Japan’s National Tax Agency has discovered that 10 Australians have neglected to pay capital gains tax on the sale of real estate in Hokkaido’s Niseko area. Approximately 56 million Yen (570,000 USD) in tax is owed, with an additional 14 million Yen (140,000 USD) in penalties.
Niseko is a popular ski resort area for foreigners and has seen an influx in Australian visitors over the past 10 years. According to the Niseko Promotion Board, approximately half of the 226,000 foreign tourists between November 2012 and April 2013 were from Australia. Some tourists end up buying resort apartments as investments either for personal use or to rent out.
If you realise a gain on the sale of real estate in Japan, you may be liable to pay capital gains tax regardless of your status of residence.
Read more about capital gains tax in Japan here.
And to familiarise yourself with your tax obligations as a non-resident, and English translation of Japan’s Withholding Tax Guide (2008) can be viewed here.
Jiji Press, October 28, 2013.
The Yomiuri Shimbun, October 28, 2013.