Get Second Residence and Pay No Tax in These 26 Tax-Free Countries

Last Updated August 1, 2020

Dateline: Singapore

Having a second citizenship is an important part of international diversification, but having a backup passport alone does not end your tax obligations if that is your goal.

US citizens can have as many passports as they want (I know one guy who has eight), but they will be liable to the IRS so long as they carry a US passport.

Citizens of countries like Australia, the UK, Canada, Norway, and others may similarly have a lot of hoops to jump through if they want to stop paying taxes in their home country, even after leaving.

While only US citizens must renounce their citizenship to fully escape their government’s tax net, there are other countries where becoming tax non-resident is hardly a walk in the park.

These days, every government agency you deal with wants to know which country you’re a resident of. For that reason, it is important to establish a tax residence in a tax-free country that won’t try to get its hands on the money you earn anywhere else. 

Going to tax-free countries and obtaining a second residence can go a long way in getting your high-tax home country off your back while saving you thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of dollars in taxes every year.

It’s all about “going where you’re treated best” in a world where many residents of high-tax countries are on the hook to pay taxes on their worldwide income.

No matter what your situation may be, having a second residence in a tax-free country gives you a lot of freedom. 

In this article, we’ll address the different types of tax-free countries that you can use as part of your offshore strategy before diving into the specific countries where you can obtain a second residence to enjoy a tax-free life.

What Is a Tax-Free Country?

If you’re a regular reader of our blog or viewer on our YouTube channel, you may have noticed that people tend to make one of two mistakes when going offshore:

Either they think it’s too easy, OR they think it’s too difficult.

Those who think it’s too difficult often believe that the only way to live tax-free is to move themselves to a country with zero taxes. To go where they’re treated best, they have to uproot their entire life and move to a tax haven

But this isn’t always the case. 

The ones who think that it’s too easy believe that they can just incorporate an offshore company and then continue to live where they are and somehow avoid paying taxes. 

It doesn’t work this way, either.

If you want the benefits of going offshore, you need to go offshore.

Still, others think that they can just live the life of a perpetual nomad and avoid taxes by not living anywhere permanently. Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t work for most citizenships anymore

Many countries have cracked down on the different tests and requirements that their citizens must pass to prove that they are no longer tax residents of their home country. They want to know what country you call home now. 

So… you need someplace new to call home.

By finding a new tax home, you can create a strategy that allows you to structure your lifestyle and business to go where you want to go while paying what you want to pay. And this doesn’t have to involve you running off to live in a small, zero-tax country like Monaco. 

Monaco won’t work for every person who wants to grow their wealth, reduce their tax burden, and go where they’re treated best. 

Now, if you did just want to live in Monaco, you could create a fairly straightforward plan and live tax-free. But every situation is incredibly different and zero-tax countries are not your only option. 

There are various ways to live tax-free (and there is often more to it than just getting a second residence or citizenship). Each approach involves different countries and unique strategies, but in general, your options for tax-free second residencies are as follows:

    1. Zero-Tax Countries: Become a tax resident of a zero-tax country that does not impose income taxes or capital gains taxes,
    2. Territorial Tax Countries: Become a resident of a territorial tax country that only imposes taxes on the income you earn within their borders… then make sure you don’t have local source income.
    3. Lump-Sum Tax Countries: Become a resident of countries that will only charge an annual lump-sum tax. Technically, these are not tax-free countries, but you can basically view the flat tax as a government fee for your second residence, which then allows you to live tax-free for the rest of the year. 
    4. Exemptions and Non-Domiciled Countries: Become a resident of a country that normally has high taxes but then apply for an exemption or special status as a non-domiciled resident that will allow you to live in the country tax-free for a set period of time.

Please note that this article is not a full list of all the zero-tax countries in the world. We’ve spoken before about countries with zero income tax, but not all of them have second residence programs or are desirable locations for lifestyle purposes.

This article is specifically about the countries where you can get second residency and pay no tax. If you would like to learn more about tax-free countries in different parts of the world, you can check out our other articles and videos:

And if you want to learn more about the different forms of taxation, how they work, and how to legally lower your taxes overseas, you can read these articles:

But if you’re here to discover the tax-free countries of the world where you can get a second residence, you’re in the right place, so read on!

Second Residence in Tax-Free Countries

The Bahamas

The Bahamas has no income tax, choosing to earn its money from tourism instead. Residents of the Bahamas pay zero tax on the money they earn anywhere in the world, inside or outside of the Bahamas.

You can enter The Bahamas as a visitor and then apply for either temporary or permanent residence within two months of your arrival. 

A renewable annual residence permit will cost you $1,000 each year. And even though it is not officially required, it is beneficial to have a home on the island to get approved. 

After 20 years of temporary residence, you can apply for a permanent residence permit, OR you can speed up the process and get your permanent resident status right off the bat by investing at least $750,000 in real estate or a business that will create at least one local job.

If you would like to fast-track your application to get a guaranteed response from the Bahamas Immigration Department within 21 days, you can increase the investment amount to $1.5 million and pay a one-time fee of $10,000. 

Then, if you have chosen to purchase a home on the island, you will be issued a Home Owner’s Card on an annual basis that allows you, your spouse, and any minor children to live in the Bahamas.

The British Virgin Islands

We joke around Nomad HQ that BVI is made up entirely of sexy, sophisticated words: “British”, “Virgin”, and “Islands”.

This British overseas territory applies no income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance or gift taxes, land or housing taxes, wealth tax, sales tax, or VAT.

While getting a work permit in the BVI can be a rather bureaucratic process, obtaining a residence visa as a self-sufficient person is quite easy and can be obtained in less than a month in most cases.

You simply need to provide bank statements showing that you can afford to live there and pay a $1,000 surety bond.

