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How are Americans managing residency requirements?


by @opt | 4yr  | 11 comments

Thanks to the forum and many hoursโ€™ worth of reading, I have a number of puzzle pieces, but am having some difficulty putting them all together as a cohesive plan.

This was evolving into an epic post (of heroes and dragons), but I think the crux of the thing is: everything basically requires a physical/street address somewhere in the US, correct? How are you doing this now, given current conditions/requirements?

For business formation, for a business checking account, and even for a personal account, itโ€™s all about the physical address. For example, I believe Iโ€™ve read here that Charles Schwab (often recommended) may no longer be accepting addresses from mailing services such as Earth Class Mail and Traveling Mailbox, street-based or not. Correct? And thatโ€™s simply for a personal accountโ€“business stuff is always more complicated.

Assuming a โ€œfriends and family planโ€ is not an option, what to do?

One thing I think would work is to rent a cheap room or apartment in some state and use that as a base, but thatโ€™s an added cost/pain, and I donโ€™t believe thatโ€™s what most people are doing.

This also has me wondering if it isnโ€™t better to simply find a cheap domestic location and give up on the international plan. (But that sux.)

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@nomadicme | 4yr

Perhaps it is true that banks will start to request re-verification of mailing addresses annually but to date, they are not doing so. I have had one instance where a bank asked me to update my physical address and so I did. I used an address where I live with a friend. However the rest of the banks solely require you to have a physical address when you open an account (which will be verified). Thereafter you can be nomadic and leave your address as is. Update the mailing address to your โ€œmailing serviceโ€ address and off you go.

To mitigate the risk while traveling open half a dozen checking accounts and debit cards. These days almost all online bank checking accounts are free and have low or no minimum deposit requirements. This way if you lose one or two you have others to fall back on (they are already open and ready to use). Only issue is to be sure you ACH or deposit money annually so they donโ€™t go dormant.

Happy trails

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@adam_nubern | 4yr

I was just forwarded to this discussion, so sorry for being late in the game. Has anyone tried using a Registered Agent to solve this conundrum? Registered agents are historically more used for annual business filings and such. Perhaps you could find a cool RA in your area that allows you to use the address for banking matters to. Assuming you opt in for e-statements, the RA shouldnโ€™t receive anything. As a courtesy you would need to figure out how to limit the inevitable junk mail.

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@nicknovitski | 4yr

Court-tested advocacy from a Texas-based support group for full-time rv-ers gives you the option to have โ€œdomicileโ€ (ie full legal residence) at a Mail-Receiving Agent address in Texas. This is according to someone I spoke to (for free) from Loring & Associates, who have a specialty in affidavits of domicile for Texas, usually for RVers, but also for indefinite-term international travelers.

I hope theyโ€™re right, because Iโ€™m going to be testing this theory in a few weeks with a Traveling Mailbox address. :grimacing:

Iโ€™m a little sad I didnโ€™t read johnny thejenโ€™s post on the subject before changing all my addresses, because it sounds like Texas Home Base will actually give you a document (I believe an affidavit) you can use at the DMV! Traveling Mailbox definitely doesnโ€™t do that.

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@ellen1 | 4yr

This is super helpful and thanks for posting. A document for DMV would be fantastic. Good luck with your experiment and do post an update, I have got to get out of Illinois tax situation!

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@wanderingdev | 4yr

sounds like someone needs to start a nomad house in texas and rent out โ€˜roomsโ€™ to nomads for them to receive their mail

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@ellen1 | 4yr

Due to the Patriot Act of 2003, you absolutely need a physical address to bank, to vote, to file taxes. You absolutely can not use a service such as Traveling Mailbox, Earth Class, etc., street-based or not, in lieu of a physical address.

I faced this issue a few months back and, as you, found it incredibly confusing and confounding. Many people responded to inquiries about the matter with stories of their using a mail service in the pastโ€”or still using one they have had for years.

But, you will also find a new and growing number of folks having problemsโ€”instances of folks whose accounts were frozen suddenly and without warning if they are currently using a digital mailbox (street-based or not); other people who canโ€™t seem to open a new account using digital mailbox.

In fact, you might also have noticed that while Traveling Mailbox used to promote their viability for this precise use case, they actually no longer do. The last I spoke with them, they didnโ€™t outright admit it (likely because the reality is not great for their business model) but they also no longer offered to refund any fees if the bank didnโ€™t accept them as a physical address, which they had in the past.

