Furusato Nozei is a donation that people offer to the local or prefectural government of their choice and in response, many municipalities repay the donors’ generosity by sending them "thank you gifts". In most cases, the gifts are local specialties.
Foreign residents of Japan who work and pay taxes here are just as entitled to participate as the Japanese.
Its connection with Nozei "Tax" stems from the fact that donors qualify for deductions in their income and residential taxes that are almost big enough to offset the donation. The deductible tax amount depends on annual income, family structure, and local policies.
You can choose how to donate your money, based on the area, the kind of project you want to support or the type of return gift you want, by visiting the Furusato Choice Website or the Furusato Multilingual Website which are devoted to Furusato Nozei program.
There are two ways to file for your refund. For people whose taxes are filed for them by their companies, the newly established One Stop Exemption System option allows for donations to be credited against future residential tax payments for the following year.
For the rest of us, the process of claiming back donations via the annual tax return is relatively simple. Donations can be noted as deductions on your return, and claimed against tax paid. Here you can read more about How To Apply For The One Stop Exemption in English as well as Chinese language.