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Becoming a Digital Tax Nomad?

Teddy bear on the loose.............

Didn't find your answer?

Post lockdown I have a mind to spend several months (at least) each year living and working outside the UK, usually somewhere in Europe.

For the most part, I think this will not present any problems as it's quite a common occurrence to work remotely and using cloud software means my physical location is irrelevant. Contact with clients is now almost exclusively by email (most are expats) so there will be no difference for the clients. But I wonder if anyone has experience of doing this, in particular continuing to log in from overseas to their HMRC tax agent account?

I am probably overthinking this but if any aspect was going to cause problems it would probably be the interaction with HMRC's useless IT systems. Maybe a VPN should be used to appear as if my location is in the UK?

I would greatly appreciate if anyone who has worked from overseas could let me have their thoughts. And of course, if there is anything you know of which was a particular problem I would be very pleased to hear about it.

Thanks All

Replies (19)

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By FRAM
21st May 2022 15:48

As far as I know the only real problem is if the country outside the UK where you stay will consider you as tax resident and ask you to pay taxes in that country. this is not a problem if your stay is for short periods.

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Replying to FRAM:
ghm
By TaxTeddy
21st May 2022 16:41

Thanks, yes I have all those aspects covered (tax residence is my specialism) so it's really just the question of logging onto the HMRC system from outside the UK which is causing me concern.

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Replying to TaxTeddy:
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By nrw2
21st May 2022 18:21

What makes you think HMRC requires agents / accountants to be physically located in the UK in order to log in to their systems?

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Replying to nrw2:
ghm
By TaxTeddy
22nd May 2022 07:56

I don't know for sure, hence my question.

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Replying to TaxTeddy:
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By Hugo Fair
21st May 2022 18:30

Unless you already know the answers (which I certainly don't), I'd add a few other items to the list to be checked - mainly around whether the various aspects that are necessary for you to practice (PII, AMLC, and so on) will remain in force or will need extending/adding-to in some way?
Or will you be retaining a UK address and (à la the VPN concept) 'pretending' that that is where all your work is carried out?

FWIW, HMRC's systems certainly do have the ability to recognise the IP address (and other features) of your login ... which is how they can tell when an agent does so via a client's device. But whether they care about you doing so from your 'desk' on the beach is anybody's guess ... best bet might be to take a brief break and try?

Thanks (1)
Replying to Hugo Fair:
ghm
By TaxTeddy
22nd May 2022 07:55

Thanks. Yes, all of these issues are sorted - it's just whether, as you say, the HMRC system can differentiate between a UK and non-UK ISP address - and whether it cares.

I will be abroad next month on business for a few days so I'll probably test it while I am away.

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Caroline
By accountantccole
23rd May 2022 12:13

We're based in France - no issue with having agent address outside of the UK and logging in remotely.

What passport are you on? If a "not entitled to free movement blue one", strictly if you are working in the EU you would need a work visa in every place that you work! The 90 day tourist visa wouldn't cover you.

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Replying to accountantccole:
ghm
By TaxTeddy
23rd May 2022 13:39

Thanks, that's what I hoped - but I assumed HMRC would make a problem of it.

I have multiple passports and we're all lawyered up for the visas where needed, thanks.

Thanks (1)
Replying to TaxTeddy:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
23rd May 2022 13:53

So looks like you are out of the woods but it is no picnic.

Thanks (3)
Replying to DJKL:
ghm
By TaxTeddy
23rd May 2022 14:22

Just need to get my bearings.

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Replying to DJKL:
By Charlie Carne
24th May 2022 10:37

AWEB needs to add the option of a smiley emoji to add to comments like that 😄 🧸

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Malcolm Toghill
By malcolmt
24th May 2022 10:58

I too deal with expat and international business. I work for several months each year around the world in Europe, Asia and Australasia. I have had no difficulty in accessing HMRC systems for clients. But I have had difficulty accessing or using my personal accounts with HMRC and the DWP.

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By Rgab1947
24th May 2022 11:41

My thought go to where will you be tax resident? In theory you could spend less than 3 months in any country and then not be required to register for tax.

Then many countries apply the 183 days rule. So take a holiday to a 3rd country in between two addresses and you are not in any country longer than the 183 days.

VAT off course is where is the supply?

The workld is or has changed with technology but tax laws not.

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By 4b4
24th May 2022 11:42

I (and my wife) do exactly this - we've a villa in Spain and have set up two computers with twin screens which link directly with our three computers and server in the UK via TeamViewer. The upside is that no data is held on the computers in Spain (so even if someone broke in and stole them while we were back her in the UK, the only inconvenience would be the 'replacement' of said computers), - the downside is the cost of the commercial TeamViewer package?
It does work incredibly well though and being able to deal with clients IT issues via TeamViewer as we would here has enabled us to make the most of visits - oh, subject to the bloody stupid Schengen rules that is!

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By imran
24th May 2022 11:59

My wife works in Dubai so I do this a fair bit during the year, no issues at all.
I'd say go for it, it's great fun travelling around and seeing the world while keeping the piggy bank happy :)

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Malcolm Toghill
By malcolmt
24th May 2022 12:20

When I work remotely from abroad, I log in to my UK office server using Splashtop Business Access Pro at an annual cost of USD99. If you have double monitors at your UK base, but are working abroad from a laptop, this software makes it easy to switch between monitors or show both monitors side by side. The software also easily enables you to work abroad on double monitors, from your double UK monitors.

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ghm
By TaxTeddy
24th May 2022 14:06

Thanks to everyone for these comments - it's a big help. If it all works well I might plonk myself permanently somewhere and not come back to the UK, which would certainly resolve all those residence issues!

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By CardiffAccountant
04th Jun 2022 21:38

I have worked all over Europe in the past (even Russia - about five years ago) and had no issues with logging into HMRC.

I have held Zoom meetings in Bulgaria and then requested authority on the agent web site - again no problem.

All client data is cloud based.

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By Beancounting
14th Jun 2022 09:15

I'm surprised no one has mentioned hosted arrangements, such as Hosted Desktop UK - about £50 pm per user. Everything in the cloud. Login from your hosted desktop.

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