So, why is this just now starting to emerge? And why is there so much conflicting information? Itโ€™s because banks are having to start cracking this year as the โ€œgrandfatherโ€ period of them not having to confirm that all account holders have an actual physical addresses is coming to a close.

So, there are still folks who use services like Traveling Mailbox for their physical address and think all is fine and dandy. And there are still banks where you might be able to change your address without having to provide proof of residency. But itโ€™s risky businessโ€”a gamble that your bank wonโ€™t just freeze your accounts at some point in the near future.

Hereโ€™s the good newsโ€”you absolutely can use a friendโ€™s or family memberโ€™s address as your primary/physical/residential address. I double checked this as the friend whose address I use is a stateโ€™s attorney so he has to be absolutely legal in everything.

Hereโ€™s what I did:

  1. Secure the required documentation for getting a new driverโ€™s license at the new address. (This is not easy, in fact it is a horrible pit of despair but it can be done).

  2. Get both a Driverโ€™s License and State ID with the new address so you have two forms of ID.

  3. Use said IDs as proof of your new physical address.

  4. After registering your physical address, add a โ€œmailing addressโ€ to as many accounts as you can to reduce the burden on your friends and streamline getting your physical mail. Note: some accounts donโ€™t offer a mailing address and thereโ€™s no getting around that.

  5. Answer carefully whenever registering international travel on your accounts as banks will cancel your account if they think/decide you are out of the country for longer than they feel comfortableโ€”which is completely random and makes virtually no sense. I had two banks cancel my account because I couldnโ€™t give them a precise date of return to the US.

Hope this helps.

Donโ€™t give up international travel just because the US has regressed into a feudal society wherein you must be a landowner or have a landowner vouch for you in order to be a participating member of society! In fact, use it as a good reason to get out and explore how amazing it can be to live in countries that are actually free.

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@opt | 4yr

:wink:

That said, this is an informative response, and if one reads the boards and blogs, itโ€™s apparent that the word isnโ€™t quite out yet that the situation has changed. Either some people are still squeaking through using mailbox services (perhaps to be identified later if/when banks check) or signed up in the past while it was still feasible. Or neither.

You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

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@ellen1 | 4yr

Ugh, totally read that wrong! I thought you were saying you assumed a friends & family plan was not an optionโ€ฆ but I see now you were saying that it isnโ€™t an option for you.

I gots nothing for you then. I tried to do the no friends and family option to get residency in Texas so I could avoid Illinois stupid-high taxes (made higher by residing in Chicagoโ€ฆ) but was completely unable to accomplish without a fair amount of skating along the edge.

I considered the renting out a smallish place option until I realized that Iโ€™d end up having to then add insurance and all that. So, just tossing out the thought that youโ€™re adding some additional complexity by renting.

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@opt | 4yr

No worries, it seems like thatโ€™s what many, if not most, people are doing.

I donโ€™t want to go the path of renting a small place either, but done cheaply it would still result in a huge federal tax savings. Assuming the banks donโ€™t decide youโ€™re not home often enough, as youโ€™ve suggested. (Is there no way to win?)

For others using family addresses, e-billing would help reduce the amount of personal mail received. But with a past business address Iโ€™m accustomed to seeing heaps of junk mail from companies that purchase lists of new business owners. I canโ€™t imagine inflicting that on someone else! (Also, if one becomes โ€œsuspectโ€ in the eyes of the powers-that-be, what effect could that have on those โ€œharboringโ€โ€ฆ?)

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@gigigriffis | 4yr

My boyfriend uses a mail service and he hasnโ€™t had any problems, so not sure if thatโ€™s actually an issue. I use my best friendโ€™s address and just make sure everything is paperless, so she very rarely ever gets a piece of mail. I understand not having access to family, but you donโ€™t have one friend whoโ€™d let you use his or her address? Again, you can make it so that the person rarely/never even gets paper mail.

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@wanderingdev | 4yr

this is what Iโ€™m going to do when my mom goes nomad next year (she gets my very limited mail now). I have a friend and Iโ€™m just going to pay her like $10 a month (cheaper than a service and she gets a little extra cash as a single mom) to take pics of anything that comes in for me. but I get maybe 1-2 pieces of actual mail a month. the rest is just adverts.

