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Sole trader in Uk while living abroad?

What to do to be totally legal at both countries.

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Hey there,

I was born in Greece, my 2 parents live in Greece. 2 years ago I moved to UK for some months, I got an address, a national insurance number and a UTR since I registered as a sole trader. A few months later I moved to Greece and Im living there since then. I don't have any property on my name in any country, Im living with my girlfriend soon to be wife and the property/rent is under her name. Im selling items through an ecommerce portal eg amazon/ebay at UK. That means all my turnover and profit is from UK. I had to register for a VAT and I did under my accountant's business address again as a sole trader. Im paying my personal tax allowance plus VAT and everything needed in the UK normally, Im not tax evading. My turnover is more than 500.000£ per year. How can I keep living in Greece and be legally fine here too while paying my taxes and vat on UK normally? Keep in mind no inventory or anything from Greece takes action into making my UK turnover/profit. My whole work is based online, I don't even come in contact with the inventory Im selling.

I was told by another accountant that what Im doing is Illegal for both countries (but I don't know if that is true since other accountant's opinions differ) but considering Im a sole trader (Im a personal business If Im understanding this correctly) and other businesses ltd's etc don't have those issues why would I?

 

Ps Greece and UK have the double taxation avoidance treaty active.

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By Wanderer
19th Aug 2019 14:06

Q. Sole trader in Uk while living abroad?

Nobodygr wrote:

Hey there,

I was born in Greece, my 2 parents live in Greece. 2 years ago I moved to UK for some months, I got an address, a national insurance number and a UTR since I registered as a sole trader. A few months later I moved to Greece and Im living there since then. I don't have any property on my name in any country, Im living with my girlfriend soon to be wife and the property/rent is under her name. Im selling items through an ecommerce portal eg amazon/ebay at UK. That means all my turnover and profit is from UK. I had to register for a VAT and I did under my accountant's business address again as a sole trader. Im paying my personal tax allowance plus VAT and everything needed in the UK normally, Im not tax evading. My turnover is more than 500.000£ per year. How can I keep living in Greece and be legally fine here too while paying my taxes and vat on UK normally? Keep in mind no inventory or anything from Greece takes action into making my UK turnover/profit. My whole work is based online, I don't even come in contact with the inventory Im selling.

I was told by another accountant that what Im doing is Illegal for both countries (but I don't know if that is true since other accountant's opinions differ) but considering Im a sole trader (Im a personal business If Im understanding this correctly) and other businesses ltd's etc don't have those issues why would I?

 

Ps Greece and UK have the double taxation avoidance treaty active.

You are not a Sole Trader in the UK.
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Replying to Wanderer:
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By Nobodygr
19th Aug 2019 14:42

Wanderer wrote:

Q. Sole trader in Uk while living abroad?

Nobodygr wrote:

Hey there,

I was born in Greece, my 2 parents live in Greece. 2 years ago I moved to UK for some months, I got an address, a national insurance number and a UTR since I registered as a sole trader. A few months later I moved to Greece and Im living there since then. I don't have any property on my name in any country, Im living with my girlfriend soon to be wife and the property/rent is under her name. Im selling items through an ecommerce portal eg amazon/ebay at UK. That means all my turnover and profit is from UK. I had to register for a VAT and I did under my accountant's business address again as a sole trader. Im paying my personal tax allowance plus VAT and everything needed in the UK normally, Im not tax evading. My turnover is more than 500.000£ per year. How can I keep living in Greece and be legally fine here too while paying my taxes and vat on UK normally? Keep in mind no inventory or anything from Greece takes action into making my UK turnover/profit. My whole work is based online, I don't even come in contact with the inventory Im selling.

I was told by another accountant that what Im doing is Illegal for both countries (but I don't know if that is true since other accountant's opinions differ) but considering Im a sole trader (Im a personal business If Im understanding this correctly) and other businesses ltd's etc don't have those issues why would I?

 

Ps Greece and UK have the double taxation avoidance treaty active.

You are not a Sole Trader in the UK.

