Andrew Henderson

Andrew Henderson

Founder of Nomad Capitalist and the world’s most sought-after expert on global citizenship.

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5 tax strategies for digital nomads and location independent entrepreneurs

Last updated January 7, 2017

Dateline: Brasov, Romania

In King, the newest single by British electronica trio Years and Years‘, vocalist Olly Alexander sings about the shackles of a bad relationship and how he wants out. I’m certainly not a music scholar, but it seems the title “King” is a nod to the feeling of freedom he feels in said relationship. However, in reality, he knows he is anything but free and is asking to be let go from the sense of false freedom. It sounds a lot like expats doing taxes.

I caught you watching me under the light … And oh, oh, oh I was a king under your control I wanna feel like you’ve let me go So let me go

The phenomenon of digital nomads spawned by books like The Four Hour Workweek is huge. Thousands of people have quit their jobs in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe to live overseas in Southeast Asia and other emerging countries. No doubt, many feel like kings. Here’s the dirty little secret: many digital nomads and location independent entrepreneurs are not in tax compliance back home. I call this “The Nomad Trap”; the idea that simply leaving your country as a tourist is enough to keep you from paying tax. If you’re in this boat, the fines and penalties could be huge. Even I have trouble keeping up with the endless tax laws these governments put out.