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Tax Planning advice (Primarily contracting for US company)


by @kartman92 | 2yr  | 7 comments

Hello nomads,

Due to a recent US work visa rejection (H1B), Iโ€™m considering turning to freelancing and being a digital nomad. My former employer (US based start-up) wants me to continue rendering my services as a contractor/freelancer (so I have a confirmed major client and Iโ€™ll probably take on other minor clients on the side). From the get go I want to get my taxes right and I was hoping you seasoned nomads can assist me. Some of the key aspects of my case are:

  1. I hold an Indian passport and as long as I donโ€™t stay in India for 182 days Iโ€™m considered non-resident (No taxes on foreign income as long as services are not rendered in India, otherwise 30% tax).

  2. I may have to visit the US occasionally, so having a tax-residency in a country with a US tax-treaty may be beneficial (I maybe incorrect here).

  3. Iโ€™m willing not to be a perpetual traveller and put down roots in a low tax country that offers easy tax residency with low-taxes.

  4. Will incorporating in a tax-friendly help my case? Or will just perpetual travel be enough to completely avoid taxes?

P.s. If any of you offer sound tax advice for a fee and are aware of international taxation laws (especially US tax laws), do let me know.

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@da5ha | 2yr

Some context: I work with American start-ups remotely, while living outside the US, and I do not have any visas/American citizenshipโ€ฆ so Iโ€™m writing this from my experience so far:

  1. FYI Most employers will want you to fill out the W-9 form to get paid/have their accounting paperwork in line. Since you are not a resident, you will not have a TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number), so this is your first accounting department hurdle.
    This is the W-9 form --> irs(dot)gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf

  2. Instead, this form seems to be the correct way about it, as an international contractor, either as an individual or an enterprise.
    W-8 BEN form --> irs(dot)gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8ben.pdf
    W-8 BEN-E, if you are a larger company --> irs(dot)gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8bene.pdf

  3. Keep good records of what you receive/convert! ie what the exchange rate was on the day you received payment and/or when and how much you converted. This helps once you file all as your regular income, as you would normally do.

No issues so far! Hope this helps!
Also not a bad idea consulting an international accountant/tax lawyer, if youโ€™re doing high volume!

**FYI Start-ups LOVE using payment apps like Bill(dot)com, however these donโ€™t operate outside the US. :cry: I use paypal a lot to go around the issue of USD money transfer, but make sure you add ~4.5% to your total to cover their fees!
Paypal fees depend on country --> paypal(dot)com/ca/webapps/mpp/merchant-fees

***Last point - when working this way, as a contractor with no residency of any kind - NEVER MENTION YOU FREELANCE IN THE USA while crossing the border. EVER. :warning:
If you do NOT have the paperwork to work there - you do NOT MENTION anything work related. Otherwise, they will question you, reject you, and often times - ban you from entering. All trips are strictly personal, pretend your clients are friends and do not use the word CLIENT.

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@kartman92 | 2yr

thanks @da5ha!

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@nerdontour | 2yr

I have not work with US companies yet, but I also needed a freelancing structure for customers around the world, including the USA. Since 2014 I run an LTD in the UK itโ€™s a perfect solution for my digital nomad activities. Maybe it will work for you too.

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@kartman92 | 2yr

Thank you, so much. Iโ€™ll reach out to Stewart.

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@stringnikolic | 2yr

I am Australian and non-resident for tax purposes because I am out of AU for more than 183 days per year. Had same similar issue. I did look into Panamanian residency but in the end didnโ€™t need it. I had a Stewart Patton, US tax attorney, create a structure where I can sell into the US and not pay US tax. Hereโ€™s an article that may help: https://ustax.bz/non-us-entrepreneurs/

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@kartman92 | 2yr

Are these tax structures expensive to create and maintain? Whatโ€™s your experience been like?

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@stringnikolic | 2yr

I think it was around $2k to set up and $1k to maintain annually. Donโ€™t remember the exact price. Itโ€™s a lot cheaper than paying tax in Australia. Heโ€™ll be able to advise on your US tax liabilityโ€“which I am pretty sure will be zeroโ€“but wonโ€™t be able to advise on Indian tax.

