I have the status of residence of Specialist in Humanities / International Services, and as a freelancer I have contracts with two language schools as an English instructor. My income is from wages, so I have tax withholding slips. My income has decreased because of COVID-19, and I heard that benefits were available for those working as freelancers. I'd like to know how I can apply. I haven't made a final tax declaration.
A system of Ongoing Payments (jizokuka kyūfukin / 持続化給付金) was established as part of emergency economic measures in response to the increase in COVID-19 infections. In addition to small- and medium-sized enterprises and sole proprietorships including freelancers, eligibility has been expanded to include 'sole proprietors making a final tax declaration (kakutei shinkoku / 確定申告) on income from wages (kyūyo shotoku / 給与所得) or miscellaneous income (zatsu shotoku / 雑所得), whose principal income is income from business activities based on subcontracting agreements (gyōmu itaku / 業務委託), etc., rather than an employment contract (koyō keiyaku / 雇用契約),' and 'enterprises established between January and March 2020.'
In the case of a freelance sole proprietor, you will be eligible for ongoing payments if your income for any month has decreased by 50% or more, due to the impact of COVID-19, compared to your average monthly income through subcontracting agreements during 2019. Enterprises established between January and March 2020 will be considered eligible if your income for any month from April onwards was at least 50% less than the average monthly income from the time the business was established until March.
Applications for the benefit are to be made online, using the Ongoing Payments application website (see below), but it is also possible to apply through one of the Application Support Counters (shinsei sapōto kaijō / 申請サポート会場) established throughout the country.
For 'sole proprietors who make a final tax declaration on income from wages or miscellaneous income,' the application will require such items as the taxpayer's copy of the final tax declaration (or, for those who are not under obligation to file a final tax declaration and thus cannot provide the copy, a statement, confirmed by a tax accountant, of one's income and that one does not need to file a final tax declaration) and the sales ledger, etc. for the month in question, documents indicating that one has income from a subcontracting agreement, etc., a copy of your national health insurance card, a copy of the passbook for the preferred bank account for transfer of payments, and copies of documents confirming your identity (driver's license, Residence Card, etc.). Applicants' documents can either be scanned or photographed with a digital camera or smartphone, etc., but photos must be of sufficient clarity that fine text is legible.
For more information on how to apply, please consult the call center (phone: 0120-279-292) or an Application Support Center (see the website for locations).
Ongoing Payments website: https://jizokuka-kyufu.go.jp/ (Japanese)
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