As the world of technology continues to develop many people are now looking to telecommute, i.e. work for a homeland country while actually living overseas. But how does the tax situation pan out? How is the visa situation resolved?
This is a very different type of thread from the norm but one which we shall hear more about in the future as more and more people look to work remotely, taking advantage of their homeland employment laws and taxes while living in a different country. This post involves a US citizen who is looking to move to France while still working remotely for their US office. Sound complicated?
There are many issues which arise in this post including taxes, the legality of such a move and labour laws to name but a few. Some people may be aware that if you are deemed to be working in France then you are automatically classed as a French fiscal resident and all of your worldwide income is taxed by the French authorities.
This post covers some of the misunderstandings which accompany telecommuting and other issues which arise. It seems as though it is possible to obtain a long stay visa in France, not a working visa, and telecommuting between your overseas office but whether your company needs to formally agree this with the French authorities or not is up for debate.
The subject of telecommuting has prompted a number of useful questions and some answers but the situation is far from clear with differing opinions presented on the thread.
While telecommuting is not a subject which has cropped up too often up until now it certainly seems as though it will be one which appear more frequently in the future. The technology available today has made it much easier to communicate from anywhere around the world and remote home offices are common places in many countries, but international telecommuting is a whole different ball game.
One thing which becomes clear from this thread is that fact that as yet there are no hard and fast rules and it really does depend which option you pursue and in some ways it seems like it could be down to the ‘luck of the draw’. This situation with a US citizen looking to work for his homeland company from a home office in France has attracted a lot of comment although much of it seems to contradict the other.
Can you obtain a long term visa without employment in France? Can a US company negotiate terms for telecommuting with the French authorities?
The underlying problem is that any country in the world will look to pursue tax charges from anyone who works in their country on a long term basis. There is potential for all sorts of legal issues for those deemed to be telecommuting in so far as health insurance, taxation, residency issues and many more.
It is surprising that the EU authorities have not released any definitive regulations for telecommuting as this is something which is sure to become more common in the future.
Read the full discussion to Telecommuting.