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Read and participate in 14,056 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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How do I get Travel/Medical Insurance for Portugal for visa application from Australia?


in Portugal by @jonathanpoh | 4d 3 days ago | 5 comments

I'm preparing my Portuguese D7 long-term visa application and one of the required documents is proof of travel insurance with medical coverage. However, as an Australian citizen, if put that as my country of residence in many travel insurance companies' quick quote forms, I'm unable to get ANY insurance coverage at all because of the current travel ban out of Australia, and the Australian govt's 'Do Not Travel' advice to ALL countries. I know that Aussies are applying for, and successfully getting visas from the Portuguese Consulate here, so where and how are they fulfilling this insurance requirement if insurers aren't selling any coverage? Does anybody know or have any ideas?

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Video chat coworking solutions?

 

in Brazil by @essentiallyint | 5d 4 days ago | 2 comments

I am new to working out of coworking spaces. My business entails a lot of video conferences. I haven't chosen a specific coworking space yet but generally, what are the potential solutions for this? I have a microphone and headphones but still fell like it may be inconsiderate to take the calls anywhere in the coworking space. For a solo person, what are some general solutions? Are there usually options to rent a private room by the hour with just enough room to set up my microphone and laptop? Sidenote: any coworking space recommendations in Florianapolis, Brazil would also be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Is there a map of countries open for travel now?


in Russia by @vernon99 | 5d 5 days ago | 7 comments

I have two passports from different countries and am trying to understand where can I travel now. Is there a publicly available map of countries open for visitors by passport country that I can use to see what are my options? I was pretty sure such a thing should exist, but cannot easily find any.

Maybe at least there're maps for specific passports? Mine are Russian and American.

If there's no such thing, I'd be down to build one, let me know if interested to collaborate :)

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Any nomads in Arizona, US?

 

in Netherlands by @info132 | 6d 5 days ago | 0 comments

Hi guys,

After the Netherlands, the Bay Area, Colorado and being on the van life for 8 months, I am now in Sedona, AZ with a few other digital nomads. We are sharing a home here and are wondering if there are more like minded people in the area.

We do a bunch of hikes and campouts in the northern of Arizona. If you would like to connect with us, please do so :)

Val

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Best place in Portugal near cool nomads, good surf, and a great cowork spot


in Portugal by @joelnicholson | 6d 6 days ago | 10 comments

Hi there, title says it all. Canadian nomad hoping to find the city/town in Portugal with great, consistent surfing, a solid coworking spot, and a fun group of young nomads. Please recommend!

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Best place for solo UK traveller for surf, sun & working between Oct and Dec??


in Tenerife, Spain by @leojb | 7d 7 days ago | 0 comments

Hey Nomads, would love to know any thoughts here.

Top of the list are currently Tenerife, Lagos/Ericeira (Portugal) & Malta??

Would love to know if anyone can vouch for these at this time of year.

Beautiful beach would be the dream. Basically European Bali! I'm sure something many of us are searching for.

Thanks a million. Much love.

Leo

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Are there any digital nomads in the Islands e.g Bermuda, Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis?


in Antigua, Guatemala by @momo11 | 9d 9 days ago | 0 comments

Does anyone ever travel to any Islands like Bermuda, Barbados, Barbuda and St. Kitts & Nevis?

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Tax advisor for permanent nomads?


by @eljaques | 12d 12 days ago | 1 comment

I'm in need of a tax advisor who understands "our" typical situation. I'm all good on being legal on taxes at this point, but as I'm doing more investing and there's more compliance and KYC and such, it's getting more complicated to deal with this topic. Not living in my country of citizenship, company in another country, resident in yet another country, banking in a different country ... you know how it is, a pile of red flags.

Would be great to find a good tax advisor to sort things in a way that makes my situation as "explainable" and easily dealt with as possible. Any leads?

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UK Expats travelling to Greece?


in Bulgaria by @davda1546 | 19d 19 days ago | 2 comments

Hi all, my husband and I have been living in Bulgaria for the past month and were hoping to travel to Greece next. Have any UK nationals entered Greece lately? I believe that anyone entering Greece requires a negative COVID test 72 hours before travel - is this what they are requiring at the borders please? (Reason we ask is for Bulgaria we filled out forms but weren't asked for them) Thanks.

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Can Americans with EU Passports Travel to EU during COVID-19?


in France by @fqlx | 4mo 3 months ago | 1 comment

I'm a dual citizen of America and France with my resident based in the America. Can I travel to the EU using my French passport?

