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Would claiming travel as a business expense be legitimate?


by @jamesarice | 5yr  | 11 comments

Iโ€™m from the UK, currently operate as a sole trader (not UK company). Iโ€™d like to claim travel as a business expense. If Iโ€™m choosing to hop around different countries, you could say that itโ€™s partly adding to my experience (as a designer) and itโ€™s also potentially opening up work opportunities (meeting people).

Does anybody else do this? Or is travel always taken as a personal expense?

As a second part to the question: Iโ€™d be travelling with my partner, so Iโ€™m presuming Iโ€™d just claim for half of the total expense.

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This is exactly why you should incorporate offshore. It saves these sorts of headaches.

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@neutron | 5yr

I actually contacted HMRC about this. If you contact them, they can arrange a call back from one of their tax specialists. They told me that travel can be claimed as long as the trip is solely for business. If there is a portion of the trip that is for leisure, then this should be deducted. So for instance, if you were visiting clients for 50% and visiting family for 50%, then a straight 50/50 split would suffice. I also discussed the possibility of my wifeโ€™s costs (since she is traveling with me and helping my business) and they said it was fine to claim for this, and subject to the same rules.
Itโ€™s worth noting that this was in relation to losses being made to the business and being able to offset this against any profits made - but Iโ€™m guessing itโ€™s the same thing as an โ€œexpenseโ€.

Give them a call, Iโ€™ve found them to be generally very helpful.

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@gnefkow | 5yr

My rule is that if it is travel for business, I expense it. Being a remote worker is something I โ€œgetโ€ to do, and it isnโ€™t the companyโ€™s responsibility to support that lifestyle.

My company is based in Texas, so if I have to fly there for a meeting, I expense it. Another example is client meetings. I was recently living in Guadalajara, Mexico, but traveled to Mexico City for a stint. I set up some meetings there, and then expensed my travel.

I think part of the advantage to being a digital nomad is that, it you have the type of job that requires you to travel, it is easier to stay in a place and really explore and enjoy it rather than just fly in, have a meeting, and fly out.

If for some reason I have to pay for internet somewhere, I expense that - but I donโ€™t expense my coffee in coffee shops, for instance. It is for rare occasions when something has to happen โ€œright now.โ€

I also use my personal laptop for business. Why? Because I donโ€™t want to carry two of them around! I donโ€™t expense that, but I do expense the google drive account, Adobe Creative Cloud, antivirus software, etcโ€ฆ

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@eddie | 5yr

Iโ€™m not from the UK but traveling to โ€œadd to your experienceโ€ or โ€œopening up work opportunitiesโ€ does NOT sound like business expenses. Best advice I can give you is to talk to your accountant about what does and doesnโ€™t count as a business expense.

I count anything as a business expense if itโ€™s necessary for me to do my job. So expenses like a phone, internet, co-working space, laptop, etcโ€ฆ are some basic examples.

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@kmander | 5yr

If youโ€™re a sole trader in the UK, Iโ€™m not quite sure I understand the relevance of the question โ€“ you canโ€™t make a deductible; youโ€™re liable for tax on all inbound cashflows and canโ€™t deduct costs before paying tax. Thatโ€™s one of the core benefits of becoming incorporated.

For limited companies in the UK, Iโ€™m also of the understanding that an expense must be โ€œwholly and exclusivelyโ€ for business. So if the trip is anything but business, then you canโ€™t expense it. One can interpret that as they wish, but in the case of an audit I think you would struggle to explain a business trip to the Alps.

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@blueblueocean | 5yr

I use a strict criteria for deducing certain expenses when โ€œtravellingโ€.

If I rent a space for working from my computer I ensure itโ€™s a separate room and that the rental is a reasonable amount of time (e.g. letโ€™s say 1+ months).

I donโ€™t deduct airfare, cars and anything specific to the travel unless it involves meeting with a client or a specific function of the business besides general administration and management. I pro-rate business travel for the portion that there is a direct connection.

I do deduct all expenses while travelling that would be normally deductible at home and used in the business. Take your pick: mailboxes, computers, Internet, cell phones, registration fees, etcโ€ฆ

Essentially, the only thing not being deducted is general travel expenses :smile:

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@dubs | 5yr

I was told this in the pub, so it may well be rubbishโ€ฆ

My understanding is that you can claim expenses that are โ€œwholly and exclusivelyโ€ for work purposes. But must be able to prove that business is the principal reason for the trip. You have to exclude anything non essential to the purpose pro rata.

