For Foreign Nationals in Japan

Furusato Nozei: How to Save on Taxes and Enjoy Japanese Local Specialtie


Currently, Furusato Nozei can be utilized through many sites such as Rakuten and Satofuru. It is rumored that Amazon will also start handling Furusato Nozei in the near future.There are also many websites available to calculate your maximum donation limit.



What is Furusato Nozei? (ふるさと納税)

Furusato Nozei is a tax incentive program that allows taxpayers to donate to municipalities of their choice. Donations exceeding 2,000 yen are deductible from income and resident taxes, subject to certain limits.

For example,If you have a certain level of income and make a donation within the upper limit, for example, ¥50,000, you can receive a tax reduction of ¥48,000. In other words, you can receive the return gift for a donation with only ¥2,000 out of pocket. Not only can you receive delicious Japanese meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits, but also travel vouchers and other items as return gifts.

However, please note that since the donation will be made to a municipality other than the one you live in, the tax revenue of your own municipality will decrease. Consider this aspect when deciding whether to use the Furusato Nozei system.


Correcting Name Errors

When filing a tax return, you need to keep the donation receipt. Foreigners may encounter name errors due to middle names or different formal name formats, making mistakes more common.
If you make a mistake with your name when making a Furusato Nozei donation, contact the municipality where you made the donation. Provide your incorrect name, the correct name, and the donation date. Don’t forget to submit identification or other documents proving your correct name. The municipality will process the change and inform you once it is updated.


One-Stop Exception System (ワンストップ特例制度)

While typically requiring a tax return, the One-Stop Exception System allows donors to skip this step if donations are made to five or fewer municipalities.
The One-Stop Exception applies as a reduction in resident taxes from June of the following year.

To apply for the One-Stop Exception, you must submit an application form to each municipality at the time of donation.

If you donate to more than five municipalities or if you need to file a tax return for any reason, you must file a tax return to reflect the Furusato Nozei donation deduction in your tax return.

If you move or need to change details after submitting the application, you must notify the municipalities by January 10 of the following year.


Our Services

At our office, we provide services such as contacting municipalities to correct name errors, calculating the maximum donation amount, and assisting with tax return filings for Furusato Nozei deductions. Please feel free to consult us.

Furusato Nozei donations peak at the end of the year. Estimate your donation limit in summer or autumn and make donations conservatively to account for potential income changes, such as retirement, which might reduce your total income by year-end.