax office of your home country for the exact, official details!  Give their website a once-over, or see if they provide support for you.  Luckily for you, many have gone before us in the JET Program, so usually a simple “filing taxes on JET [insert country name here]” Google search will get you headed in the right direction.  Don’t put it off!

Red Alert!  Tax Increase in April!

If you haven’t heard already, there’s a tax hike coming in April that WILL affect you.  Starting this April, the consumption tax across Japan will increase from 5% to 8%.  That’s right, your 100-yen store purchases will now ring up at 108 yen!  Oh, the humanity!  Of course, those three extra yen add up if you’re making a large purchase.  So, if you’ve been considering getting a car or a fridge or a horse recently, you may want to seal the deal before the prices jump this April.  Just some food for thought.

But hey, it could be worse, right?  I mean, the tax could be doubling!  Oh, wait…

 That’s right!  The end goal of the legislation responsible for April’s increase is to double the consumption tax (to 10%) by October 2015.  This April is just the first step towards that goal.  If you’ll be sticking around after next summer, get ready to fund some serious social welfare programs for the elderly!  Of course, there is a possibility that the government will put off the hikes… but we’ll have to wait until after April to find out.

So, don’t be that person who rolls into Diaso this April with exactly 105 yen and expects to walk out with a can of ice-cold melon soda. You’ll be in for a nasty surprise.

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