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Are Japanese Hostesses Not Paying Income Tax? Part 1

Nikkan SPA - Original Japanese Date: April 27th, 2014
English Translation Published: March 30th, 2016

Some Japanese hostesses may be making big money via lonely male customers, but they are certainly skipping out on paying their fare share of taxes.

Recently, the media has been reporting on how Japanese hostesses may be making in upwards of 10 million a month (approximately $100,000USD). The burning question is whether they are actually paying their fare share of taxes from these monumentally high wages. Those making this much certainly owe in upwards of a million yen a year—if not more--in taxes. It's time we looked more into this along with hearing what tax offices have to say.

Most hostesses say they do pay 10% for income taxes. This is true in some regard. Employees always have this amount deducted automatically from their pay. Hostesses making serious money are supposed to file income taxes, but do they really?

Those making more than 18 million yen a year (approximately $180,000USD) are supposed to pay 40%. If you're pushing income like this, you'll end up owing a very sizable amount for taxes.

People at the tax office of course have their eyes on this. It's hard to miss when some of these hostesses find themselves on TV variety shows displaying their wealth. Human nature dictates people wanting to flaunt their financial successes. It's a matter of pride.

Sometimes tax offices will visit hostess clubs and ask to see employee registers and the pay of top-ranking employees. Club owners generally are pretty diligent with reporting income, but the same cannot be said for the hostesses who work there.

Many high-income hostesses don't associate their required 40% income tax as work. What's more, those who work at this level are actually required to prepay their taxes regularly and by the April deadline (estimated 1040 equivalent for USA readers). Most want to avoid feeling penniless in spite of making a great deal of money.

Some of the shadier clubs often keep incorrect rosters to make finding out who owes what a mighty challenge for tax authorities. Things like addresses have numbers mixed and real names are often written with the wrong Kanji.


To be concluded...


Written by Kazuhisa Kimura


(Translator's note: Hostesses can be split into 2 basic categories: ones who identify as Hostesses and those who work at 'Cabaret Clubs'. The former is generally a commission-based system with pay decided upon how much you can convince your customer's to spend. The latter, on the other hand, is more of a part-time paid-by-the-hour system. Regardless of what your client buys, you are paid a set amount an hour (usually $30USD and higher). Some clubs do a little bit of both.)

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