I've long wanted to know more specifics about taxation laws in Japan, especially those regarding my income tax. Every year the accounts receivable office downstairs has waved its magic wand and produced a slip of paper and a surprise refund check for whatever excess had been withheld from my last 12 monthly paychecks. Every year they explain to me in patient, simple sentences which number means what on my 源泉徴収 (gensen choushuu). But no matter how many times I hear it, the numbers still seem arbitrary and I don't get a good sense of exactly how much I'm being taxed or how that amount breaks down.

The Japan Federation of Certified Public Tax Accountants' Association has provided some enlightenment on the subject with their wonderful, English language PDF, "Guide to Japanese Taxes 2012".

If you've ever wondered about your own taxes in Japan, I highly recommend checking it out.

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