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Japan Giveth and Japan Taketh Away

06/06/05 | by silverso | Categories: Deep Thoughts



This post isn't about the mysterious, seldom seen 2000 yen note. An investigation into where all these bad boys have all been disappearing too might not be a bad idea though. Today however I want to bitch about something else... taxes. Friday I got a bill in the mail for 76200 yen for my "Town Tax", which the universal currency converter tells me is $881.540 Canadian dollars. Does this seem high to anyone? I don't remember having to pay this last year. Maybe they don't bother sending this thing to first year JET's since they know that they're going to bail the country before the full amount comes due. It should be interesting to see if I get one of these in third year. If I do, I know exactly where it's going. Perhaps one of my fellow JETs that paid attention to these details during their initial JET orientation or to the many subsequent emails from Melanie would care to clue me in. To top it off, I'm expecting another big hit in the pocketbook when my car tax bill comes in a few days. Bah humbug!

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22 comments

Comment from: Hugh
Hugh

I got the same thing Jamie, though for JETs it depends on what country you’re from. Unfortunately Canada doesn’t have a tax treaty established with Japan so that’s why we’re forced to pay this crap. I looked it all up in the JET handbook. I thought maybe my school was supposed to pay for this but they claimed that its already added to my pay cheque or something to that effect.

06/06/05 @ 11:04
Comment from: silverso
Jamie

I just talked to the office people, and they insist I have to pay. I’ve always suspected the my pay checks were a little high, so I guess it balances out. I’ve never had trouble with my office ripping me off (unlike those unlucky few who know who they are), so I’m reasonably sure this is all on the up and up. Did you get a bill this year Hugh? If you chose the installment plan, then you don’t have to pay everything until December, by which time you’ll be long gone.

06/06/05 @ 12:30
Comment from: David in Kizukuri
David in Kizukuri

I thought the car tax bill was sent during April and had to be paid by May 31st?

06/06/05 @ 12:32
Comment from: silverso
Jamie

Really? Uh oh. Hopefully I paid it and forgot about it.

06/06/05 @ 12:33
Comment from: David in Kizukuri
David in Kizukuri

Hopefully I did the same ^^;

06/06/05 @ 12:39
Comment from: Monte
Monte

Wow, that`s harsh. I`ve gotten a bill of that sort every year, but not for anywhere near that much. Whoever pays you is supposed to keep you informed as to whether or not they`re taking out said tax, or whether you`re expected to save the money yourself and pay it when it comes do. I`m a bit surprised you didn`t get one last year.

06/06/05 @ 13:13
Comment from: silverso
Jamie

You’re only supposed to get one for the first full year you stayed in Japan. For me that was Jan 2004 to Jan 2005. Monte, since you’re a 3rd yearer then it makes sense that you’ve gotten two of these by now. If you’ve gotten more than that, well…

06/06/05 @ 13:21
Comment from: jacob
jacob

Hey Jamie,

US citizens get the first two years in Japan free and then have to pay in the 3rd year, Canadians only get the first year free. I guess it is a little crappy, but you were very happy to be canadian when you went to get your Japanese License. :) Some JETS end up paying a City tax and a neighborhood tax…so keep an eye out for the dude with his clipboard collecting!

If you try to skip out on the tax (many JETs do whether out of ignorance or spite) you’ll never see your lump sum tax payment (at least that was one solution I’ve heard of).

It does suck to not have known about the tax and then find an 8man bill in your box. When they talk about it in the handbook, it doesn’t seem like such a huge bill, so many people don’t plan for it.

Jacob

06/06/05 @ 15:26
Comment from: David in Kizukuri
David in Kizukuri

Good info Jacob. So is it the same case with your car tax? Aka, if you skip out you’ll never see your lump sum pension payment?

06/06/05 @ 16:04
Comment from: jacob
jacob

David, I’m not sure. I know they will continually contact you if you skip out on any bills.

06/06/05 @ 16:07
Comment from: Francois
Francois

Hello Jamie,

I haven’t got anything yet. I really hope that I pay it every month in my paycheck though.

Saturday, I got my car tax bill. If you have a car on April 1st, you are charged and you have to pay it by June 30th. 4.3 man for me.

06/06/05 @ 16:44
Comment from: nate
nate

2000 yen notes are only rare out here in the sticks jaime. you get them from atms in Tokyo. I had been keeping one in my wallet as a reminder that not all Japan is Aomori. That is until I really really wanted some ice cream.

I’m thinking of going to the bank to ask for one to keep a bit of big city nostalgia in my butt pocket.

06/06/05 @ 17:27
Comment from: silverso
Jamie

Okay, I just got home from work and discovered a nice surprise in my mail box. My car tax bill for 4 man! Yay.

06/06/05 @ 17:43
Comment from: Hugh
Hugh

The city tax AND car tax bills both came yesterday. W-Punch!

06/06/05 @ 19:01
Comment from: silverso
Jamie

Not only that Hugh, but that big gas refinery behind your house is on fire! I just saw a bunch of firefighters in gasmasks on the news draging people through the smoke. Might just be a drill though. Probably a good thing you’re going back to Toronto soon though.

06/06/05 @ 19:26
Comment from: Phil
Phil

Just quit complaining, don’t convert it into Canadian dollars (you’re not living in Canada now, remember?) and pay it. You’ve been sponging for far too long.

06/07/05 @ 10:28
Comment from: silverso
Jamie

Oh my God, you’re right! I’m NOT living in Canada! I almost forgot. Good thing you reminded me too because I almost poured green tea on my french fries thinking it was vinegar. By the way, Philllll, who the Hell are you to tell me to quit complaining or to stop sponging? I’ll complain and sponge all I damn well please thank you very much. That’s what being a JET is all about. Who are you anyway? I bet you’re some lowly NOVA jealous of my big paychecks and long vacation. I can’t think of any other reason why you’d bother going on some stranger’s website and leave a comment like that. The only reason I’m bothering to respond is because I’m at work with nothing better to do, like usual. Ah the life of an ALT! Maybe I’ll just go make some color photo copies of my face for no reason. Sponging is so great! Anyway, to summarize Phil, you can suck my balls. Thanks for dropping by.

06/07/05 @ 11:13
Comment from: Francois
Francois

hopefully, he’s not the next ALT in Hiranai…

06/07/05 @ 11:39
Comment from: Jacob
Jacob

Jamie, poor Phillll, you unleashed on him! It would be very funny if he was a new ALT in Aomori ;) Too bad I won’t be around to see the drama play out. You are going to have A LOT of newbies to train in the art of being an ALT. Good luck.

PS: Pay your bill and stop slacking!!!! :)

06/07/05 @ 13:20
Comment from: dan
dan

1. 2000yen notes are rare no matter what part of Japan you’re in. I lived in Nagoya and Tokyo for a semester each, plus almost a year on JET and have only seen ONE note, which I still keep.

2. Y’all should ride motorcycles. My “car tax” this year was 2400yen. Guess a bike might suck a bit up in Aomori though . . .

06/07/05 @ 13:55
Comment from: silverso
Jamie

Well if he is a new ALT then he certainly has much to learn, desu ne? I think this has given me an idea for my next post topic.

06/07/05 @ 13:58
Comment from: silverso
Jamie

Dan… you can see a couple of dudes trying to ride scooters in the snow in the video I just posted. In fact quite of few people (morons) also ride their bikes in the winter.

06/07/05 @ 14:00
Avoiding life and teaching English in Noheji, Aomori, Japan

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