Brunei

The Sultan of Brunei has so much money that he doesn’t really need investors to immigrate to his sultanate.

However, with a large enough investment, you can obtain residence or permanent resident status in his tiny country nestled in the Borneo part of Malaysia — though I wouldn’t recommend it.

Cayman Islands

The crown jewel of the Caribbean offshore world, the Cayman Islands doesn’t appeal to the middle class.

Just as Cayman financial authorities have gone to great lengths to make incorporating into their country expensive, immigrating there requires some serious cash as well.

Specifically, if you want to live on Grand Cayman, you must have an annual income of nearly $150,000, maintain roughly $500,000 in a Cayman Islands bank account, and invest $1.2 million in the country, with roughly half of the investment going to real estate.

Those requirements are significantly smaller if you want to live on one of the smaller, less flashy islands. You can learn more about the Cayman Islands’ residency program here.

Monaco

Talk about sex appeal and sophistication; Monaco oozes it.

The principality bordering France and Italy is part of the gorgeous French Riviera and is well-connected by train, airplane, and helicopter to the rest of Europe.

It’s the perfect zero-tax residency if you prefer European glamour to island living, and you’ll be in the company of some of the wealthiest people on earth. 

Monaco requires that prospective residents show proof of accommodation. This may involve presenting a 12-month rental contract, holding corporate real estate as a company director, or purchasing real estate worth at least €500,000. 

Of course, you’ll need a lot of luck to even find a parking space for that price. The government has also been cracking down on residents buying tiny studios in an effort to weed out low-quality “paper residents”.

Applicants must also prove that they have sufficient financial resources by opening a bank account in Monaco and making a minimum deposit of €500,000. However, some banks require a minimum initial deposit of least €1,000,000.

Norfolk Island

Actually three islands, Norfolk Island holds a special immigration status, despite its close ties to Australia. The country has no income tax and allows Australian and New Zealand citizens to become residents with great ease.

Foreigners will have to jump through a few hoops and prove they can support themselves and are of good character to get tax residence there.

Turks and Caicos

The rogue of the British Overseas Territories, Turks and Caicos unveiled an economic residency program that offers quick residence permits to foreigners who either spend at least $300,000 building a new home or remodeling a distressed property, or who invest at least $750,000 in a company majority-owned by locals.

If you’re good for the investment, you can enjoy not only zero income tax as a resident of Turks and Caicos but also no corporate tax, no capital gains tax, no property tax, and no inheritance tax.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE offers many different advantages to foreign businessmen and investors, including second residence and zero taxes.

By setting up a free-zone company, you can start a 100% foreign-owned company in the UAE and get both a second residence and a tax residence certificate. You will need to follow several rules and check in at least a couple of times a year to keep your residence active.

You will also need to have an office in the country, even if it is simply a hot desk at a local co-working space. Generally, you will spend around five figures to get your office and business set up. 

Another option to get a residence permit is by investing 10 million AED (over 2.7 million USD) in public investments, or investing at least 5 million AED (roughly 1.36 million USD) in UAE real estate held for at least three years.

If you’re looking for an ultra-cheap residence or offshore solution, this is probably not your best option, but it may work for entrepreneurs looking for one jurisdiction that can give them zero taxes on both their business and personal taxes. 

Vanuatu

Vanuatu offers a very straightforward residence program that rewards those who invest more.

Foreigners can invest about $89,000 in real estate or business and qualify for a one-year residence visa, renewable annually. Invest more and you’ll be granted a residence permit good for three, five, ten, or even fifteen years.

You will also need to get a bank in Vanuatu to certify that you are self-sufficient by proving that you have roughly $2,200 or more in monthly income – or double that if you are including your spouse or partner on the application.

Government fees for Vanuatu’s residence program are a bit higher than I’d like, but considering the low investment and the variety of interesting property investments there, it’s worth considering if you crave island life in the South Pacific.

Vanuatu is also one of the few tax-free countries where obtaining citizenship is an additional possibility. Be sure to check out our other articles to learn more about Vanuatu’s residence and citizenship by investment programs.

Second Residence in Territorial Tax Countries

Thailand Territorial Tax-Free Countries

There are many ways to obtain a residence permit in Thailand, and once you get one, you will not be taxed on your foreign-source income while living in the country.

The following countries tax the local source income of citizens and foreigners alike. 

Much as I dislike tax, if it is to be done, I have to admit that territorial taxation is the fairest way of doing things. Money earned from activity in a country is taxed there, while overseas income having nothing to do with the place is not.

If you become a resident of one of these countries, you should make sure that any income you earn overseas or remit into the country isn’t taxable as local source income; consult a tax advisor.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has long been the second residence of choice for American retirees and investor expats.

The requirements have become more stringent in recent years, but anyone with $2,500 in monthly income that they bring into Costa Rica can become a resident.

Costa Rica isn’t exactly my favorite place, and it is highly bureaucratic, but if you enjoy sandy beaches or tropical jungles, it may be worth considering.

Georgia

One of the most underrated countries on earth, Georgia is fast becoming one of the world’s freest economies. The pro-business government slashed the number of taxes from 21 to 6 (and now to 5), and rates decrease each year.

Income earned outside of Georgia is not taxed in Georgia, although you may need to provide proof.

Georgia offers almost all foreigners a 360-day tourist visa, and anyone can open a Georgia company in order to qualify for residence. Buying real estate might also qualify you.

If you do invest in Georgia, taxes there usually range from a flat 5-15%.

Guatemala

If you crave the adventure of Mayan ruins and life in Central America, Guatemala is one of four countries in the region that offer territorial taxation.

Obtaining permanent residence in Guatemala is easy if you can show proof of $1,250 monthly income, although you must be willing to live there a good part of the time or they’ll cancel your permit.

You can also get temporary residence as an investor if you make an investment of at least $100,000 USD in the country, but seeing as you can get permanent residence for much less, this option isn’t that attractive.

Additionally, if you are willing to live in Guatemala full-time, it’s possible to get citizenship after five years.

Hong Kong

If you can afford it, Hong Kong is perhaps the most exciting city in Asia. While the special administrative region of China is tightening its banking and corporate policies as it applies to join the OECD, the tax policy is still very friendly.

Hong Kong certainly isn’t a tax haven, but it offers low tax rates to entrepreneurs who want to base their company there, and potentially zero taxation for investors or those with businesses overseas.

While the immigrant investor program was canceled in 2015, entrepreneurs can obtain a residence permit by creating or joining a start-up business in Hong Kong and proving that they will make a substantial contribution to the economy.

[Update 2020: While Hong Kong may still be safe for remote business and banking, current events suggest that it is not the safest place for living at the moment.]

Macau

While often belittled as a dodgy gambling outpost in the shadow of Hong Kong, Macau is an enigmatic and fascinating place. Just one hour from Hong Kong by boat, the special administrative region of China features a few excellent banks, as well as zero tax on foreign earnings.

It used to be that investors could obtain residence in Macau with an investment of $375,000 USD, but the official residence by investment program was shut down in 2007. 

Like Hong Kong, you can still get residency by starting a local company. However, there are a lot of hurdles to jump to make this program work.

You must invest MOP 500,000 ($62,700+ USD) into the business and then hire yourself as a Manager and apply for residency together with a Work Visa. The catch is that you must prove that you could not find anyone to fill the managerial position in Macau, which can be a pain.

Initial residency is temporary and is valid for seven years. If you live in Macau and become a tax resident, you will only pay taxes on income over 20,000 USD earned in Macau. After that, tax rates begin at 12% and go up.

From the corporate side, you must stay below 500,000 patacas in annual revenue to be exempt from the annual audit.

Malaysia

Malaysia’s MM2H program is one of the most underrated second residence programs on earth, especially for entrepreneurs and investors who want to live in Asia full-time but do not prefer Singapore.

The program is extremely straightforward and doesn’t require much help from anyone to get. 

If you’re under the age of 50, you’ll need to show proof of $2,400 in monthly income and deposit approximately $72,000 at today’s exchange rates into a Malaysian bank. You will also need to prove that you have about $120,000 in liquid assets.

You won’t be able to touch your money for ten years (or until you cancel the visa) unless you decide to buy real estate. If you’re over 50 years old, the bank deposit is cut in half.

You can learn more about Malaysia’s MM2H program and other visas here.

[Update: In July of 2020, the MM2H program was temporarily suspended for the second time in two years without a clear date of return.]

Nicaragua

Miramar Beach Nicragua Territorial Tax

In territorial tax countries like Nicaragua, you will need to do more tax planning to live tax-free.

I’ve called Nicaragua “the next Costa Rica” as it becomes more open and more affordable than its southern neighbor.

From the beaches of San Juan del Sur to the colonial charm of Grenada, Nicaragua is a great place to have a second residence… if you actually want to live there.

Obtaining Nicaraguan residence is extremely easy and only requires proof of income — generally about $750 per month — but you need to live there for six months each year or else your residence permit, and your territorial tax benefits, will expire.

Panama

Panama has some of Latin America’s strongest offshore banks and has become an open country for immigration, especially for citizens of Western countries.

For these citizens, Panama’s Friendly Nations visa program offers instant permanent residence with a low bank deposit of $5,000 and one “economic tie”, usually a Panamanian company or the title deed to real estate. 

Paraguay

Paraguay is well-known as a cheap second passport program, allowing foreigners to obtain an instant permanent residence with a mere $5,200 bank deposit, and citizenship in three years.

Paraguay makes for an attractive second residence with the potential to get a passport later. Taxes on local source income are quite low at just 10%, and foreign source income is typically not taxed. Learn more about residency in Paraguay.

Singapore

Singapore is a no tax haven for entrepreneurs; not only is a company in Singapore far more costly to start and maintain than its Hong Kong counterpart, but tax rates are 0-17% on corporate profits and a flat 20% on the high personal salary you’ll be required to take if you want residency in Singapore as part of the deal.

In short, an active business owner living in Singapore would pay at least $20-25,000 a year for the privilege.

On the other hand, investors with around $4 million to invest can move to Singapore and enjoy no tax on bank interest, capital gains, or foreign profits. Learn more about residency in Singapore.

Thailand

Cards on the table, I do not prefer Thailand as a place to live, invest, or do business. But there are a lot of people who do. If you’re one of them, then you’re in luck because Thailand is not only a territorial tax country but also offers many different residency options.

Unless you are going to marry a local, the main residence programs that foreign investors and businessmen will qualify for include the business visa, investor visa, retirement visa, and Thai Elite Visa.

You can read more about each program here, and we’ll give you a deep dive of the Thai Elite Visa here. But here’s a quick summary of each program:

Business Visa: If you run a company out of Thailand, you can apply for a non-immigrant B visa that is good for 90 days and then upgrade it to a one-year visa that can be renewed. However, foreigners cannot own more than 50% of a Thai company.

Investment visa: Invest roughly $280,000 in stocks, bonds, real estate, or any other Thai investment vehicle and qualify for a temporary visa that you can renew annually as long as you maintain the investment.

Retirement Visa: If you are 50 or older, you can get a retirement visa by either showing proof of an 800,000 baht deposit (about $25,600 USD) or a monthly pension or income source of 65,000 baht or more (about 2,080 USD at 2020 exchange rates), or a combination of both.

Thai Elite Visa: Pay anywhere from $15,000 to just over $60,000 for a card that lasts 5, 10, or 20 years and comes with special benefits like government concierge and airport services and receive a temporary residence visa that is renewable every five years.

The Philippines

The Philippines offers one of the lowest age requirements for a retirement visa anywhere in the world. If you are 35 or older, you can apply for the Philippines’ Special Retiree Resident Visa (SRRV) and receive the right to permanently reside in this tropical paradise.

There are several different investment options, with the SRRV Classic being the most popular. If you are between 35-49 years old, you can qualify for the visa by depositing $50,000 in a local bank. Those over 50 who can prove a minimum monthly income of $800 (or $1000 for a couple) only need to deposit $10,000.

Following a 30-day holding period after your visa is issued, you can convert your deposit into active investments or choose to keep the money in the bank. You must maintain your deposit or investment for the entire duration of your residency.

With the SRRV, you will have government assistance to obtain a tax identification number and establish the Philippines as your tax residence. You will also enjoy tax-free remittance of your pension and annuities.

To learn about all the benefits and different investment options of this residence program, you can read our guide to the Philippines SRRV

Second Residence in Lump Sum Tax Countries

Lugano Switzerland Lump Sum Tax-Free Countries

Lump-sum tax countries like Switzerland will grant you residence in return for an annual fixed tax payment.

As we have seen with the programs listed above, there are different requirements and varying levels of monetary investment in any country to get a residence permit, regardless of the tax situation you’ll enjoy once you become a resident.

One way or another, there is a price of entry.

In lump-sum tax countries, the price of entry is an annual fixed tax.

For years, a number of high-tax countries have offered a special tax regime to attract high-net-worth individuals. These are not tax-free countries, but if you tick all the right boxes, they’ll let you pay a fixed lump sum tax each year to qualify for a residence permit, and then you can live tax-free in the country for the remainder of the year.

It is essentially a donation for the privilege of living in the country.

You will usually need to maintain a certain standard of housing and a minimum level of wealth to qualify, as well.

The benefit of these programs is that lump sum tax countries are often higher quality. You may be willing to pay a little tax over zero tax in order to live in Switzerland vs. Dubai or Italy vs. Vanuatu.

Currently, you can pay a lump sum tax in the following countries and pay zero tax on all foreign source income: 

Anguilla

A British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles, Anguilla is a small player in the world of offshore trusts and offshore banking. Anguilla has two residence schemes that you can use to dramatically lower your taxes with proper planning.

Your first option is to become a permanent resident by making a donation ($150,000) or investing in real estate ($750,000), which will qualify you to live in the country for as long as you want while enjoying the zero income tax rates. If you live in Anguilla for at least six months a year, you will also qualify as a tax resident.

If you do not want to spend six months of the year on the tiny island, your second option is to pay a lump sum tax of $75,000 each year. You must also purchase a home worth $400,000. This will reduce the amount of time you must spend in the country to maintain your tax resident status to 45 days a year.

Italy

Italy offers a simple plan. For 100,000 EUR a year, you can obtain an Italian residence permit and live in the country free from all other federal, local, wealth, and inheritance taxes for the years that you are enrolled in the program.

Dividends payable to you from foreign companies are excluded from tax as well, but you will be taxed on any Italian income sources.

You can take advantage of this lump sum tax for a total of fifteen years.

If you are merely interested in residence, Italy also offers a Golden Visa program but you will have to pay the regular 23-43% tax on your worldwide income if you choose to live there.

Italy also has a self-sufficient residence scheme that would qualify you for a flat 7% tax on all foreign source income. However, there are many conditions to this program and any foreign income taxed at the 7% rate will not be eligible for a tax credit.

Overall, if you have a high income and you would like to live in Italy, the lump sum tax is probably your best option.

Gibraltar

If you have around $3 million, you may be eligible to become a resident of Gibraltar. Residents under the territory’s investor-friendly Category 2 visa pay a maximum tax of approximately £28,360 per year in exchange for permission to reside on the tip of the Mediterranean.

Similar to London’s “non dom” program, Category 2 residents can escape Gibraltar’s progressive tax rates. While you won’t pay $0, you will have residency in a highly respected European jurisdiction for a predictable flat price.

Plus, Gibraltar is a territorial tax country, which means that any foreign source income will not be taxed either.

Greece

Greece patterned it’s program after Italy’s lump-sum tax regime, so it’s no surprise that they also require a €100,000 payment to gain tax resident status in this Mediterranean paradise.

Those who take advantage of this program will be protected from double taxation and exempted from reporting requirements and local taxation on their foreign source income.

Switzerland

If you are able to support yourself on savings and overseas investments, you might be able to qualify for a residence permit in Switzerland by paying a lump sum tax of at least 400,000 Swiss francs.

To calculate your individual lump sum tax, you will need to disclose all your assets to Swiss authorities. They will use this information to determine your annual “rent expense” and your annual tax will be seven times that amount.

It should be noted that this program is only available in non-German-speaking cantons. Other drawbacks include the high cost of living in Switzerland and the fact that you will not be exempt from inheritance tax, wealth tax, and some capital gains taxes.

For more details about these and other programs, check out our article on the six lump-sum tax countries.

Second Residence in Other Tax-Free Countries

Tax-free countries London non domicile tax

Even in high-tax countries like the UK, it may be possible to lower your taxes with non domicile tax residence. But it will take a lot of work and planning.

If you’re not as concerned about finding a new country to permanently call home and simply want to live tax-free for a few years, you can achieve just that by getting a second residence in a country offering a tax exemption or the opportunity to become a non-domiciled tax resident.

However, this can be a very complicated option with many hoops and fewer rewards. It is getting harder to become a non-domiciled resident in many countries and it does not always guarantee a zero-tax situation.

For instance, Portugal recently amended the tax laws governing its non-habitual residence program so that foreign pensions received by residents are no longer tax-free but are subject to a flat 10% rate.

Besides Portugal, you can also obtain non-domiciled status in the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, and Malta. 

But your best option for a temporary tax exemption is Uruguay, which offers a multi-year exemption on certain income types. 

If you can prove that you have a guaranteed monthly income, you can get a residence permit and enjoy tax-free living for a number of years in this “Switzerland of Latin America.”

Wherever you go, there will be unique circumstances and conditions that must be met to make your tax-free offshore strategy a success.

If you’re looking for a second residence and aren’t sure where to start, feel free to reach out to our team. We take every aspect of your situation into consideration as we help you design a holistic offshore plan, including residence, citizenship, taxes, business, investment, and more.

Andrew Henderson
Last updated: Aug 7, 2020 at 2:09AM

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102 Comments

  1. Michael Valenti

    Hey Andrew. I have a couple of questions regarding the article and my own previous research:

    1. I have never heard of the residency visa for a self-sufficient person in the BVI and any info that I was able to find about BVI residency in the past was very vague. Can you point me to the source of that finding (assuming it’s on the web)?

    2. I have found conflicting information about whether or not Gibraltar is a territorial tax jurisdiction. For someone who is an EU citizen and can just move in without a residency visa, generally speaking, is non-Gibraltar sourced income subject to tax in Gibraltar?

    I enjoy the content you put up as always!

    Reply
    • Nomad Capitalist

      Michael, our guys on the ground in BVI handle residency. I get my info from them, as the info online is rather vague.

      I believe there are a few special rules for EU citizens living in Gibraltar but would need to consult with a tax advisor to speak with 100% certainty. Many EU citizens establish residency in Monaco as their “get out of jail free” card from high-tax countries, and Gibraltar is in a similar boat (technically part of the EU, although not Schengen). If you’d like us to have our guys look into it, please email [email protected].

      Reply
      • Michael Valenti

        That’s good to know. Thank you Andrew!

        Reply
  2. Nomad Capitalist

    If you are willing to stick to the beach areas where entrepreneur creature comforts like fast internet are lacking, then it’s OK. Pete Sisco, who contributes to this site, has residence there but spends most of his time as a tourist elsewhere. That’s the only scenario I personally would be interested considering there are better options. You also have to be 45.

    Reply
  3. StuckInUK4Now

    Norfolk Island? Isn’t the Australian government trying to revoke its autonomous status and absorb it into New South Wales, with the result that the island will soon be subject to the Australian tax and welfare system? No longer a good bet, I would have thought.

    Reply
  4. Lala72

    You’ll most likely be taxed as a resident. You live there, you know? It’s much like the vibe going on in American professional sports. All these players are now taxed in all the cities they travel to because they essentially earn their income by playing games in those cities.

    Just be honest. There’s no reason to cheat the system, especially a foreign tax system. If you reside in a country and earn money within its borders, just pay the taxes, like your neighbors do.

    And be grateful you don’t need to live in America.

    Reply
  5. Amin

    What about Dubai or the other UAE countries? There are no taxes on income over there.

    Reply
  6. SiriusCove

    Surprised that you have not mentioned Malta here, but one of your earlier articles mentioned it at length. Has the situation changed?

    Reply
    • Steve I.

      Malta’s tax residency is a bit tricky. One does not become tax resident unless he/she lives in Malta for at least 183 days. Once become a tax resident one liable for 18% taxation on income generated in Malta. However, if you want to become a tax resident just to show whole world that you have a tax residency, than you are obliged to live there for 183 days and show to them strong ties to Maltese economy. So it is safe to say that Malta is not tax haven for individuals, but it is for legal entities.

      Reply
      • Lucish

        Do you know how they check whether you really live there? It’s not that expensive to rent a crappy room so to have an address. And probably there could be a way to have someone email your mail. I am looking into becoming a resident in Malta and am now searching the internet 😀 My thought was to rent a room, have someone email your mail and just continue this as long as necessary. For me it would be a way to hopefully get rid of my home country that has taxes over 50% and taxes world income as well…

        Reply
      • Geoffrey Heywood FCA

        That is only one Maltese programme and I reckon the worst!
        If you have pensions then the retirement programme is the best. All the other taxes are not applicable provided funds kept out of the country. Non dom status. No wealth tax, inheritance or capital gains. You can travel with a resident card. Don’t think about citizenship other wise taxed as a Maltese.
        Need to be there only three months per year and pay max flat tax of € 7 500.
        Need to rent or buy property- but not exorbitant.
        I should know I’m resident there!
        Geoff Heywood FCA

        Reply
  7. Katie Monk

    Hi Andrew. Just wondering why Portugal isn’t on the list here?

    Reply
  8. James Howitt

    I believe the Australian parliament made the bipartisan decision to revoke Norfolk Island’s autonomy in May of 2015 and as such it falls under Australian government law, order and taxation.

    Reply
  9. Ajith

    great Jack Herer i like your theory !

    Reply
  10. Summaya

    What about GCC countries? UAE and Qatar doesn’t have a tax system. For either a local or a foreigner, and paying +1million AED in Dubai provides you permanent residency in UAE (no passport though). It’s a wonderful place

    Reply
    • Jajabor

      Oman is a tax free country which invites foreigners in selected high-end marina developments with golf course, etc. They hand you a Residency Permit upon purchase of a property in such special enclaves. The people are firendly, welcoming and the cleanliness and safety are second to none.

      Reply
  11. emeric

    what about Thailand? It seems to me that there is no tax on all capital gains or income generated outside Thailand? Anyone could confirm?

    Reply
    • AwarenessForex

      If you are over 50, then you can get a retirement visa if you can prove 65k THB monthly income or 800k THB in a bank. If you extend this visa inside thailand, then the 800k needs to be in a Thai bank.

