By - simpledark252
Yes, hired as contractor, I pay taxes as a 'freelancer'
Lots of opportunities on sites like Weworkremotely.com...
Otta.com is great too! Never seen a site with better filters 🙂
Do you pay taxes in the foreign country? How difficult is it to figure out? I'm thinking of going the contract way myself
Yea.. I've got a local accountant here in the EU. Basically I pay them ~100€ per quarter and they take care of everything. I also am in contact with an accountant in the US (who's a family friend) who helps me submit my yearly zero-dollar tax return in free US just for safety
For anyone who is a "full-time contractor" , how does your company handle limits on hours. Are you capped at 30 weekly, or managing to contract a full-time load without 1099 issues?
Though I'm a US citizen, I'm a permanent resident/pay taxes in the EU, so my situation is a bit different. But basically my contract is for 1 unit of services rendered per month or sth and I can spend as many or as few hours as I need to...
Are you on an American salary or a salary that’s fitted to your own country?
It's American, but it's a 100% remote company and the salaries are slightly under market average (maybe like 85%), but the flexibility is worth it.
Nice, do you pay taxes to America and your home country?
I think you got it backwards. I'm American living abroad. I pay taxes in my EU country of residence. I file taxes in the US just so the IRS has a file saying I didn't have US income those years (and that I didn't just Not pay taxes)
I think anything over like 80k or sth gets taxed in the US no matter where you pay taxes tho (basically you pay the difference between us rate and where you live if it's lower than US rate) but im not sure
Makes sense, thanks
Where in Europe are you working? I’m thinking of doing this in the next couple of years. I have a 100% remote job and my boss has said she doesn’t care if I work from overseas. I’m a w-2 employee currently and not sure how that all wprks with taxes, health benefits, etc. I am a dual US/Danish citizen, and looking at either Denmark or Croatia.
used parents address in US. got a matching skype number. didnt tell the recruiter. interviewed, did coding test. got offer. made counteroffer that i work from europe but keep east coast hours.
they agreed surprisingly.
Contractor or employee?
Damn that's awesome. They never expressed concern about taxes or regulations having an employee overseas?
Is it a smaller company? Thanks for fielding my questions.
i have a digital nomad residency so i dont owe taxes
edit: no taxes in croatia. i still pay normal US tax. my employer has no liability either. it is a pain to apply though you have to go to police station in croatia. there is tons of paperwork, hours standing in line, and it took 2.5 months
User name checks out 😉
it is in croatia
the part where i used parents address. i pay US taxes normally.
croatia doesnt give a fuck... highly recommended
IRS also doesn't give a fuck what Croatia thinks.
If you're a US citizen, you have to file. You may not owe anything over what you pay overseas but the good old USA requires anyone with citizenship to file annually, report any overseas accounts.
Even if you weren't born here. If you have citizenship, IRS can screw you up if you don't file.
like i said my job uses my us address. they take taxes as if i still lived there. all is good. i dont pay any tax in croatia except VAT on purchases.
He just said he pays taxes at home but not in Croatia?
I think what he meant is Croatia doesn't care if you don't pay taxes there, therefore his US employer does not need to withhold any taxes in Croatia
Croatia doesn't give a fuck what the IRS thinks. Works either way buddy.
Not really. Croatia policies or habits don't change IRS policies. It doesn't matter where you are on the globe, if you're a US citizen getting any kind of income, US considers it taxable.
Commend you for being straight up. Most would've said nothing and posted here asking how to set up a home vpn...
I’m a full time employee. I work for the US branch of a European company. I landed the job while abroad, I use my family’s address. I am paid the salary I asked for and have a 9+ hour offset from my manager.
I’m in Tbilisi currently, I only have to sync on 3 weekly stand ups. Which puts me at 7pm working the latest.
I would say find a company that emphasises remote first and pick your own hours. This has worked well for me. I return to the US for holidays at the end of the year only and wouldn’t change it for the world!
I love Tbilisi. How has it been working remotely there?
I am enjoying it! The weather has been great, the food is delicious, and the people friendly.
