Amendments made to the Japanese inheritance and gift tax rules in 2013 have had a significant effect on the attractiveness of Japan as a place for foreigners to come and live and work. These changes appear to be out of step with the current visa initiatives to encourage highly-skilled foreign workers to come to Japan and also appear out of line with the efforts to promote Tokyo as a financial centre.
IBA Japan has produced a leaflet which sets out scenarios to explain the impact of the rules.
Robert was 45 years old when he moved to Japan to work. His wife stayed in London so that their daughter could continue her education interrupted. Robert unfortunately died of a heart attack a couple of months after moving to Tokyo. His world-wide assets, including property, above a relatively low threshold became subject to Japanese inheritance tax. Robert’s wife unfortunately had to sell the family home to pay these Japanese tax liabilities. This would not have been the case if Robert had stayed in London or indeed had moved to any one of over 30 other countries we highlight in our leaflet.
We have been using this leaflet to help explain the impact of the inheritance and gift tax rules on foreign nationals to policy makers and other stakeholders, and hope to secure a change in the current rules.
The leaflet is available in both Japanese and English: