Exploring the digital nomads' space and finances, I see that the number one issue bothering digital nomads is their taxes.
- Can digital nomads get away from paying any taxes?
- When and where should digital nomads pay their taxes?
- What kind of tax benefits you can have as a digital nomad?
This article by any means is not tax advice and any person should advise a tax expert on their own individual situation.
So, let's first give a short answer. Digital nomads do need to pay taxes somewhere. They can get away for some time but that can get them into trouble later.
Jean Galea gives has an extensive well research article about the topic; Can Digital Nomads Legally Pay No Taxes
Galea summarises it:
Tax residency is absolutely crucial since it determines where you need to pay your taxes.
International tax rules are complicated anyway and dependent on many criteriums. Digital nomadism adds another layer of complexity as many of them constantly moving. However, they're still want to do smart tax planning.
This led to opening tax planning service especially for digital nomads often by digital nomads. Such an example is Bianca Bonilla from TaxSmart catered toward mostly American digital nomads.
Another firm run by Iven De Hoon from NoMoreTax.eu caters more towards European digital nomads.
De Hoon claims the following:
...There is a correct and practical way how you can avoid any kind of tax perfectly legally as a digital nomad. Or at least reduce your tax burden legally by 80 to 90%.
Many tax planning strategies are involving forming foreign corporations in low tax counties. The more common term people use is, 'Offshore companies'.
As Miklel Thorup from Escape Artist states:
Before you choose a location for your new foreign corporation, you must assess what places you can go to and what you get out of it besides the tax advantages.
The worst-case scenario for taxes is that you pay double tax. You'd like to avoid that of course.
If the country you are a citizen of and the country you are currently residing in don't have a tax treaty, you are likely to be taxed twice on your income. This is because you are a tax resident of both.
If for whatever reason you end up becoming tax resident of two countries which have not signed a double tax treaty between each other, then you are out of luck. You will have to pay any taxes due to both sides.
While there are ways to reduce your taxes as a digital nomad eliminating it completely is not recommended. Even if you do manage to pay no taxes that is likely temporary and illegal. If at some point you'd like to grow your income or settle somewhere even only for 1-2 years not having proper tax records can get you in trouble.
However, there are legal ways to reduce your taxes by doing smart tax planning. It can involve large amounts of expenses but can be worthwhile in the long run.
It will show you the right roadmap to feeling financially stable as well as deal with your taxes.