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Any Estonia e-residency company viritual office provider that accepts cryptocurrency?


in Estonia by @64tankman | 1yr 1 year ago | 0 comments

I previously use Profia. Contract is ending and I want to have someone who accepts crypto payment instead.

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What's the best CRM/system for managing remote work opportunities?


by @panoramica | 2yr 1 year ago | 3 comments

Iโ€™m currently doing some work through Upwork, but itโ€™s sporadic and Iโ€™m keen to get more active on other platforms like Freelancer, Toptal, CodeMentor, Fiverr etc

Currently Iโ€™m managing leads in a Google sheet. Basically itโ€™s just a list of projects I pitched for, how much I bid, what I did differently from the last pitch/bid, how much time went by before I got a offered a job etc.

Iโ€™m not actively following up anybody, and Iโ€™ve in fact โ€˜lostโ€™ a few jobs where the client was keen, but then disappeared without a trace. I guess I need to keep in touch with those people to ensure that they remain focussed on our agreementโ€ฆ

Iโ€™m also keen to take on more small projects concurrently, without dropping the ball on any of them.

Iโ€™ve done a quick Google and turned up a few names including Salesforce, Zoho, Nutshell, HighRise, Base, Nimble, etc etc. But testing out all these products isnโ€™t all that appealing, so I thought Iโ€™d ask here first :slight_smile:

Ideally Iโ€™d like something that integrates with remote job boards in some way.

Feature list

Iโ€™ve done some research and currently have this feature list:

Proposal building & tracking

  • Compile proposals from snippets - technologies, past projects
  • Quickly pull together a realistic/client friendly quote
  • Test and measure different approaches
  • Beat proposal deadlines while maintaining quality
  • Fine tune pitch material to bid more quickly and win more work โ€“ templates
  • Store history about past projects involving common needs and technological solutions
  • Learn which proposal content is working, and which is not

Lead generation and client management (CRM)

  • store info about regular clients
  • track remote projects which Iโ€™ve pitched for
  • Remote Job Board integration
  • search multiple job sites for keywords
  • track projects across multiple remote platforms โ€“ API integration / message alert/response

Project Management & Scheduling

  • Break projects down into granular tasks
  • Gantt chart to visualise overlapping jobs
  • Calendar to schedule daily work, deadlines, R&D
  • follow up, plan and schedule future work now, rather than once current work has dried up
  • offline reminders via a dedicated Android app
  • time tracking โ€“ to get an idea of true cost, to flag issues to client
  • BitBucket integration

Billing

  • Integration with Xero
  • tracking status of payments, actual payment date vs expected payment clearance date

Marketing

  • Get repeat business
  • Build Word Of Mouth
  • Proactive lead generation
  • Publish proposals as case studies

Cheers,
Dan

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Estonia E-Residency & CFC


in Estonia by @edusantorini | 2yr 1 year ago | 7 comments

So, Iโ€™ve been looking into e-residency and moving my business to Estonia the past few weeks.
Iโ€™m still a tax resident in Germany and therefore fear Iโ€™ll be suspect to CFC laws. I somehow canโ€™t find any reliable info on this and I donโ€™t feel like reading through the whole law, so just wondering if anyone knows how CFC laws in EU countries come into practice. What taxes do I need to pay exactly? As soon as I cash out (dividends), as far as I can see I need to pay 20% income tax in Estonia. Then what? Of course, I would need to pay income tax in Germany. What taxes do I need to pay besides these?
And if I keep the money in Estonia/reinvest it, am I right that I wouldnโ€™t need to pay any taxes at all? Only for the money I cash out of Estonia/the business?

Iโ€™m by the way not doing this to evade taxes, taxes are secondary. I primarily simply want to move my business activities out of Germany + the all-digital concept and the bookkeeping service of agencies like leapIN are interesting.

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Iโ€™m a U.S. accountant who works with Americans who live abroad, ask me anything!

 

by @olwagner | 2yr 2 years ago | 100 comments

Hi everyone,

If you have a U.S. tax question or would like some U.S. tax insight on your business/structure, ask away!

I have been preparing tax returns for US citizens abroad since 2012. I can answer any question in US tax with an international flavor. I operate 1040abroad.com and I have maintained a blog at taxsamurai.com

I look forward to answering all your questions. And if you are in Ho Chi Minh City in December, letโ€™s meet !!!

