Patients with IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) are diagnosed in Japan by comprehensive or organ-specific diagnostic criteria. To date, organ-specific criteria have been established for several organs, but not for the thyroid. We attempted to establish diagnostic criteria for IgG4-related thyroid disease (IgG4-RTD) based on IgG4-RD research by The Research Program on Intractable Diseases from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan. These criteria have been publicly reported to members of both the Japan Endocrine Society and the Japan Thyroid Association. Thyroid diseases associated with IgG4 include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease and Riedel’s thyroiditis. As a comprehensive definition that includes both systematic and organ-specific forms, we use the broad term ‘IgG4-related thyroid disease’. Diagnostic criteria for IgG4-RTD comprise the following five items: I) enlargement of the thyroid, II) hypoechoic lesions in the thyroid by ultrasonography, III) elevated serum IgG4 levels, IV) histopathological findings in the thyroid lesion (IgG4+ plasma cells >20/HPF and IgG4+/IgG+ plasma cell ratio >30%) and V) involvement of other organs. “Definitive” diagnosis of IgG4-RTD is made when I, II, III and IV are all fulfilled, while “probable” diagnosis of IgG4-RTD is when I, II, and IV or V are fulfilled. Patients who fulfill I, II and III criteria are considered as “possible” IgG4-RTD. We believe that the proposed diagnostic criteria contribute to more accurate diagnosis of IgG4-RTD as well as exclusion of mimicry. Furthermore, they may lead to better understanding of the clinical implications and underlying pathogenesis of IgG4-RTD.