I haven’t worked out of a coworking space as my apartment has a desk, but I have met others who say there are a couple nice places to work from. I prefer my apartment as I can do laundry, watch TV, lay in bed like a lazy bum. Then when I send off my end of day report, I pop off to go eat dinner, meet up with friends, or get into trouble without a commute home.
This sounds like exactly what I want. Can I DM you?!
I work through a 3rd party that handles local payment, benefits, and work visa sponsorship. Us company pays them and they pay me. Win, win, win.
Same! They are called PEOs
what PEO stand for?
[Professional employer organization](https://remote.com/blog/what-is-peo)
Thank you! Just FYI I only asked because when you Google PEOs in Greece (where I'm located) it gives you results about penises.
I was hired on as an independent contractor for a single company. Basically meant I was their full time salaried employee but without any benefits and I was responsible for withholding my own taxes. I wasn't complaining though since it gave me massive flexibility on how I managed my taxes.
I got the job because my roommate who was an old pal from university days came up to me and said "Hey we're hiring, you want to work for me? You can work from home and don't ever need to come into the office. In fact because we're hiring you as an independent contractor we are legally prevented from forcing you to come to the office." I said yes.
Four months later I told my boss/roommate I was moving to Hong Kong and had no clue when or if I'd ever come back, but they would still get 40 hours per week of work out of me. He responded "Have fun, send us a post card."
After a year the company went out of business so I was left high and dry without a salary in a foreign country. Some new friends I made overseas came up to me and asked "Hey we're wanting to start up an e-commerce business selling consumer electronics out of Shenzhen China to the EU, you want to help us?" I couldn't resist and agreed. Pay was shit. Also a bit illegal since I was working overseas for a Chinese company without the proper visa. Had a lot of awkward questioning from the police. But boy oh my God it was such an exhilaratingly fun adventure.
After two years of doing that the pandemic arrived and my visa hopping became impossible to continue so I ended up having to return to America and get an office job that requires staying domestic, so no more digital nomading. But it was a fun experience and I'd do it again if given the opportunity.
Never even spent more than 2 weeks in the USA and I work for 3 companies there as a freelancer!
I found my jobs through Upwork 😊
I heard Upwork is very competitive. How long you've been using the platform and how long until finding jobs became easy? Also what's your job and year of exp?
Hey there! I’m a C-Level business consultant, usually working as a bolt-on COO for startups. Hourly rate $60 which is pretty reasonable compared to some other C Levels on Upwork.
I got my first 2 jobs within 2 weeks of joining and now work for 5 companies, 3 of which are in the US. Upwork takes a hefty percentage so I usually do the first couple of weeks to a month on Upwork, and then migrate off it and send invoices directly.
It is competitive and should not be treated like going for a job interview, with professional CVs and everything that we know from traditional job hunting. Instead of a resume, try an eye-catching profile, filled with emojis, testimonials, portfolio etc.
I would also recommend (while you’re getting started) possibly offer some upfront value. Like I’m not sure what your job is, but I always say I will do a comprehensive business analysis (high level, not every single little process) for free. This makes my portfolio stand out against the rest, and is possibly something you could implement.
Upwork is VERY different to the traditional job market, so try not to bring old habits into Upwork. So many freelancers are on Upwork but treat it the same as the job market. i.e ‘Dear hiring manager, please find attached my resume…’ instead of ‘Do you want AMAZING images edited in 48 hours? Contact me to find out how…’
That sort of thing. That might feel weird but it is very much a marketplace, and experience is not judged as much as how well you sell yourself
It is very competitive with people using that old mindset, but if you differentiate yourself, there’s so much work out there!
Sorry if I’m rambling. Let me know if I can help anymore 💪
This was soooo helpful! Just building a profile there and this is really good advice
Best of luck!
You can look for jobs in places like LinkedIn, unwork, toptotal and many other similar places.
You obviously need a good English level and skills. If you have no idea how much you should be paid, check a place like Upwork they have lots of freelance work. Many short projects, you can do them and gain reputation on the site and also a better understanding of what people are looking for and how much you earn. And then you can get better opportunities. In places like toptotal they run interviews to decide if you can be part of their "team" and if you pass they will help you get in touch with clients.