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Malta- Ordinary Residency


in Malta by @lukasbergner | 3yr 2 years ago | 0 comments

With 2018 right around the corner, the first thing I am going to do is find a new home base. The single most important factor on which I decided where I want to go was tax advantages. Right now, after reading several posts on this forum, itโ€™s probably going to be Malta. I am from the EU which should make the process pretty easy.

I read a few posts on here which answered a lot of questions, but what I am looking for is mainly confirmation on that what I am planning to do works like I think it will.

1. Is a postal address sufficient for gaining and maintaining residency?
I already know that you are supposed to spend more time in Malta than in any other country to gain tax residency. However Iโ€™d rather rent an Airbnb for those months instead of a renting out an apartment for the whole year. Ideally Iโ€™d get a post box to have a permanent mailing address. Would that work?

2. What exactly is foreign sourced income?
So as I understood it, you donโ€™t pay taxes on foreign sourced income which is NOT remitted to a Maltese bank account. My main income comes from websites so the income is sourced from E-Commerce stores, none of them in any form related to Malta. Iโ€™d still work on this while in Malta, although the income is pretty much passive. I am aware that itโ€™s beneficial to pay at least some tax to avoid complications.

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Working remotely in New Zealand and getting permanent residency?


in New Zealand by @mmorris | 4yr 3 years ago | 4 comments

Soโ€ฆ Trump is Prez. The world looks to the US as a role model. He doesnโ€™t think Climate Change is real. Weโ€™re [email protected]#$ed.

Canadian Citizen here. Was considering Costa Rica for a long term solution, but they wonโ€™t deal with the impact as well. We were always fond of NZ and my parents spend at least 3 months of the year there along with knowing some citizens.

Questions:

  1. How can we gain a Permanent Residency Visa? It seems the Skilled Migrant Category makes the most sense as I am a Systems Analyst (by NAFTA requirments) and my wife could probably qualify as a Nutritionist/Naturopath/Counsellor. Anyone have experience with this path?
  2. I currently work for a US non-profit remotely. Does NZ allow for this? do I need a job in NZ to be considered for the Skilled Migrant Category? Can I work for the US org while my Permanent Residency is processed?

Thanks!

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How to best set up your taxes, residency and and business as a digital nomad?

 

by @theglobalcitizen | 4yr 4 years ago | 60 comments

The purpose of this post is to discuss the benefits, downsides, and challenges of setting up an international business.

Comment with what you want to know, or with what knowledge you can offer others based on your experience.

  • Do you want to set up an offshore company but donโ€™t know
    where to start?
  • Do you have questions with setting up legal entities or bank accounts?
  • Do you have questions with regards to paying taxes and residency.

Before becoming a DN I worked in Dubai as a corporate service provider. I helped 100s of international entrepreneurs to set up their companies, engage in tax planning and obtaining residency. Most of them in Dubai, but also in other jurisdictions like Panama, Hong Kong & Seychelles.

Share your biggest struggles or tips!

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Anyone here who doesn't officially have a residency?


by @absokim | 4yr 4 years ago | 16 comments

Hi everyone,

Is it illegal to not have a residency?

Iโ€™m from Sweden and make all my money online. Now Iโ€™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. Basicallyโ€ฆ Iโ€™m looking to escape tax and not have an official residency anywhere. At the same time, Iโ€™m gonna take great care avoiding to stay long enough in each place so Iโ€™m not obliged to pay tax.

The thing isโ€ฆ On the visa into Australia I have to type in residency, and when I donโ€™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 parentโ€™s address). Or would that be considered illegal seeing I donโ€™t live there but more importantly I donโ€™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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Is Panama a good destination for tax residency for digital nomads?

 

in Panama by @anonym | 4yr 4 years ago | 23 comments

Iโ€™m from Europe and is looking for a country where I can declare my residency, mostly for tax purposes. Panama seems to fit everything. The plan is:

  • Get permanent residency using โ€œFriendly Nations Visaโ€
  • Create a company and get a work permit
  • Get clients to pay me in that company

Since Panama has territorial tax, all income earned outside Panama has zero taxation.

Is it just that good or is there some hidden catch? I live in a Scandinavian country and they just hate to let people go. Will there be problems in paradise?

The plan is to visit Panama once a year and after five years get a passport.

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