      If you are under 50, you need to either get an Elite Visa (500k baht) which can give you ‘up to’ 6 years stay, get a job or start a company willing to give you a work permit (more moving parts involved), or [cheapest] get married to a Thai national or have a kid.

      I noticed that most of the Nomad Capitalists articles do not discuss at length marriage to a foreign national as an option. It might be a sensitive topic for some, but I think there should be a dedicated article for it.

      Reply
  12. mike

    I’m curious what the situation would be for a nomad publisher producing articles for a website (server located in UK), but website owned by a company in Panama, BVI etc.. If the articles are written from all over the world, but the advertising and affiliate income is paid by UK companies, would the UK still want a share of that income?

    Reply
  13. ABM

    Andrew ,
    What are you’re thoughts on Thailand ?
    I work 8 months overseas and need a ” base” for 4 months from which I doubt I would will spend more than 2 months. Like many I’ve paid so much tax in europe that I need to rebuild for the next few years. I’m looking to rent an apartment and then travel in the region. Malaysia is a Muslim nation and as such has some lifestyle issues compared to non Muslim nations
    Thanks ABM

    Reply
    • Kim Cherry

      Look at Andrew’s Cambodian post. Seems there are a few happy ex pat’s living around Sihanoukville

      Reply
    • Gregor

      I am looking to do exactly the same. I want to get away for 4 months from Thailand, in rainy season, and travel somewhere warm in those 4 months, preferably Spain/Italy/Greece. Have you found a solution? I’m looking at e-Residence with Estonia for my company and residency for personal income tax strategy.

      Have you found a solution?

      Reply
      • p.tomoh

        I’m thinking you should try some African countries….

        Reply
  14. Travel Cracker

    Awesome post.

    Reply
  15. Aurélien Flachaire

    Hi Andrew, i’m staying in Malaysia and planning to live there for a while (with social visa, my wife is Malaysian), i’m working for a British company remotely and being paid in my French bank account (i’m french citizen). Can i avoid income tax here in Malaysia? i’ve read different versions and so wanted your opinion as you seem really aware of Malaysian residency system. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Michael

      Can you get away it if not filing locally? Almost certainly yes. Legally? No.

      Reply
  16. Darsh Geo

    Hi Andrew. Great suggestions to be tax free. It is a most acceptable strategy for wanderers and explorers who are doing business.

    Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • Irina Loncar

      Thanks for your comments!

      Reply
  17. Federico Rampazzo

    This doesn’t sound right. The company is just buying a service from a UK company.

    The company is going to be taxed in the country where it’s been incorporated.
    Mike is going to be taxed in whatever country he’s fiscally resident.
    For each country in which you’ve been resident in during the fiscal year you need to check their conditions to become fiscally resident for the current year.
    Eg: If you live in the UK for more than 6 months you’ll have to pay income taxes in the UK.

    Reply
    • Sandy Mc Rose

      Actually the rules have changed in the UK the rules have become more limiting still, but as a foreign non domicile uk resident you effectively have a territorial tax system for about 20 years if you take up to 5 years away in the meantime

      Reply
  18. Lindo

    Ncoooow man that is so sweet

    Reply
  19. Quentin Chapeaux

    Hi Andrew,

    I really need you to answer my question, here is my case:

    I’m French, I want to live a nomad life traveling abroad, so I would like to get a second residency in a low tax country.

    You say that we can become tax resident of a territorial tax country without spending more than 180 days in that country (Panama) > Right.

    But, according to the “Double taxation treaties” between governements, if you are resident of 2 countries (Panama and France), but you are not spending the most of your time in one of these, then you will have to pay tax on your revenus in the country in which you get your citizenship (France in my case), even if you declared that you are not tax resident of France anymore.

    So you will have obtained your second residency for nothing.

    How do you deal with it ?

    Reply
    • Kendal

      I’m interested in the answer to this question as well… have you found an answer to it? I’m an American, applying for French citizenship, but considering residency in Panama later…

      Reply
      • Yeti

        I’m interested in the answer as well.

        Reply
  20. Pradeep Reddy

    i believe working in ireland is total rip off 20% + 40%…60% its huge money.. i wonder how people save money for future while they give 60% of earnings to government…

    Reply
    • James Crenshaw

      I live and work in Ireland. Between income tax and two social contribution taxes, from which I will never benefit, the total tax bite is 47%…and high cost of housing.

      Reply
  21. James

    @sophie. If a UK citizen goes abroad and returns they may be classified as having “temporary non residence” and hmrc may tax them on foreign income and gains. See https://www.gov.uk/tax-return-uk

    Reply
  22. jessica

    Good work I must say, keep it up. I’m a Nigerian and want to know what you think my opportunities are in securing residents in Denmark or Sweden?. Thank you for replying.

    Reply
  23. Ron

    I’m European and living this PT lifestyle for a few years now. The last few years I spend in Asia and other countries. However it’s not sustainable for me and I want to settle down. But no way in Asia or other tax friendly countries. I lived in 5 different countries now and US is the only one where I feel home.

    My question: the USA has 7 states that have no income tax. I know they have higher property and sales taxes. But I’m ok with that as long as there is no income tax, as it’s the biggest chunk.

    For me those 7 no income tax states ins USA are tax heavens or do you guys see a catch there?

    Reply
    • Tim

      One caveat is that there is still Federal Income Tax. State tax and sometimes even municipal (city) tax is an issue, but the IRS will seek you for Federal tax if you have financial assets that are appreciating, or you have income.

      Reply
    • Roberto

      7 states have no state income tax. Residents still pay US federal income tax the same as all Americans! The latter is more than any of the state rates which are in addition in the other 43.