According to this Im a sole trader and I have to pay VAT normally.. http://prntscr.com/oun4w4

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Replying to Nobodygr:
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By Wanderer
19th Aug 2019 15:00

Nobodygr wrote:

According to this Im a sole trader and I have to pay VAT normally.. http://prntscr.com/oun4w4

You are a Sole proprietor for VAT. You are NOT a Sole Trader "in the UK" for UK Income Tax or National Insurance.
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By Tim Vane
19th Aug 2019 14:11

On the facts given you don’t have a uk business you have a Greek business. You have no tax to pay in the uk and no filing obligations. You have tax and filing obligations in Greece but I have no idea what they are so you should speak to a Greek accountant.

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Replying to Tim Vane:
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By Wanderer
19th Aug 2019 14:15

Tim Vane wrote:

You have no tax to pay in the uk and no filing obligations.

VAT?
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Replying to Wanderer:
By SteLacca
19th Aug 2019 14:39

Potentially. It would be useful to know who his customers are.

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Replying to SteLacca:
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By Nobodygr
19th Aug 2019 14:42

SteLacca wrote:

Potentially. It would be useful to know who his customers are.

Just UK. I sell only on UK, my customers are on UK, my products are on UK, my profit and turnover is being made on UK. Nothing goes on in Greece.

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Replying to Nobodygr:
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By Wanderer
19th Aug 2019 15:01

Nobodygr wrote:

Nothing goes on in Greece.

Yes it does, that's where you are operating the business from.
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By Ranse
19th Aug 2019 17:42

What you need to understand is that , as a sole trader "you " and the "our business" are the same entity unlike a company . therefore if you are living in Greece , then your business is in Greece , even though the customers are are in a different country, you will be seen to be trading in Greece.

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By Tax Dragon
19th Aug 2019 21:49

There's truth in the replies you have received... but it may not be the whole truth. That could be more nuanced - for example you suggest that the contracts are under UK law and/or the question of whether you have a permanent establishment in the UK has to be considered.

You say you have a UK accountant but have heard that his or her advice may be incorrect. Getting this wrong could prove expensive - a price far higher than that of professional advice to make sure you don't. I suggest paying for a second professional opinion.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Nobodygr
19th Aug 2019 21:57

Hi there,

my Uk accountant says Im legal and I don't have to pay tax on Greece because of double taxation treaty plus cause on papers it shows Im living in UK (renting a home).

A greek accountant said Im Illegal at both countries and Im f*****.

Another greek accountant said the same as the UK accountant.

Im no accountant and I don't know what's correct and what's wrong....

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Replying to Nobodygr:
By Tim Vane
20th Aug 2019 00:40

Your UK accountant doesn’t know what he’s talking about - or is perhaps just fleecing you. I think he’s just incompetent since a vast number of uk accountants have not got a clue about foreign tax matters. Your first Greek accountant is possibly scare-mongering but probably closer to the truth. Your second Greek accountant is probably as ignorant on foreign tax matters as your uk accountant. Again the vast majority of small accountants don’t grasp the subtleties of foreign tax.

The real problem here seems to be that having asked for advice on this forum you seem to be happy to ignore it, argue the point and insist you are in the right. Frankly if you don’t want to listen to the answers then don’t ask the falooking question. With potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds of tax at stake for goodness sake engage a decent firm that demonstrably specialises in international tax matters.

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Replying to Tim Vane:
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By Tax Dragon
20th Aug 2019 09:46

I would want to know more about the business before opining on the tax.

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Caroline
By accountantccole
20th Aug 2019 11:20

You've said that you are fulfilling ebay/amazon sales from the UK but don't clarify how - are there staff or subcontractors doing this for you, in which case there might be UK operations. It sounds like all the day to day management is happening from Greece so it is a Greek business.
I'd agree that your UK accountant doesn't have enough experience, the double tax treaty isn't enough to avoid Greek taxes.
Get some proper paid for advice! Ideally from someone who knows the UK and Greek systems.

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