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US Tax Issues for Digital Nomads

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today, we are going to be discussing expat tax issues especially with respect to so called “Digital Nomads”.  For those who are watching this video who have no idea what I am talking about, this video probably doesn’t pertain to you but for those who are watching this video,  you know exactly what I mean when I say “digital nomad”.

Basically, I am talking about folks who have either a business, or job that occurs primarily on-line which allows them to travel rather frequently and as a result, they are very mobile, but with respect to the United States and the tax system of the United States that mobility doesn’t change anything with respect to ones US tax liability. What are we talking about here? Well American citizens are liable for tax on their world wide income and actually from their world wide accrued revenue on their person:  so interests, unearned or earned interest, whatever you want to call it: capital gains etc. you are stuck with tax liability on all of these things or at least you need to deal with things like disclosure and things even if you don’t have tax liability. I won’t go so far as to say the US tax system is onerous, I would simply say it is rather meticulous in the information it wants regarding its tax paying citizens. So digital nomads again, we are talking about folks who primarily seem to work on line and basically live abroad, live outside the United States; expat taxes can be a real issue and I am not going to get into specifics of how this stuff is going to work, I can say that I have dealt with folks of various stripes in sort of the “digital nomad” sphere and you know various types of structures can be created whereby those individuals can mitigate their personal tax liability or they can set, something can be set up in such a way where the disclosure requirements are rather less difficult to undertake compared to just letting things go sort of “willy-nilly”!. There are many, many different types of strategies that can be undertaken.

Things like certain offshore-onshore company formations, a company formation in the United States in order to sort of deal with, sort of act as like a funnel for bringing in certain revenues or something like this can be effected in such a way that essentially limits ones,  I guess you could say disclosure requirements, while at the same time mitigating ones tax liability; especially for those who live outside the United States for long enough to  be able to enjoy things like the foreign earned income exclusion aka the FEIE, things like this. These types of things, there are various structures that can be created and maintained by confident professionals that can essentially create tax efficiency for an individual who is operating as sort of a “digital nomad”. I think in my opinion, this provides peace of mind to the individual who lives abroad, because they just simply sort of front-load dealing with all of that stuff so you just don’t have to deal with it in the future, or maybe not deal with it but make it easy on yourself to deal with it in future occasions. So you know, you set up a corporation, I am just speaking off the top of my head here, you set up a corporation and then you make sure everything adheres to the relevant laws and you just sort of never deal with it again. You deal with it once and then you just maintain it, you are compliant. Again, you are front loading a lot of activity in order to have a rather simple compliance regime moving forward and I think for “digital nomads” especially for “digital nomads”  who are high earning individuals abroad and there are quite  a few of you , I know you are out there, even high net worth individuals, this is especially the case in the era of the cryptocurrency boom, the bit coin boom etc. These individuals have serious issues pertaining to US tax that need to be, may be not rectified, but need to be addressed in order to set oneself up optimally, for not only doing business but maintaining tax compliance into the future.