I don't fully understand the tax part in the US but basically they hire you as a contractor. There are 2 models, a company hires you and they have clients in the US and they handle the payments so they help the US company with the tax stuff. Or the US company hires you directly and they handle the taxes in the US side.
Next, usually you sign a contract. Depending on the company some make you sign some other stuff saying you haven't been or won't be working from the US. This is because tax stuff, I don't remember the name of the form. It is for the tax exception, like you don't pay taxes in the US even though you work for a US company because you don't work in the US.
Then your taxes. Each country has its own rules. But basically you either pay as a individual or as a "company" but that company is just you. Usually when you work for a company outside your country you don't pay certain taxes, the VAT tax. You know the one you pay for everything you buy? The added value tax. Because in theory that tax is paid by the buyer, but since the buyer of your services is outside your country then you don't have to pay it. So you only pay earning tax.
Earnings tax: That again depending on the country goes higher or lower, i think a good reference is a 30%. But it will depend on the country and how much you are making, it could go way lower to like 10%. And usually you pay a little every month and then at the end of the year a bigger number. You usually create an invoice for the services you perform every so much time and that is how they determine how much you pay. I advise you getting a accountant. But tell them about the VAT exception because sometimes they don't know!
Of course you also have to pay for your health and retirement stuff. But usually contractor jobs pay more precisely because of that. But there is less job security.
Depending on the country some other stuff applies. For example in some countries you get paid in dollars and when they deposit it, it automatically gets converted to your local currency . But again discuss with an account, they will guide you through the specifics of the country and what you need to have so everything is legal.
Also like you will be a 1 person company you can discount certain expenses from your taxes. For example, if you buy a computer for your work you can discount that from taxes. You will need a legal invoice with your data and such. As always specifics depend on the country.
What is your field of expertise?
Web App Software Engineer here.
applied to jobs & chatted with recruiters who contacted me via LinkedIn while living in Mexico.
Upon contact with any of them I had certain conditions i communicated to them, including 100% remote and the ability to work abroad, such as from Mexico. Any who denied this request I stopped chatting with.
Found a couple employers who made offers. Took one of them. Decided to move back to the US though, as life is a bit more convenient & conducive to high performance work. I'll probably go back to Mexico to visit in a year or so-- one I purchase my own property in the USA so I have my own place to come back to.
Can you elaborate on why you think US is more conductive and convenient? That’s an interesting take and would like your insight on that.
I was in Mexico City and felt life was easier there than being back in the states.
Except maybe meal prep.
Sure thing! I've lived in Mexico for about 1.5 years (Baja California \[Rosarito Beach\], Puerto Vallarta \[Bucerias\], Mexico City \[Chapultepec Park\], Quintana Roo \[Tulum, Playa Del Carmen\])
Convenience factors, favoring the US:
**Note: this does not imply that Mexico doesn't offer other amazing aspects to living there. The culture, people, food, natural areas-- Mexico offers a ton, which is why I was honestly on the fence about staying in the USA.**
**The main factor for why I stayed: I have office furniture & electronics here and a vehicle. To get that stuff in Mexico (especially the vehicle) would be a bit costly-- i.e. setting up a comfortable home office and owning a motorcycle would cost a couple to few thousand dollars.** i.e. $100 used monitor, $200 desk, $50 chair. A moped or motorcycle: $1000. But this is on the low end of things-- approaching $2,000. Plus the time necessary to track that stuff down, negotiate for it, and pick it up. Not to mention paying for a flight & stay of a Mexican friend to put the motorcycle in his name (\~$500). And, I'd want a decent motorcycle-- I'd probably want to pay more like $2,000 - $3,000. All in all, to get comfortable, I'd probably spend close too $3,000 - $4,000. Still, if I stayed for six months, I'd save money compared to living in the US. But it would still "cost" me a few of the following convenience factors:
* **Potable water** at my tap
* **Dependable Electricity, Internet, Water** Service which does not occasionally stop working
* **Noise ordinances** (i.e. laws prohibiting loud noise in residential areas at night). Once issue I had with Mexico was noise during the day (people shouting to advertise sales of stuff in the street-- selling various products from their vehicles or on foot; also musicians on the beach I could hear from 2 blocks away, inside my apartment) and night (dogs barking, honking, people partying). Night wouldn't have been as much of a problem if my rental had air conditioning-- since it didn't I had to keep my window open. However even at other locations where I had A/C or a fan & could close windows... I was still woken up by music and dogs barking.