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Read and participate in 14,067 discussions on Nomad List

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Where do I get good legal advice/support to have a long-term stay in Portugal?


in Lisbon, Portugal by @mzorrilla | 21d 21 days ago | 4 comments

Hello, everyone!

My idea is to stay as low as 6 months and as long as a year (maybe, who knows) over Lisbon after doing some analysis from many cities in Europe.

I'm an Argentinian and Chilean (both nationalities) so... no Euro-pass for me (getting my Italian nationality could take 2 years easily). I'm also a remote worker and I have a really good income (I work for a Silicon Valley company) so I can show more than enough resources to stay in the country.

Everything I see online doesn't inspire me much confidence (most sites looks a bit scammy) and this is not a "vacation stay"... I want to be clear my head far away from Argentina right now. If someone has a good website, recommendations, etc I will super appreciate.

Thanks in advance!

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Tax advisor for permanent nomads?


by @eljaques | 1mo 1 month 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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Issues with not being a tax resident anywhere?


by @lightworker | 9mo 8 months ago | 2 comments

Anyone with knowledge regarding complications of not being a tax resident anywhere in the world? Iโ€™m aware that primary health care, bank account opening and incorperation can be problematic but are there other practical or legal factors I should be aware of?

And what about paying myself salary from a self-owned OECD company? I would like to know if I risk potentieal issues with the tax authorities in the jurisdiction of the company, especially regarding withholding tax.

Appreciate your input!

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How do digital nomads pay tax?


by @rodriigovieira | 10mo 10 months ago | 19 comments

Hello everyone! Iโ€™m new here and probably this is a very newbie question, but it doesnโ€™t leave my head.

How do you, nomads, pay your taxes? I mean, if youโ€™re constantly traveling, how are you going to pay taxes for a certain country if you are going to stay there a short period of time?
Or do you return to your โ€œoriginal countryโ€ and then pay them?

By the way, this forum has very nice cool formatting features! :smile:

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Where to move for tax purposes as a non-US citizen?


by @mender | 1yr 1 year ago | 5 comments

I am a New Zealander looking to travel for a couple of years in different countries. For this purpose I would ideally like to shift my company to a lower tax territory where I will live part time, as I am currently taxed at roughly 33% in New Zealand, however itโ€™s closer to 40% when I add in all the hidden taxes.

With a move I wonโ€™t be living in NZ so Iโ€™ll no longer be obliged to pay any tax after 320 days.

I ideally would wish to be a tax resident of the country I incorporate in. What country is easiest to do this through? A large chunk of my business relies on PayPal which requires your bank account to be from the same country your company is registered. Thus I canโ€™t do anything such as BVI or small islands.

Tbh my best bet looks to be Dubai Free Zones at this point and I can do some travel in europe from there.

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How to be sure of new tax residence?


by @analogmario | 1yr 1 year ago | 0 comments

Hi, Iโ€™m new here.
I am moving out forever.
So I am going to move to another country my residence.
But, in the new country I donโ€™t plan to spend more than 90 days a year for sure, at least itโ€™s not the plan for the first years.

But I want to be sure that my tax residence is in my new country, even if I spend less than 90 days a year.
I want to be sure I wonโ€™t be reclaimed by my original country or any other country that I might end up spending less than 180 days, but more than the less than 90 I expect to spend in my new country(looks like itโ€™s going to be Portugal).

Hope that was understandable.

Does anyone know where I can get information about this kind related to nomadism?

Thanks

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Advice on phone plans? 1 year in Europe


by @larsheather | 2yr 1 year ago | 8 comments

Weโ€™re Americans planning to be in Europe for all of 2020 - approx. 90 days in each country, and alternating Schengen and non-Schengen. Our destinations will likely include four of these: Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Ireland, Romania, and Spain.
Can anyone give us advice on cell phones? We would prefer to keep our current (U.S) numbers if at all possible. We donโ€™t anticipate making many local calls, but will phone the U.S. about once a week. Weโ€™ll use our phones for internet quite often.
Any advice for our situation would be very much appreciated!
Thanks,
Heather and Lars

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How does Lima's new municipal taxi app compare to Uber?


in Lima, Peru by @robertomasymas | 2yr 1 year ago | 0 comments

How does limaโ€™s new municipal taxi app TaxiMML compare to uber?

