Where does a digital nomad pay taxes?

August 11, 2022

Where does a digital nomad pay taxes?

In this current time, you can work from anywhere as long as you have internet and a laptop. That's why more and more people are earning money while living all over the world. One moment they're in Curaçao and the next moment they're in Spain. It sounds like a wonderful life and you see it happens more often these days. However, tax matters can be quite complicated for digital nomads. Normally, you pay taxes in the country where you live, but digital nomads live everywhere and nowhere. That's exactly what makes the tax liability of digital nomads so complicated. In this article, we will try to explain how this works.

What is a digital nomad exactly?

As the name suggests, a digital nomad is someone who works location independently using digital means. Digital means often refers to the internet and a laptop. Digital nomads often travel a lot and are therefore very flexible.

Can you stay registered in the Netherlands as a digital nomad?

In the Netherlands, you are obliged to deregister from the BRP (Basic Registration of Persons) if you stay abroad for more than 8 months. These 8 months do not have to be consecutive.

Without registration in the BRP, you can still be registered in the trade register of the Chamber of Commerce (KvK). You can simply register with the KvK from abroad. However, for registration with the KvK from abroad, it takes more effort. That's why it's often convenient for digital nomads to register their company with the KvK before they start traveling and then stay abroad for less than 8 months.

Are you also liable to pay taxes in the Netherlands if you are registered there?

The tax authorities look at things differently than the municipality and the Chamber of Commerce. The tax authorities use fiscal residency. So the tax authorities don't look at where you are registered, but where you actually live. The tax authorities can determine this, for example, based on where you go to the doctor and where your insurance is located. As a digital nomad, you don't live in one place, of course. One digital nomad may stay in a country for half a year while the other is constantly on the move. Where you are liable to pay taxes depends on your personal situation. Even if you have deregistered in the Netherlands, you may still be liable to pay taxes in the Netherlands.

A digital nomad is therefore a relatively new phenomenon for which there is no clear legislation. We advise you to discuss your personal situation with, for example, the tax authorities or a tax consultant. This will help you avoid problems.