Taxes that apply to non-resident (individual & corporate) building owners

Generally, for non-resident foreigners in Japan who own office buildings, both individuals and foreign corporations, 20% of the rent they collect as revenue is held for taxes. That is, when a renter pays rent, 80% is sent to the owner and the remaining is held for taxes. Non-residents still must report this income on their tax return to the National Tax Agency of Japan, but if amount of total taxable income on the tax return is less than the amount of withholdings, then the owner will receive a refund from the government. In the opposite case where the amount of withholdings is less than the amount on the tax return, the owner needs to make a tax payment for the difference.

Also, if a non-resident sells a property they own in Japan, in the same way as in the case of rental income, 10% of the sales price is withheld for taxes and the remaining 90% is sent to the seller. When the seller does their taxes, they need to calculate if taxes paid for the year are less than or greater than the taxes owed.

However, if an individual buys a property or rents a property for their own personal or family’s residence, neither 20% nor 10% will be withheld and the full sales amount can be sent to the seller/owner.

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