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Remote worker in Amsterdam: taxes and legal status?


in Amsterdam, Netherlands by @think | 2yr 2 years ago | 1 comment

Hi all,

I am moving to Amsterdam in January and looking for advice regarding legal status.

I work for a small French company. They agreed to let me move to Amsterdam as a remote worker starting January. :v:

However, they have no business entity and no employee in the Netherlands, so we have no idea how to set up the whole thing legally speaking. Should I remain an employee of the French entity, should I charge them as a consultant/contractor?

Of course, I am looking for a solution that is both simple and with minimum taxes :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Thank you for your help!!
Steph

PS: If you can recommend a good accountant that is competent on the topic, I an happy to pay for the service too!

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I wanna go a month in a greek island, anybody has advice?


by @leghoff | 3yr 2 years ago | 0 comments

Hey there, i wanna spend one month on a greek island in August. Just need a view by the sea in a small village. Anybody has advice? By the way, i am a translator, so i need Internetโ€ฆ

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Anyone here resident in Portugal with incorporation elsewhere in the EU? Need some advice


in Portugal by @solardive | 3yr 2 years ago | 0 comments

Hi everyone!

Currently looking at ridding myself of the 9-5 and becoming a freelance consultant. Iโ€™m not planning to go full erm, โ€œtax optimisationโ€, as I believe in taxes as a concept, but I would like to pay less of them so I can get my business off the ground with more peace of mind.

Iโ€™ve decided I want to apply for the Portugal NHR (Iโ€™m a EU citizen), but I donโ€™t want to incorporate there. Anyone here has experience with being a Portugal tax resident and running a company elsewhere? If yes, where and why did you choose that country/place? Is it a a lot of hassle?

Thanks!

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Where to pay taxes if self employed non-resident of the UK, travelling Europe?


by @jadi4nd | 3yr 2 years ago | 5 comments

Hi, I know there are a few posts around this topic but none of them quite answer my questions.

I am British and currently a resident in the UK.
Next year I am going to become a non-resident and spend over a year traveling mostly around Europe, moving every few weeks never staying anywhere longer than a month. (My first venture into becoming a digital nomad!)

I am remote, self employed, software developer working mostly for one client based in the UK.

Where am I liable to pay taxes?
From what I have read I will not be liable to pay taxes in UK, can anyone confirm this?
If not the UK then where if I am moving every few weeks?
If possible I want to avoid starting a company as this seems unnecessarily complicated for my work setup.

Thank you in advance for any help :slight_smile:

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How do taxes work for perpetual travelers?


by @whirledover | 3yr 3 years ago | 5 comments

Hereโ€™s a question (actually a bunch of related questions) thatโ€™s been a bit of a thorn in my side lately. Iโ€™ve already combed this forum as well as several others but would love some more insight from more knowledgable people.

So, here goesโ€ฆ

Background: Iโ€™m a perpetual traveler and havenโ€™t stayed in a single country longer than 6 months for around 5 years now. Iโ€™m a non-US person so no IRS worries but my country of citizenship (Korea) has a residential tax system and since I havenโ€™t claimed residency anywhere else, it seems possible for my government to claim me as a tax citizen.

Which brings me to my first question: At what point does forming a solid business structure to cover your taxable a** become worth the hassle? $100K/year? At $200K/year? I sort of feel like most governments wouldnโ€™t bother with this because itโ€™s relatively โ€œsmall fishโ€ - thoughts?

And that brings me to another question: If Iโ€™m not needlessly spending time worrying and I should finally pull the trigger and set something up that makes me more โ€œlegitโ€ - even if it requires paperwork - whatโ€™s my best option? Hereโ€™s what Iโ€™ve come up with:

Set up an offshore company - Iโ€™m leaning toward RAK Offshore since it seems to have no paperwork requirements and has no taxes - and use that to hold and re-invest the income I receive while paying myself a nominal amount every month, like $3,000, which I then file Korean (income) taxes for. This makes sense in my head since thatโ€™s roughly the amount I spend every month anyway but would this qualify as tax evasion?

