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I am a US citizen but have only lived and worked as a self…

I am a US citizen...
I am a US citizen but have only lived and worked as a self employed individual in Japan for the last 20 years where am I suppose to pay social security?
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
4/1/2014
Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 16,608
Experience: Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level
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Megan C :

Thank you for your question, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to help you today

Megan C :

How are you doing?

Customer:

Good thank you.

Megan C :

If you are self employed and live and work in Japan,

Megan C :

you pay social security tax to Japan

Customer:

Is there a choice you can make to pay in us or japan?

Megan C :

No, there's not a choice you can make - you can see in the table of the totalization agreement that you are supposed to pay to Japan

Megan C :

But there's no double tax

Customer:

I never opted into the japanese system my tax preparer just asked me about it and now I am concerned that since I didn't opt into the Japanese system I can somehow be penalized in the US

Megan C :

No, you will not be penalized in the US for this, as you were not required to pay social security taxes here

Customer:

Ok that is a relief. Thank you.

Megan C :

You're welcome :-)

Megan C :

Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Megan C :

If not, please rate positive so that I may receive credit for assisting you today :-) Thanks so much!

Customer:

One more thing, my tax preparer was going to do a US tax return this year with the foreign tax credit on it and it asks for proof that I paid into the Japanese system. I couldn't provide this so now she is sayting that I have to pay in the US.

Megan C :

No, you will just need to make your Japan filing, and show that you paid into there and you should be all set - you must pay in Japan based on your situation

Customer:

But I've never enrolled in the Japanese system. I went to the pension system here and they said I would have to enroll.

Megan C :

Hmm, but in my experience you would need to follow the chart that I gave you

Megan C :

and you should be doing the foreign earned income exclusion, not the foreign tax credit

Customer:

Yes the exclusion, sorry. I am enrolled in the health care system here but I was told I had to voluntary come into the tax office and enroll for the social security system. Should I pay social security tax on my earnings in the US. Will the IRS then wonder why I haven't before?

Megan C :

No, the IRS doesn't expect you to pay social security taxes when you are living abroad

Customer:

Ok so what should I tell my tax person so she can file the form?

Megan C :

Give her the printout of the link that I provided, which shows that you are supposed to be filing in the Japanese system

Customer:

Yes she has that link she sent it to me early in our discussions. That's why I went on the quest to find out if I am covered here. So, if I am understanding you correct I cannot just opt into the Social security system in the US because I only live and work in Japan and I will not be penalized by the IRS if I am not paying Ss to the US.

Megan C :

You won't be penalized, no

Megan C :

If you want to pay into social security you can, but my interpretation is its not required

Customer:

Ok I will relay this conversation to her thank you Megan.

Megan C :

You're welcome :-)

Megan C :

If there's nothing else I can assist you with today, please rate positive so that I may receive credit for assisting you today

Megan C :

thanks so much :-)

Customer:

Yes, thank you I will.

Megan C :

Thanks so much! :-)

Customer:

will I be able to save this conversation as a file?

Megan C :

Yes, the conversation will always be available at this URL

Customer:

do I just save the url and come back to it?

Megan C :

yes, at any time :-)

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX done this before.

Megan C :

It's no problem :-)

Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 16,608
Experience: Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level
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Megan C
Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 16,608
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Experience: Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level

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