* **Speed of service at restaurants** \-- not all restaurants, but some restaurants... have a low standard of service regarding speed and paying attention to diners. I'm someone who works full time, so during breakfast & lunch I wanted restaurant staff to be more attentive. Not in all cases or venues, but approximately 25-50% of them I noticed staff weren't very professional or attentive.
* **Use of google maps** to find places. A substantial amount of locals including business people aren't as internet savvy as in the US, as a result you can't find things on an internet map and have to ask around instead
* **Stores offering various products** \-- It can be difficult to find stores in Mexico which offer organic/health food, natural skincare products, or an array of various products-- for example, I had difficulty finding a bicycle store when I needed a bicycle. I am sure they're out there, but remember the previous point: you can't find businesses on google maps as easily, so you'd have to ask around for a bike shop or someone selling a bike
* **Quality of fruit, vegetable, meat** at grocery stores -- I noticed that grocery stores in Mexico have lower quality items which seem to be more moldy (depending on location-- Quintana Roo was pretty bad due to humidity & probably more mold spores in air as a result). It's difficult to find medium & high quality steaks, and anything other than 1 basic species of mushroom (no oyster, shiitake, etc). That said, this is a given due to the lower economic attainment of the population & economies of scale (less people earning high enough incomes to afford higher quality food products).
* **Scammers** selling/renting things on Facebook Marketplace -- I have never been scammed in the USA. I've been scammed a couple times & met people who attempted to scam me in Mexico.
* **Rule of law** in general -- the vast majority of crimes go unpunished in Mexico. Many crimes also go unpunished in the USA. But I definitely notice the US police force is more attentive, professional, and less corrupt.
Aside from this-- These are issues I'd face in any foreign country:
* In Mexico and others countries-- I technically **can't own a car/motorcycle unless** **I am** classified as some sort of **a resident**. This makes it difficult to transport goods, including the goods I would need to set up my office: A desk or two, office chairs, a big box of a computer monitor, etc.
Same. This is what ultimately keeps me in San Diego compared to moving to Tj or somewhere else. Though, living in SD makes scratching the Mexico itch very easy (whether just a day trip somewhere in BC, or a trip anywhere else)
Also as an avid motorcyclist, I am always looking around at the selection and yeah it's a bit sparse (quality wise). Heck, when Im riding south, people look at my DRZ like its this advanced tech sometimes...
Also, as far as noise, I think you forgot to mention all the damn roosters haha
Yeah, I'd say Noise is one of the top 3 reasons why I don't currently live in Mexico.
In fact, just last night I was marveling at the sound of crickets and cicadas here in Central Texas. It sounded so natural and comforting.
You wouldn't hear nature in Mexico except in small remote villages. And even there, you'd hear more people than nature I bet.
Yet... I live in front of a medium-level busy street-- it's busy during the day but empty at night. Near two convenience stores. In a residential neighborhood of many houses. And even so... I mostly only hear natural forest sounds at night. Occasionally I hear a late night driver drive by, or even some college punk burn out on the pavement. But mostly... just super peaceful quiet nights. When I was in Mexico I missed having super peaceful quiet time.
How did you like Puerto Vallarta compared to the others?
I'm currently here and love it. Only huge downside is the noise. Barking dogs and obnoxious neighbors at night really is annoying.
Can you own a company which owns the vehicle?
For those employers who made offers, are they small companies/startups?
Upwork is one the most popular. It helped a lot of people find job.
Sure. As a software engineer I worked for an agency as a contractor then the US company I worked for took me on full time.
They didn't mind you are living abroad even as a W2 employee? Or are you still a contractor?
I'm not sure what a W2 is. With my company it is a self employed contract, but I receive similar perks to workers based in USA.
>similar perks to workers based in USA.
As in: no perks?
5 weeks paid vacation plus 1 or 2 refresh weeks... 600 dollars a month to spend on health and wellness etc... paid paternity leave... it's not too bad.