As long as you are not going to or from a place of permanent work I think B to B is okay!

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@bavals | 5yr

Just curious: do you guys think itโ€™ll raise eyebrows if I deduct a (presumably justified) travel expense from A to B, where neither point A nor point B are in the country where I โ€œresideโ€? I am assuming this would matter only in the event of an audit, but still: do I also have to justify why I was in A (point of departure) in the first place or can I simply say that I was there for, letโ€™s say, family reasons, but needed to travel to B on business?

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@mikerogers0 | 5yr

Iโ€™m also a UK sole trader & Iโ€™ve never claimed the travel costs as a business expense. In my mind, as I didnโ€™t have to travel to another country to do my work so it doesnโ€™t count.

That said, Iโ€™ve been trying to meet with clients / do talks at local events which I think would let me justify the flight and AirBnB costs.

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@ani_goes_tweet | 5yr

Now thatโ€™s a good idea that Iโ€™ll try to keep in mind.

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@ani_goes_tweet | 5yr

Iโ€™m a translator, also from the UK (and filing self-assessment returns with HMRC), but in my line of work, anyway, I canโ€™t see how I would justify the travel as an expense related to my work unless I could clearly show its relationship to my work. My permanent address is in London, so it seems to me (although maybe Iโ€™m wrong?) that I canโ€™t even claim if Iโ€™m travelling to London for industry events, as technically Iโ€™m going home.

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Read and participate in 14,009 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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What are the best blogs by individuals who have started businesses in Southeast Asia?


in Thailand by @haiducii | 3mo 2 months ago | 0 comments

Hey everyone,

Looking for blogs by individuals who document their progress/business in South East Asia - ideally Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos - but also Thailand/Myanmar too.

Thank you,

Haiducci

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Recommendations for UK/Scotland accountants that understand remote businesses?


by @eduardoyi | 1yr 1 year ago | 1 comment

Looking for recommendations for reliable accountants who understand how remote businesses with off-shore freelancers and clients work. Thanks!

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What's the best place to incorporate an online business?

 

by @octave | 1yr 1 year ago | 63 comments

I have an commerce website. We get around 1000 orders per month and this is going to get quite a bit bigger in next few years.

I am British. I live in Thailand.
Im not allowed to majority own a Thai business and small foreign entrepreneurs are not really welcome. So i need an offshore company.

I need PayPal and an ecommerce internet merchant account. Also looking at alternatives like worldpay. 2checkout etc

Does PayPal need me to be a resident to the country i register my account to? Are there complications being a non resident to get other payment solutions?

Apparently in Hong Kong you need 2 years trading history to get an Internet Mechant Account and they generally turn their noses up at those with less than $1m(us) a year turn over. Singapore seems a bit easier.

I really want to avoid paperwork and book keeping. I hate it.

So i was looking at Seychelles, Panama, BVI, Belize.

Does anyone have experience with payment providers in these countries?

Most nomads i see donโ€™t really have a high volume of small monthly transactions which i do. Im going around in circles and donโ€™t know where to start.

Ill also need a bank account for business and a personal bank account to pay my salary into

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Foreigner owned Coworking business in Malaysia


in Malaysia by @newyam | 2yr 1 year ago | 0 comments

Heyo folks! The idea to open up an own coworking space in Malaysia has been on my mind for quite a while and I would like to reach out on foreigners being a business owner/co working space owner in Malaysia, there are a lot of questions that would follow up but most importantly is to reach out to someone with experience.

Ideally would be someone who runs a coworking space in Malaysia, second best would be to just come in touch with a foreign business owner in Malaysia.
Cheers
Yamin

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Tracking expenses when prepaying for stuff


by @kathrynoh | 2yr 1 year ago | 7 comments

I was wondering what systems/apps etc people use for tracking their living expenses? I try to keep records but find that some months I prepay for a lot of future expenses (eg. Airbnb, flights etc) while other months I spend little because everything has already been made.

I guess what I need to know is my actual spending in a month, regardless of when I actually spent the money but also the cash flow for each month.

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Is there a US bank for easily creating new business checking accounts remotely?

 

by @tylertringas | 2yr 1 year ago | 23 comments

Every accountant is going to tell you that you really should be keeping separate accounts for all your businesses and even projects that may one day become businesses. But in my experience setting up a new account associated with an actual business entity is a pretty annoying process involving an in-person visit to a bank branch, proof of residence in that branchโ€™s region, etc. Has anybody seen a bank that letโ€™s you easily create a simple business checking account online and more importantly that would let you add additional accounts and transfer funds between them?

