Japan Tax Guide

〔Inheritance Tax〕Scope of Tax Liability

Creation date2019/12/27


Title: 〔Inheritance Tax〕Scope of Tax Liability

Question: I live in the US, and my father is a Japanese citizen living in Japan. When I inherit his estate, will I be liable for tax in Japan?

Answer: Before answering your question, please note two things. First, Japanese inheritance tax is different from the US estate tax. As the name states, the US taxes the estate of a deceased person, while Japan taxes the benefits of the estate as attributable to each inheritor. Second, we will only discuss the Japanese side of taxation in this article, so please be sure to ask a qualified tax professional about the tax implications in the US (or other country) in which you reside at the time of inheritance

In order to determine your tax liability, we must look at the citizenship/residential status of the person leaving assets (your father) and the person receiving the assets (you). Please see the chart below.

          In this case, we look at your father’s situation in the left “Deceased/Transferor” column and see that he falls under “address in Japan.” Since he is not a short-term resident, in your case all of his assets in Japan as well as overseas are taxable in Japan, meaning that you are liable for tax in Japan on his worldwide assets and there is a high possibility you need to file a return and pay tax in Japan.
          Inheritance cases can get complicated very quickly. Are you and your family protected and ready?

At TOMA Consultants Group, our international tax experts can help you with all of your international taxation needs and questions. For more details, please feel free to contact TOMA Consultants Group.

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Question: 私はアメリカに住んでいて、父親は日本人です(日本在中、日本国籍)。相続が発生した場合、父親の財産に対して日本で課税されますか。

Answer: まず、注意点が2つあります。1つ目は、アメリカのestate tax(遺産税)と日本の相続税制度がそもそも違う点です。言葉どおり、アメリカの遺産税は被相続人(亡くなられた方)の遺産に課する税金です。一方、日本の相続税は相続人(もらう方)が相続する財産に課税する税です。2つ目は、今回は日本側の取り扱いについてのみ説明しますので、海外滞在中に相続が発生した場合には、その国の税務専門家へ相談することをおすすめします。