The Japanese Stimulus Check. Do you, as a Foreign Resident, Qualify?

Japanese Stimulus Check
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Yes, the Japanese government has announced a comprehensive one-time ¥100,000 payment to all residents so as to lessen the economic impact from the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. And, furthermore, there are no restrictions regarding age or income on the ¥100,000 per person payout and, notably, it is tax exempt. In order to cover the payment of funds, the government will go, as it has done frequently in the past, to the Bank of Japan (BOJ) asking for yet more money, which has sustained the rather alarming levels of public borrowing.
So, foreign residents can access the payment?

As long as the resident has his or her Resident Cardand is legally entitled to live in Japan, the answer again is “yes”. In order to ensure eligibility, the Basic Resident Register is referenced to ensure legality.
How to Apply

In order to access the payment, one needs to fill out an application form that will reportedly be mailed to residents via the local municipality. The application form is addressed to the head of household and this individual is pre-printed on all the forms. Simply fill in the requested information, including your bank account information as the money is mandated to be direct deposited to avoid physical interaction with people during the pandemic. (No paper checks will be issued.) With one’s My Number Card and digital identity verification, applications can be completed online as well. Some city offices in Japan are starting to employ technology and have setup websites where residents can apply online. However, more than likely you will need to apply the old fashion way.
How long is the wait?

Cash benefits have been slated for release in May. However, this ¥100,000 broad subsidywasenacted last-minute, which takes the place of the initially announced ¥300,000 subsidy for low income families.(Note that this is a per person payment.) Consequently, it will likely take more time for approval of the supplementary budget to provide the funds for the subsidy. Due to this added processing, earlyMay could very well be overly optimistic.

Eric La CaraManaging Partner and Tax Practice manager for Capital Tax in Vancouver and Tokyo. Eric is a U.S. and Japan Personal & Corporate tax specialist with more than 15 years of experience in the area of cross-border structuring and taxation. Eric is charged with developing Capital Tax overall operations and strategic direction using the business and technical skills he has acquired during his professional career in Asia.