      Reply
    • rrrrrruch

      Dude…. The US taxes green card-holders on worldwide income the same as citizens, as I understand it – this is a real problem and not something I would volunteer myself for lightly, if I had a choice… apologies for the grave-dig, but hope you made a good choice. Canada is in North America too, and works on a residency basis like a normal civilised country, and is a much more functional democracy overall… and what about ‘stralia if you just like the big cars and open spaces? Fair taxes there too; not zero, but fair 😉

      Reply
  24. Jonathan Rens

    Hi there; nobody mentions Uruguay. Foreign earned income is not taxed. Rental income is taxed at a flat rate of 12% Taxes on profits can be off-set against original investment, (up to twenty years).

    Lovely place to live; possibly the most hospitable country on Earth. More European than Europe

    Reply
    • Andrijana Maletic

      Thank you for the insight Jonathan.

      Reply
    • JC Denton

      >Foreign earned income is not taxed.
      today only for first 5 years, then 12% with CFC rules (however, Uruguayan companies are not taxed on their foreign income)

      Reply
    • William Hutcheson

      Uruguay is by far the best country to live in not only for no taxes on foreign income but also for its health system which is comparatively better than the US since basic health services are free and, for more advanced health services, you can get insured at low costs.

      Reply
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    Reply
  26. Phill

    What about Switzerland?

    Reply
  27. Maisie

    Hi Andrew, I am a citizen of Malaysia and have right of abode in HK, so don’t need another residency status. However, I would like to set up a company to receive commission income from the UK in a tax free country, i.e. No tax on income coming into the country and no tax on interest income earned from banks thereafter, without being a resident. Is that possible? Preferably a politically stable country and in Europe or Asia, rather than Middle East or Caribbean. Can you pls give me some recommendations? Thanks.

    Reply
  28. Roberto

    Hi Andrew, what about Switzerland?

    Reply
  29. Lucy

    Hello Andrew,

    Thanks for the interesting article. I was wondering why you haven’t mentioned Belize.
    Additionally, among the above mentioned countries, which one is the best suitable if I want to start a small business in and obtain their citizenship as a result, without residing in the country.

    Thanks

    Reply
  30. Testy

    Anyone ever looked at Isle of Man? Friend qualifies for residency, parent is Manx. Does he need to live there or just “reside” there?

    Reply
    • WOUT DELEY

      Why didn’t you mention Belize?

      Reply
  31. Peter Röwe

    To those who ask: What about XX or YY?

    Its clear that this website is just there to hook you and earn money from you by “working with Andrew”.

    Honestly this site does no provide much informtion, just little appetizers so you “work with Andrew”.

    Reply
    • Andrew Henderson

      Yes, it is the old “offer people services in exchange for money” trick.

      Reply
  32. Jit Patel

    Hi Andrew ,
    Thanks for awesome posts and blog. I am Indian national .
    I am seeking for dual citizenship for my 2 son studying medicine ( 23 year old, 19 year old) for legality purpose for further study and admission as a foreign national.( which is quite easy to get into desired branches)
    can you suggest me any those offer earliest PR status with minimal govt. bond or fees.
    We already waived off our US green card because of difficult to maintain it for long because of study of the my son.

    Reply
  33. preeti jha

    brilliant post. I dream to be the citizen of this tax-free country one day. thanks for the awesome post.

    Reply
  34. Faraz Rad

    Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for your useful article.
    I want to know that is it possible for a UK resident to register a company in Georgia or the British Virgin Island to make his online stores a tax-free business?
    And can he spend his income from the online stores in the UK without paying taxes?

    Reply
  35. Santosh

    Great , very fascinating post about tax free countries.
    Thank You,

    Reply
  36. nitish kumar

    You’ll most likely be taxed as a resident. You live there, you know? It’s much like the vibe going on in American professional sports. All these players are now taxed in all the cities they travel to because they essentially earn their income by playing games in those cities.

    And be grateful you don’t need to live in America.

    Reply
  37. Allen

    Do you ever travel to SE Asia?

    I’m a U.S. expat living in Bangkok, under a Thailand Elite visa acquired
    during 2017; would be interested in a one-on-consultation addressing
    concerns, particularly banking, that I would not wish to discuss on the
    internet in any detail.

    PS- Your articles are fabulously interesting. Thank you for publishing
    them.

    Reply
  38. JOHN MIGGY

    whats your take on UAE RAK

    Reply
  39. Preety

    great i like this theory seriously. and the way you wrote is awesome.

    Reply
  40. Beni

    I am an Albanian citizens but I live and work in Ireland.
    As Amazon employee I have received some RSU shares.

    My question is, can I declare the taxes to my RSU stock planner as Albanian residency with my Albanian address while working in Ireland?
    In my country taxes are much lower on RSU stocks, in Ireland almost 52%.

    Reply
  41. Shirly Bravo

    keep up the good piece of work, I read few blog posts on this website and I conceive that your blog is very interesting and has lots of wonderful info .

    Reply
  42. natasha

    What about Andorra ?

    Reply
  43. Mr. Pagán

    ABSOLUTELY

    WHEN I GET READY TO START , MY CONCIERGE SERVICE WILL BE NOMAD CAPITALIST .

    YOU ARE THE BEST

    Reply
  44. Mr. Pagán

    WHAT ABOUT PUERTO RICO ?

    MANY MILLIONAIRES ARE MOVING TOVTHAT ISLAND IN THE CARIBBEAN .

    THE HAVE A LAW NAMED ACT. 20 OR ACT. 22

    WHICH ARE THE REQUERIMENTS TO GET THE BENEFITS FROM THE LAW AND WHO CAN’T APPLY FOR THE OPPORTUNITY ??

    WHICH NATIONALITIES CAN APPLY ? BENEFITS : LOW TAXES AND RESIDENCE PERMIT .

    WHO CAN DO IT AND WHO CAN’T DO IT ???

    Reply
  45. Manu chandi

    Labuan.