Last question: for all of you who are perpetual travelers and arenโ€™t filing tax returns with your country of citizenship/last tax residency - what are you doing in terms of investing the money youโ€™ve saved? From what Iโ€™ve read, banks will report accounts that hold over a certain amount to the country of the account holder and online brokerage accounts seem to be the same.
Oh, and is the money accrued (without being reported tax-wise) considered black money?!

Okay, Iโ€™m done for now. Apologies for writing a book - Iโ€™m not so learned on this topic. Would appreciate any insights. Thanks in advance! :slight_smile:

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Urgent Advice Needed About Visa to Travel and Stay in Sharm El Sheikh


by @ryanuk | 3yr 3 years ago | 0 comments

Hello Everyone,

I am new to this forum. I thought I would just dive in.

I am travelling with my wife and my young daughter, so as you can imagine it adds a bit more to my planning.

I am looking to stay in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt for a while. I am a Brit, and I need to sanity check some information that I have received.

My initial plan to stay in Sharm was as a British citizen get a multi entry visa which would give me 90 days and take it from there. However, I have been told by someone the following and if it is true it would be the best news for me:

To stay in Egypt you can get a 28 Day Sinai Visa on arrival. So on day 26 I should go to the Visa office in Sharm and I would be granted a 6 month Visa on application. Apparently it is not multiple entry visa, it is for 6 months and you simply renew it a few days before it expires. You can do this twice before you MAY have to leave the country. In other words you can stay a whole year hassle free!

Is this true? I really need to know as this is very important for me.

If anyone knows, or if you know someone who may know, your advice would be really welcome.

Thank you.

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I'm beginning my Nomadic journey - what advice do you have?


by @jacob_tr | 3yr 3 years ago | 8 comments

Hello Everyone,

On January 8, I set off on my Nomadic Journeys. I have a one way ticket to Iceland booked for a film shoot, and a flight into mainland Europe on the 20th, and from there I have no idea, and I am completely on my own.

What advice do you have? Right now I am feeling everything, from bad to good about it all, really can feel that safety/wool from underneath me get pulled away, I know Iโ€™m jumping out of my shell here.

(To give some background, Iโ€™m starting my nomad journey after having started a successful business, so financially I am set. Itโ€™s the question personally, mentally how do you cope in the beginning of leaving everything and going?)

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Are coffee shop expenses tax deductible?


by @octavient | 3yr 3 years ago | 7 comments

I often spend upwards of $150 per month in coffee shops, where I do much of my (remote) work (25+ hours per week). Since I donโ€™t pay office rent, I perceive these expenses as replacing my fixed rent costs, and I tend to spend more money at coffee shops when Iโ€™m camping out for a 2- to 4-hour work session, so these expenses strike me as legitimate business expenses. Has anybody gone down this road with the IRS? Is anybody aware of any official guidance or precedence for this?

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Advices about tax, location for incorporation, etc


by @anadesigner | 4yr 3 years ago | 2 comments

Hi nomads,

I and my husband are graphic designers and we work from home mainly doing services for UK. We have personal bank account in UK as we lived there for a while and we use it to receive payments and then use transferwise, but we are worried because we have no company there to declare these payments.

We are at the moment in Malta but moving to Portugal soon and we really would like to make the things right to avoid problems but also we need avoid pay lots of taxโ€ฆ I am researching a lot but not sure what to do. Would be very good to have a bit of advice to what way to go, where is the best country to open an offshore business for exemple?
We earn together about 25k euro year (brut).
Any advice or tip would be very welcome.

Thanks!

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Public transport in Australia: Best route planning tools?


in Australia by @dunctk | 4yr 3 years ago | 3 comments

Iโ€™m going to Australia for the first time in a week or so. Iโ€™d like to visit places like Byron (from Sydney). But Iโ€™d prefer not to rent a car.

