The exit tax is a form of capital gains tax that applies to people who are moving out of Japan with assets worth 100 million yen or more who have been resident for 5 or more years within the last 10 years.
Exclusions from the 5 year residency calculation
The tax law specifies that residency as a foreign national with an employment-based status of residence is not included in the residency period calculation. This appears to imply that residents who are always resident under an excluded status are not subject to the tax. It also implies that the 5 year timer starts from when you acquire a status that is subject to the tax (as opposed to the tax being applicable immediately). It would be good to get confirmation of these points from an expert.
The table below shows the complete list of the statuses of residence listed in the Immigration Act that are excluded from residency period calculation.
|Excluded from calculation of residency period||Included in calculation of residency period|
Source: Table 1 of the Immigration Act
All residents without one of the statuses of residence on the left. Including:
Source: Table 2 of the Immigration Act + Japanese National.
Considerations when getting Spouse status, Permanent Residency, or Naturalising
People whose immigration status will change from one of the excepted ones to a non-excepted one should consider if it will affect their exit tax liability. For example:
- Converting from a work-based status to Spouse
- Becoming a Long-Term or Permanent Resident
will all start the counter for liability for the exit tax.
- PwC summary (PDF)
- KPMG summary (PDF)
- 国外転出時課税制度 - National Tax Agency (Japanese)
- Specifically, Q3 from the linked FAQ 国外転出時課税制度（FAQ）（令和元年5月）(Japanese, PDF)
- 国外転出をする場合の譲渡所得等の特例 Tax Answer No.1478 (Japanese)
- Residency for tax purposes
Many thanks to the following RetireWiki.jp users for writing this article:
- 国内に住所又は居所を有していた期間（出入国管理及び難民認定法（昭和二十六年政令第三百十九号）別表第一（在留資格）の上欄の在留資格をもつて在留していた期間を除く。 一 所令170③）. Translation note: 上欄 here refers to the left-column, which is the list of residency statuses. here is an example from the officially translated Immigration Act that showing that 上欄 is "left-hand column" in English.
- Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act - Appended Table I (table title has been omitted). See also the Japanese e-gov version without omitted Table I heading: 出入国管理及び難民認定法 別表第一