Anyone here who doesn't officially have a residency?

#1

Hi everyone,

Is it illegal to not have a residency?

I’m from Sweden and make all my money online. Now I’m going to become a non-resident for tax purposes.

My thinking is that I want to live in Australia for a few months of the year and then live in 2 other places a year. Basically… I’m looking to escape tax and not have an official residency anywhere. At the same time, I’m gonna take great care avoiding to stay long enough in each place so I’m not obliged to pay tax.

The thing is… On the visa into Australia I have to type in residency, and when I don’t legally have one, what the heck am I suppose to type in?

Could I just type in my old address in Sweden? (Or maybe my parent’s address). Or would that be considered illegal seeing I don’t live there but more importantly I don’t have residency there anymore (though I will of course always remain a citizen)?

Curious to hear your thoughts about this and if maybe someone is already doing this and living without an official residency.

(The ultimate goal with all of this is of course to avoid giving away half of my hard-earned money every month while being able to live a more comfortable life in 3 places a year)

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#2

I just say I’m a US resident even though I’m not. It is easier and leads to fewer questions.

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#3

Every nationality is different. In your case go ahead and write Swedish address. Your strategy is basically sound since Sweden wont let you leave for no tax jurisdiction. Australia will serve your purpose as they are equally bad. So just go ahead and mark your time in Australia until you make another step to become tax exempt.

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#4

If you’re not a resident anywhere for over 180 days (this varies per country), you’re taxable in the country of your citizenship. And it usually happens when you come back.

In addition, if you did live somewhere else for 180+ days, you’ll have to prove it to your country’s IRS.

There’s a great chance this doesn’t happen as it’s hard for them to figure out (lack of resources), but being a non-resident does not remove you from paying tax in most countries.

Especially not North + Western European ones.

cc @manu

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#5

@levelsio The idea that if you don’t have residency somewhere then it falls back to your domicile is categorically false for a lot of countries - New Zealand and the UK are just two examples.

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#6

the US is another. but i think he was mostly talking about european countries which seem to be difficult when it comes to taxes (i thought the US was bad, but most of the EU seems much worse).

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#7

In Uruguay is the same. If you live in the country for more than 183 days a year you have tax obligations with the state.

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#8

Anyone is aware about France’s rules for that matter ?

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#9

It is possible to say you are “stateless” meaning you don’t have a citizenship or residency anywhere. It looks bad but technically not illegal. I knew someone who was once upon a time before getting Canadian citizenship but that was his way of avoiding saying that he was from essentially a terrorist country, he was coming from Europe which made it a bit more palatable I’m guessing.

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#10

Your main question is “Is it illegal to not have a residency”

Well, Residency and Citizen ship are not the same and have a residency is the easiest thing in world and you anyway will need one for many things (paypal, credit card, whatever)

Residency can be a ℅ address and NO COUNTRY in the world will check this address if you enter it as a tourist.

How the law in your country is about I don’t know I could only tell from Switzerland, and I think that will not help you much.

To conclude, I do not pay taxes and still have a residency, but I am not registered as a living and working person in my home country because I told to the Resident Control, I move to a unknown location in the world for a unknown amount of time.

I still have a ℅ address though.

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#11

You might want to be careful with your arrangements when coming to Australia. The residency rules might catch you even if you are only here for less than 6 months. (I’m an Aus Tax accountant btw).

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#12

I have a 12 month tourist visa for Australia, what do you mean by “careful with your arrangements”? I think I’ll just be considered a tourist for 12 months, no?

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#13

Depends on your intentions and behaviour whilst in Australia, not just the visa you have. Residency is determined by many factors so it’s too hard to say without more information. Typically for a digital nomad who works and travels, the ATO’s view would be that coming to Australia to live and work for a limited period of time is considered their normal behaviour and therefore, they can be considered an Australian tax resident.

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#14

For a lot of countries, even if you spend less than the 180 (or 183 or whatever rules your country uses), try to maintain as few ties as possible to your citizenship country.

Sell/Rent out your place, do NOT leave it empty with your things in it.

Avoid using your bank accounts in your country, there are options in SE Asia, EU and the US for non-residents to open accounts there, including most likely in the currency that you usually deal with and a card that you can use at ATMs worldwide.

Sell your car if you’re not going to use it for six months, you’re better off getting another one later.

Sign up to a library card in the places you move to, attend a church, join a social club.

Should you face the unfortunate scenario of being asked to PROVE your non-residence, you will have to do two things:

  1. Prove your lack of residence in your citizenship country (per above)
  2. Prove your residence somewhere. Now here is where tourist entry sucks. You are a tourist and it will be difficult to convince anyone that you have more ties to a country in which you can not work, and live for longer than half a year.

So what can you do about it? The easiest way to get rid of some of this hassle is to establish a residency elsewhere, even if you don’t make use of it. EU citizen? Find a place with low income tax, head there, register at the local municipality for a residence permit.

Under 30? Make use of a work and travel visa.

Feel free to get creative with this, student visas, temporary residency permits, there are a lot of things you can do to establish yourself somewhere that is not your “home” country.

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#15

Hi there,

I’m from Switzerland and have a similar situation. I’m trying to get an international health insurance but always get asked for a permanent or official residence which I don’t have since I’m traveling full-time. Also I have no idea if it is kind of illegal not having a permanent residence and where I have to pay taxes, so I was curious if you did already find answers on these matters?

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#16

Just came across this:

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#17

@flyonthewall just found this article through a FB group too. :wink:

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