Requirement for banks to collect and remit information regarding bank accounts owned by non-residents
A tax reporting system is applicable under which non-resident individuals are required to report certain information to the tax authorities in Japan. The individual will provide the information to the relevant branch of the Japanese financial institution with which they have a deposit, and the financial institution will provide it to the tax authorities. The required information is: (i) name, (ii) address, (iii) date of birth, (iv) resident country, and (v) taxpayer identification number. The financial institution will also provide account details (balances, transactions, etc.). The information is required as of 31 December and must be submitted by the following 30 April.
The Electronic Bookkeeping Act prescribes rules for how different categories of documents should be stored in electronic format. The categories include:
- National tax-related books, which are defined as accounting books required to be kept pursuant to the provisions of national tax laws, including journals, general ledgers, etc.
- National tax-related documents, which are defined as documents required to be kept pursuant to the provisions of national tax laws, including invoices, contracts, financial statements, etc, where the original document is in paper.
- Electronic transactions ('e-transactions'), which refers to national tax-related documents where the original document is in electronic format only, for example, a PDF invoice sent via email.
Generally, documents under (i) and (ii) must be stored in paper copy. Taxpayers may elect to keep such documents in electronic format, but in order to do so must comply with the requirements of the Electronic Bookkeeping Act. In contrast, from 1 January 2024, it is mandatory for documents under (iii) to be stored electronically in accordance with the specific rules for e-transactions provided in the Electronic Bookkeeping Act. Exemptions to this mandatory requirement may be available in certain circumstances.