1 What is filing return for refund?

Even when you are not legally required to file the final tax return forms, if the amount of taxes withheld from salaries and wages or the amount of estimated tax prepayment exceeds the income tax calculated based on your annual income for the year, you can claim a refund for income tax by filing the final tax return. This filing is referred to as returns for refund.

Regardless of the filing period for the final tax return forms, you can submit a request for refund up to five years from January 1 of the following year.

In the "Filing assistance on the NTA website" section on the National Tax Agency website, you can automatically calculate tax amounts and prepare return forms for income tax and consumption tax as well as the blue return by following the instructions on the screen and entering the amounts and other information. You can submit the created data to the Tax Office electronically (through e-Tax) or by printing and mailing it.Please note that the instructions on the site is only in Japanese.

In order to utilize electronic filing (e-Tax), you must obtain a MyNumber Card and IC card reader/writer,or MyNumber Card compatible smartphone or have an ID and password issued at the tax office in advance.

2 Examples of filing returns for refund

In principle, wage earners can apply for filing returns for refund when:

  1. (1) They are not subject to the year-end adjustment because they terminated their employment during the year, and they have paid more withholding tax amount than necessary.
  2. (2) They have housing loans due to reasons including the acquisition of houses under certain requirements.
  3. (3) They carried out specified renovations on their houses.
  4. (4) They built a certified house (Special tax credit for building a new certified house, etc.)
  5. (5) Their property is damaged due to theft or disaster.
  6. (6) They are eligible for deduction for a specially designated expenditure.
  7. (7) They paid significant amount of medical expenses.
  8. (8) They made specified donations.
  9. (9) They deducted the amount of losses related to the transfer of listed stocks and shares from the amount of dividend income, etc., related to listed stocks and shares for which separate taxation is selected.

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3 Examples of items not qualified for filing returns for refund

Returns for refund by filing the final tax return are not accepted for the following income:

  1. (1) Interests on deposits and savings, which are subject to withholding tax at source.
  2. (2) Income from similar financial products such as mortgage securities, which is subject to withholding tax at source.
  3. (3) Income derived from profits obtained on redemptions of certain discount bonds, etc., which is subject to withholding tax at source.
  4. (4) Income derived from profits obtained from single-premium endowment insurance (where the term of insurance is five years or less or where the term of insurance is over five years and cancelled within five years), which is subject to withholding tax at source.

4 Notes on filing returns for refund

  1. (1) If you have already filed the return for refund but the amount you declared for refund is less than what it should be for the year, you can still receive the income tax refund by requesting a correction to the tax return.
    In principle, a request for correctioncan be accepted within five years from the date of filing the return for refund.
  2. (2) Submit the return for refund to a District Director of Tax Office with jurisdiction over the location of your address at the time of filing.