I know Google Maps supports public transit directions in Aus, but based on my experience in London, theyโ€™re often not as useable / accurate as the native planning tools (e.g. National Rail app in the UK).

Can anyone recommend any local apps / sites for planning routes on trains, buses, etc. in Aus?

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Help: Canada Taxman (CRA) Coming After Digital Nomad Who Has Not Lived in Canada since 2011. Advice or Recommendations?


in Canada by @bestscifireads | 4yr 3 years ago | 7 comments

Hey guys.

Iโ€™m in the unfortunate situation (and true Digital Nomadโ€™s worst nightmare) where the Canadian tax man (i.e. the CRA) has decided to come calling. And calling hard.

Any recommendations for Canadian Tax Accounts / Tax Lawyers specializing digital nomads / expats / non residents?

Hereโ€™s the deal:

Iโ€™m a digital nomad living in Thailand who has NOT lived in canada since the middle of 2011, and in that time, only been back to canada three times for a brief visit (with a total period between all those years of less than 90 days out of the 5 years).

I make an online income (affiliates, adsense, and such) of which all if it does not derive from Canada. And as stated, I donโ€™t live there anymore and havenโ€™t in many years. I donโ€™t own houses, cars, or anything (I do have a personal bank account though and a DL โ€“ you need those to function mostly). Iโ€™ve only used Canada as my bank account, from which I would send money abroad to live while outside of Canada, which was the entire period of time.

Anyways, the taxman back in Canada doesnโ€™t know this (that Iโ€™m a non resident) and of course has now come to collect. I had income tax demands sent to an address (parentsโ€™) stating I owe a very high five figure balance in income tax and owe it right away.

The whole digital nomad thing has just come to life the past years and when I left Canada in 2011/2010, no one new much about making money online, how to pay taxes when you donโ€™t live in your home country, etc. I was doing this earlier than most (from this forum, I gather itโ€™s common now).

I assume Iโ€™ll probably need a Canadian tax accountant and mayhaps a tax lawyer versed inโ€ฆwellโ€ฆdigital nomads. Iโ€™m going to call the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) and try to explain that I donโ€™t live there and havenโ€™t (and I can prove it), but yea. It may take more than that.

At this point, Iโ€™ve been looking how to properly structure my affairs (creating an Estonian Corp, creating an Thailand corporation) to properly handle how I should structure things in the future, but in the meantimeโ€ฆ

Advice or a recommendation for a specific tax specialist (iโ€™m from BC, Canada if that helps) would be awesome.

Ben

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Tax: what are the best options for a nomadic Dutch freelancer?


by @maarten | 4yr 4 years ago | 11 comments

Originally, I am from the Netherlands. Since january 2016, I have been working remotely all around the world. But even though I havenโ€™t been in the Netherlands this year, I am still paying taxes there. Iโ€™m still registered as a citizen.

I have to unregister in the Netherlands as a citizen. But if I donโ€™t register somewhere else, or have a freelance status or company somewhere else, I would still have to pay 50%+ taxes. This is, of course, not fun at all.

So I decided to move my business elsewhere. Either get freelancer status in another country, or create a business there to send invoices from. Which brings me to my question:

What is the best country tax-wise for a Dutch freelancer?

As of now, I found two solutions:

  • Have an agency set up a company in Bulgaria. It will kost 3000 euro a year, once 3300 euros and extra money if I want residency. And then of course 10% income tax on my earnings.
  • Have an agency set up a company in Dubai. It will cost around 2000 euro annually and 5000 euro once. No income tax.

Wether residency in an other country is required for the Dutch tax authority to not tax your world income, seems to be a grey area. However, if I unregister in Holland and send invoices from a company in a whole other country, it should be fine.

I have little or no experience. People with know-how: would you be so kind to comment on these options?

Are there alternatives I should consider?

I donโ€™t really like to hire an agency. Iโ€™d rather just fly to a country, fill out paperwork, incorporate there and from then on invoice from that company. If itโ€™s too bureaucratic, I wouldnโ€™t mind hiring a local lawyer or accountant to do it for me.

Do you know a country where there is no or a low income tax and this process is relatively easy and suitable for Dutch freelancers?

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