Medical expense tax deduction in Japan (医療費控除)

In Japan if one pays more than 100,000 yen of medical expenses in a calendar year, they can deduct it from their pre-tax income (usually leading to an income tax refund). In this post I’ll attempt to summarize the rules of this.

As with all my posts, this is not tax advice and do your own research before making any decision. Also if you find any inaccuracy or mistake, please leave a comment at the end, so that I can correct it.

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Home loan tax deductions in Japan (as of 2024)

Japan has a system that provides income tax deduction for people with a home mortgage in the first years of the mortgage (住宅ローン減税). The rules have changed in the past, and which rules apply depends on when one bought/built their home. In this post I’ll attempt to summarize the rules applicable to a home acquired in 2024. As with all my posts, this is not tax advice and do your own research before making any decision. Also if you find any inaccuracy or mistake, please leave a comment at the end, so that I can correct it.

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Thoughts on handling money in a relationship

One of the common causes of divorce is money problems, so it’s important to be mindful about it. Here are my thoughts on one possible way of doing it.

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A look at life insurance in Japan

I’m starting a family, so I’ve been recently thinking about life insurance to ensure they won’t have financial hardship if I pass early. In this article I’ll review what I found. Please remember that I’m not a professional, and none of this is financial or tax advice. As always, do your own research.

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Investing plans with the upcoming new NISA

From 2024, Japan’s tax-free investment system, NISA, is getting a major overhaul. Investments made within the system are tax-free (no dividend and capital gain tax), with the only major limitation on yearly and lifetime contribution limits, and that a third of the limits can only be used for mutual funds. This is not a retirement scheme, and there is no penalty for selling early. In this post I will review how I plan to invest from 2024.

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Adding Furusato nozei to e-Tax

How to indicate furusato nozei when filing taxes online. (To learn about furusato nozei, see Furusato nozei - end to end guide.)

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Furusato nozei - end to end guide

What is furusato nozei, a bit of history, and how you can do it end to end. This won’t be short, but I try my best to provide the full picture with all the details. While I do my best to keep this information accurate, if you find any inaccuracies, please let me know.

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Thoughts on the future of the real estate market of Tokyo

This is a continuation of my previous post on buying vs renting in Tokyo

The future resale price of a property depends on demand: are there going to be people willing and able to purchase it? Let’s look into the forecasts affecting this. I will try my best to use official (government) statistics and forecasts, even if these are a few years outdated.

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Thoughts on renting vs buying in Tokyo

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about buying either a house or an apartment (mansion), or whether renting makes more sense for now. The primary aim of this post is to collect my thoughts, and record the decision so that I can revisit it in the future. It might also help others considering the same question, but that’s not the main intention (e.g. I will focus exclusively on my use-case and not cover other locations or sizes).

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All-World ETFs for NISA

My go-to investment is the Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT) that includes stocks in close to all companies of the world, so as long as the world economy does well, it goes up. Being a US-based security the dividends are subject to a 10% tax withholding in the US (regardless of me not having to file US taxes). This is not an issue for regular investments, as Japan levies a 20% tax on dividends and due to the tax treaty with the US I can deduct the already paid 10% and only pay the other 10% in Japan (I’m using Interactive Brokers, so I’m doing this myself when filing my taxes).

However I also started doing NISA recently, which is tax-exempt, so I don’t need to pay taxes in Japan on neither the capital gains nor the dividends. But this does not affect the 10% dividend tax levied in the US. So I set out to find a comparable investment that is domiciled outside the US.

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Shared bank account for non-married couples in Japan

The internet wisdom seems to agree that shared accounts (or joint accounts) are illegal and impossible in Japan. As a workaround some banks will issue a second card in the name of the spouse (e.g. SMBC), however that’s generally only available for married couples.

So if you live with a partner, but not married, you are out of luck? Not entirely.

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