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How do you manage your location independent business as a Nomad Entrepreneur?


by @vzablocky | 2yr 2 years ago | 3 comments

Iโ€™d like to invite nomad entrepreneurs in this topic to discuss what are the challenges you face in filing taxes, insurance and banking complications, while travelling and running your business remotely.

Please share your thoughts! I would be happy to help!

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Are there cards similar to the APEC Business Travel Card that Europeans are eligible for?


by @dpt | 3yr 3 years ago | 3 comments

I heard from an American friend that he has several cards similar to the APEC Business Travel Card (link to Wikipedia ) that allow him to get priority treatment at immigration line in certain countries.
I was very intrigued and quickly checked up on the card, but it seems to be only available to citizens of APEC-member nations.

I was wondering if anyone here uses such cards, what your experiences with them are (specifically, Iโ€™m interested in cards available for Europeans/Germans).

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How do I open a business account in Hong Kong? Proof of business?


in Hong Kong by @omar | 3yr 3 years ago | 6 comments

Hello guys, I was wondering if anyone had any experience in opening a business bank account in Hong Kong. Iโ€™m getting all the paperwork ready to incorporate in Seychelles and open the bank account but the agency that is helping me says Hong Kong bankers are getting more picky. They are asking me for business โ€˜proofโ€™ since iโ€™ve always ran my sites as an individual I wonder if just proof of payment from ad networks is enough. If you have any advice it would be much welcomed.

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Registering a Business in Netherlands for non European


in Netherlands by @deskaway | 3yr 3 years ago | 0 comments

Hi fellow nomads !
Looking for tax representative offices, logistic solutions and Company incorporation in Netherlands. ?

I will be in Amsterdam coworking and checking these companies out? Honestly I do not want to end up with a hidden fees companyโ€ฆ

Cheers from Berlin,

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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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Is Singapore a good nomad and business base?


in Singapore by @msurocks99 | 4yr 3 years ago | 11 comments

I am thinking to change my base to Singapore .

I have some queries regarding it,

Hacks of Price of Living : I donโ€™t want to live in hostels where 4/8 persons live in a room, want to live in a room may be in a shared apartment, gym and other facilities would be nice, I am getting in 800 to 1000 SGDโ€™s pretty good Condo rooms, can I turn it down to 500-600 ?

Food : I stayed there for a month recently, so pretty much know the food hacks now, if I am eating at home its cheap and hawkers places are also cheaper.

Howโ€™s it for business Base ?

I run a Software Development Company mostly into building MVPโ€™s for Startups and running extension teams for SMEโ€™s. So I think it will be pretty good for me based in Singapore for finding new opportunities and Client Communications.

What do you think about it and any suggestions would be great.

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Where to easily open a personal/business account in SE Asia?


by @jakub | 4yr 3 years ago | 0 comments

Hey guysโ€ฆ Iโ€™m from a EU country but in the past 6 years I spent there just 3 weeks.

I have a bank account in Australia, since I spent there over 4 years. Now Iโ€™m mostly in Thailand or travelling around.

Because of my experiences

a) PayPal froze my account for several weeks until I was able to give them documents that are very difficult to get if Iโ€™m no longer in Australia

b) when applying for a tourist visa to Australia just to pick up rest of my stuff - itโ€™s supposed to be done within 48 hoursโ€ฆ well it took them 3 weeks just to ask me for additional details (that I already gave them with the application anyway) - I lost my tickets and bookings - of course no way to email them, call or whatever

This made me think about the fact that I have all my money in Australia. While Iโ€™m doing nothing illegal I canโ€™t risk that some โ€œofficerโ€ with a bad day decide to freeze my account to investigate whatever and Iโ€™ll be left with nothing for who knows how long. Not to mention they usually canโ€™t grasp the concept of perpetual travelling.

So my question - anyone has RECENT experience with opening a bank account in SE Asia? Either personal or business (thinking about UK LLP or US LLC)

It seems that

a) countries such Singapore has assumption that everyone and his dog is laundering moneyโ€ฆ $500 at a timeโ€ฆ

b) Thailand with lazy and incompetent staff where you ask to open non-resident bank account just to be told โ€œdonโ€™t haveโ€ โ€ฆ you point on the 3x3 metres huge board behind them listing interest for non-resident bank account - answer โ€œaaah, yes yes canโ€™t open, new rulesโ€ (even while having a Thai with me)

Thanks!