    Reply
  46. me

    you forgot United Arab Emirates (UAE), you can live there just by buying a place for your own resident. and consequently pay no tax at all.

    Reply
    • Olivier

      I wonder why it’s not mentioned. As far as tax and residency goes, it’s difficult to be beat the UAE (and other countries in the GCC). If you are not willing to buy a property you can always open a structure with no activity in a freezone.

      Reply
  47. saif

    hi its saif

    i m uk national , i want to help my brother , hi is pakistani national and hi want to get paraguay residensy , can any one help me in this , thanks

    Reply
  48. digi

    How about Brazil? Is this no longer a valid option?

    I have been waiting for approval for citizenship for over a year and there has not been any movement. It’s this now a dead end?

    Reply
  49. ALLEN DURKOP

    What other jurisdictions have less potential tax savings, but still quite low than the ones listed, but may be attractive to others for quality of life!

    Reply
  50. Fiona

    it sayson the page you’ve helped hundreds of guys… meaning you only work with dudes? I shall take my (female) nomadic business elsewhere if so…! 🙁

    Reply
    • Stasa Momcilovic

      Hello Fiona,

      Thank you for your comment! Off course we work with women.
      If you are interested you can send us your application and we’ll see how we can help you.
      Here is the link https://nomadcapitalist.com/apply

      Reply
  51. Sayed

    Hi Andrew
    Thanks for such awesome website and this great effort.
    In order to start trading forex and then migrating to the United States (I am Egyptian).
    Where is the best place to form my company?
    A friend of mine suggest Grenada because of the tax-free offshore companies, and if I got the nationality I will got a powerful passport which will help me in the immigration phase.
    What do you think?

    Reply
  52. Sajid

    Can Any one open tax free company in Switzerland & operate from other country

    Reply
  53. lee

    I am a permanent resident in Hong Kong. I plan to run a shopify online store, in order to have fastest payout time from payment gateway, US paypal is the first choice since it allows instant transfer to bank account added to it but US paypal only works with US entity, I need to incorporate a US entity but US corporate tax system and sales tax is too complicated for me. I heard that I can form a limited company in Hong Kong and sign it as a LLC in Delaware so That I just need to report Corpoprate tax to Hong Kong Government but Not to US government, is it true?

    Reply
  54. Seeka Breitling

    Interested to see what develops in Nicaragua. It could be a great option is they can get some basic services ironed out. In the meantime, I’ll stick with Costa Rica.

    Reply
  55. krishnakant pandey

    Awesome Idea… keep it up

    Reply
  56. Bob

    Do you require a passport to obtain a residency in another country. My question relates to Zimbabwe being unable to print passports. Can Zimbabwe citizens still use and travel to other countries using residency in another country, or are you unable to travel internationally without a passport.

    In my own country, the local residency card was incorporated into a passport as an EU citizen. Thus if you don’t have the EU passport you have no method to show local residency.

    Any thoughts on this if your fear is a lack of a passport, should you just obtain a full 2nd citizenship and passport that way instead?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  57. Alex

    Hi Andrew, interesting article. Interesting that Uruguay is rarely mentioned these days in articles on no/low tax countries given its territorial tax system, no capital gains on overseas investments and sound banking. No recent news but was known to be generally accepting of foreigners seeking residence. Is there a reason for this, or is it just too far down on the map, or it just gets with Argentina and all its woes?

    Reply
  58. Deepak singh

    What a great information for all the students. we have been searching this type of article for a long time
    Thanks to provide us this good knowledge

    Reply
  59. Gregory dayton

    First I think you have to clear up this shotgun approach of myriad questions….into two…countries that require you to live there more than 183 days…Uruguay ana Andorra..lovely countries, but can you live there that long?
    As an example Uruguay is great. But I think that I might shoot myself if I have to live there for 6 months…likewise Andorra
    More interesting is list of those that don’t require living there that long

    Reply
  60. blacker

    nice article thaks

    Reply
  61. Linda

    I agree, a list of countries with the “physical presence requirement” would be very interesting. I am moving in baby steps. I currently live in the Netherlands, with high corporate, dividend and income taxes and my first step would be to just move to a low tax country.

    But because I will likely be working abroad 50% of the time and traveling 40% of the time, I cannot stay in the Netherlands as the physical presence requirement there is 4 months per year. If I don’t get that, they can kick me out, but still claim my taxes. Meaning I don’t get the benefits of living in the Netherlands, but I do get the burden of the Dutch tax system.

    So currently looking to find a country where I can be a tax resident. Defo not looking to get a second passport (not allowed for the Dutch and would like to keep my Dutch passport)

    Reply
  62. Jay

    Hi Andrew, how about New Zealand these days as a second residency? No tax for income made outside the country?

    Reply
  63. StateSide CBD Oil

    I like this web site very much so much great info.

    Reply
  64. Ashish kumar

    Nice article, it really helpful

    Reply
  65. Ashish Kumar

    Hi Andrew
    Interesting that Uruguay is rarely mentioned these days in articles on no/low tax countries given its territorial tax system, no capital gains on overseas investments and sound banking.

    Reply
  66. manish

    Nice article, it really helpful

    Reply
  67. Ashish kumar

    thank u such a nice Article, it really helpful

    Reply
  68. Mohit

    It’s really helpful for me, Thanks for this information!

    Reply
  69. James

    You mentioned Monaco are cracking down on people buying tiny studios in an effort to weed out paper residents – so if I bought a €1.2m 25m sq studio and applied for residency (with every intention of taking up physical residence) and also met the €500k minimum bank deposit requirement, would they now have a problem with this? In what form does this crackdown take?

    Reply
  70. خرید بلیط هواپیما

    Interested to see what develops in Nicaragua. It could be a great option is they can get some basic services ironed out. In the meantime, I’ll stick with Costa Rica.

    Reply

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