Supports Cross Border Professionals and Families

If a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder works in Japan, he must obtain Certificates of Coverage. Otherwise, both countries tax you for public welfare benefits. Namely, the US levies social security and Medicare taxes. Japan levies Kosei Nenkin or Kokumin Nenkin (Japanese version of social security.)

Luckily, there is an agreement between the U.S. and Japan called US.-Japan Social Security Agreement. The Agreement requires each country to issue certificates of coverage forms to workers who, without the Agreement, would have to pay social security taxes to both countries on the same earnings. A certificate serves as proof that the worker’s name on the certificate is:

  • Subject to the social security taxation and coverage laws of the country issuing the certificate; and
  • Exempt from social security coverage and contributions on the same earnings in another country.

See for more information.

The form issued by the Japanese government says:

“The worker named in 1 is covered by the legislation concerning the Japanese public pensions systems and the Japanese public health insurance systems (Article 2.1 of the Agreement) and is exempt from U.s. laws with respect to Retirement, Survivors, Disability, and Medicare in accordance with the following Article of the Agreement. …”

Many U.S. citizens and Green Card holders continue to work in Japan. Some will do this as an independent contractor. Both employees and independent contractors must obtain certification from the Japan Pension Service to avoid paying U.S. social security and Medicare in their 1040s.

You do not have to submit the certificate to the U.S. tax authorities if you are an employee. However, you must attach a photocopy of the Japanese certificate to his or her U.S. income tax return each year.

CDH provides tax return preparation and tax consulting services for cross-border individuals living in the United States or foreign countries and strives every day to solve and explain various problems and questions of these people. In addition, the issues these people face are complex and wide-ranging, including the tax laws of your country and the United States, immigration law, life insurance, and retirement rules. This article makes complex tax laws and regulations easy to understand, which is just the point. Therefore, there are many exceptions. There is also a risk that the rules have already changed by reading them. Please contact us from the following website for the latest practices. Also, consult with tax and legal affairs experts if you take action.

CDH Resources: If you can read Japanese, visit You can access them all on the page. YouTube, FaceBook, free online consultations, estate, permanent resident waiver, exit tax, Form 1040, tax simulation, overseas asset reporting, other sectoral online question forms, and monthly newsletter sign-ups. For more information-packed past articles, check out Please feel free to use it. You can email me at [email protected]