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Non US residents, can you share your testimonial about your US business bank account?


by @nouk | 4yr 3 years ago | 4 comments

I am looking for testimonials of non US resident nomads who incorporated their company in the US & have a business bank account at a US bank.
I would like to know if the process has been difficult if you have been denied a business bank account because of your status as a non resident alien. If you were successful i would like to know if you are able to do everything that a US resident could do with the business bank account. For instance, i would like to know if you are able to do international wire transfers to the country where you reside.

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How to find business partners as a nomad?


by @digital | 4yr 3 years ago | 17 comments

Hi everyone,

Starting in May 2016, Iโ€™m taking a year and a half abroad to work and develop my online businesses. Iโ€™m making more than 10k dollars per month at the moment from mainly 2 revenue streams. It works well but we all know how things change fast online - thatโ€™s why Iโ€™m always looking to launch new businesses.

We all know how the team is important in each profitable business. Thatโ€™s why I would like to meet other nomads to launch online projects together.

Iโ€™m more a digital marketing expert and have as well some web design + web development skills. My ideal vision will be to rent a house at 3 or 4 (a programmer, a designer, a marketer and an operations/sales expert for instance) and work together on new online projects (eCommerce, saas, or anything else that can be profitable). We can even be more in the house and would work on other/more projects. Because the team will probably be international, our projects can have a quick international scope (Iโ€™m French and I speak English and Spanish as well). We would change our location every 2/3 months to enjoy the nomadโ€™s life :smile:

Do you find my proposition interesting? According to you, how can I improve it?
Or, do you know any other way to find business partners as a nomad?

Thank you very much for reading me,

Best,
D.

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What's the best location to incorporate an online business?


by @dmftaras | 4yr 4 years ago | 14 comments

Hey nomads,

Iโ€™m looking for the best location to incorporate my online business (offshore programming and so on).

The main requirements:

  • Low cost incorporation/yearly fee
  • Preferred with no audits (or other kind of paperwork)
  • With no local office/secretary/director needed
  • With low or 0% taxes
  • Easy to get paid from US/EU
  • Easy to send payments worldwide ( I can use Transferwise/Stripe or something like that, i donโ€™t care )
  • With corporate credit/debit cards

Iโ€™m only one owner of the company (not EU/US resident).
Iโ€™ve checked jurisdictions like BVI/Belize/Nevis and iโ€™m interested in it. It would be appreciated if you could give me some kind of advice, if you have experience with one of these jurisdictions.

My budget for incorporation < $1500

Thanks!

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Is Flying Business Class to Asia Worth it?


by @iamjamesrodgers | 4yr 4 years ago | 10 comments

Flying soon from Toronto YYZ to ICN Seoul so, most likely Asiana but maybe Korean Air.

Read a few of the websites/blog post reviews for both Airlines -Seems nice. First/Suite Class seems a little bit lacking in value proposition for me. But feel like Iโ€™m kind of at a point in life where I want to fly upgraded just to have an experience with it.

But from your experience as a nomad is it really worth doing?
โ€ฆ Maybe Iโ€™ve been home for too long haha.

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Where should I incorporate my business as a digital nomad?


by @ajsnewman | 4yr 4 years ago | 5 comments

Which is your favourite country in the world to incorporate and why?

I have a product that I plan to retail in the EU, Japan, the USA, Canada and New Zealand. Where should I incorporate?

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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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Where to Register Complaints Against Businesses in Barcelona?


in Barcelona, Spain by @joutazo | 4yr 4 years ago | 1 comment

Long story short, my friends and I flew with Vueling and they lost our luggage. Theyโ€™ve done nothing so far except ignoring the problem. Theyโ€™ve failed to give us any kind of status on the luggage or offer any kind of compensation. Some of us even had our work laptops in our bags. Itโ€™s been five days with no response. Several times when weโ€™ve contacted them, theyโ€™ve hung up the phone on us. Itโ€™s been a terrible experience, and since we canโ€™t get them to do anything reasonable through their normal customer support channels, Iโ€™d like to escalate it by filing a formal complaint with some sort of government or legal entity that helps hold businesses accountable. The only problem is that I donโ€™t know who to report it to in Barcelona/Spain. I speak good enough Spanish to file a claim, but since I donโ€™t know what that sort of entity is called in Spanish, Iโ€™ve been having trouble finding where to do so.

TL;DR Where can I file consumer complaints against a company with the government or a legal entity in Barcelona or Spain?

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