Oh nice! You work for a good company if this is what you get. It's rare to see things like that offered these days
Fortunately for tech workers, this is the norm
Superior perks my friend.
Ha, if only these were similar perks to USA workers.
So you're not their employee, you were hired by the US company as a contractor
Same thing I practice.
Yeah i mean legally, on paper you’re a contractor right? Sorry just trying to understand how your situation is legal. That’s super cool
Is your salary American?
It's adjusted to the cost of living of where I live so it's 80% what they get in San Francisco
Ah I see.
Anyone here ever get a remote job in accounting ?
Yes, two of them. Got them Just like any other remote job application while in the US. I have US address, phone,etc. Just don’t mention you are abroad. Obviously I’m allowed to work in the US and have a good PRIVATE VPN server running back at home.
>PRIVATE VPN server
So from another country, whenever you need to do work you connect your work laptop to the vpn server at home in the US to prevent them from knowing your actual location?
Yup. A “physical” VPN server then I use whatever VPN my work laptop software uses, Vpn over vpn.
I’m really careful to always use a wired connection to my router. Some companies could potentially figure out you are not in the country if you use wifi.
There’s a wifi hotspots database that lists the location of every wifi router in the world, that’s how google/Apple/Amazon/Netflix know you are not in the US even if you use a vpn and turn your gps services off.
Yes, I work as a full-time contractor to a USA company. I pay taxes as if I was a “business” and the money I earn is my “profit”, and I use a service to transfer the money to my country with low taxes.
How does this work? A US company hires you as a US-based business but you pay yourself as an contracted employee ?
I am hired by the US company as a regular contractor, and they deposit the money in whatever bank or account I choose. Then, I opened a company with the help of an accounting service, in my country (LATAM), to serve as a means to receive this international money and be able to pay taxes. In the lens of my local government, its like if I am a “consulting” company and the money I get from the US company is my company’s profit. This way I can pay less taxes than if I received the money directly as a “person”.
I have two. Contractor but indistinguishable from employee in a practical sense (they put in extra for healthcare based on my invoices, office setup, time off, etc). I'm not sure if that's legal even. Hours are extremely high paying. Taxes I pay mine on my end (0%), they pay 30% (I think?) on their end. Something called w8-ben. My rate is post tax regardless where employers are located. The bank fees and currency exchange rates are like 3%? But they account for that so I end up getting a bit more.
UK here - I got a job after applying to an ad on the company's website. I was hired as a contractor and was paid as such after completing a few US tax forms. I was responsible for remitting tax myself.
Worked as a customer service agent, applied from overseas. It was a BYOD job though, and I used a vpn throughout the application process and everytime I log into the platform
Once, for one month, was recommended for the position, they took care of everything but I was paid extremely poorly (a fraction of US minimal wage) thing didnt last, Im a civil engineer.
Yes, but it is very tough.
Quick disqualifications even when a US citizen that's over qualified.
Yes. Remote.com and papaya global are companies my company has hired to hire me
I work for two US companies as a contractor. For one, I signed in the US and said I was moving to the EU. For the second, I was hired while living here. I’m a registered freelancer. I pay local taxes and social programs, then file US taxes demonstrating that I paid locally. My social security payments cover benefits (healthcare, pension, disability, unemployment).
Updated to add: I have a local account who registered me as a freelancer and handles my taxes. I send them monthly invoices for my clients and they handle the tax paperwork.
oh man good question! I'm trying to get into this lifestyle but I'm not in the tech field :/ I think it is hard but possible and if your skills are extremely desirable I think some companies might make exceptions. Definitely have an accountant to help you either taxes do you don't get in trouble though
Yes, as a freelance medical writer.
Yes, I did it multiple times, and here is how.
I usually look for jobs on LinkedIn, or other job posting platforms *(hired, cybercoders, ...)*. I was hired multiple times as a contractor (for different periods) and I also provided some developers through my own company. When you are hired as a contractor you still have to pay taxes in the country you are living in, but you essentially also need to see what the company hiring is proposing *(the situation can change from company to company)*. You should try and connect with people from your country and see what their experience is.
If you're interested to see how it is done in Romania, I can explain to you further (just message me).