Tax Considerations for Digital Nomads

In September, I was honoured to be part of the awesome Nomad City conference in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

It was a great event and a wonderful experience, and it was my first time speaking to such a diverse group of digital nomads. Typically I’d be speaking to US-specific tax issues, but for this talk, I had to keep it relevant to everyone, and above all, brief! I was asked to keep it well under 20 minutes, which isn’t much time at all when you’re talking something as complex as digital nomad tax.

The fabulous folks at Nomad City provided me with a video recording of it, so I thought I’d share it with you here.

Let me know what you think! And any US expats or digital nomads out there, feel free to contact me or just schedule a consultation to discuss your specific situation!

Stuff digital nomads do

Digital nomad destination recap

The first few months of sweet, sweet freedom post-corporate job have flown by. I’ve been fairly busy travelling, so I haven’t really had time to process what a “normal” week will look like. Maybe there won’t really be a “normal”, or at least not one that persists for more than a few months at a time.

 

What I have done is a bit of travelling, which is great because that’s what I love to do. So I thought I’d do a quick summary of where I’ve been recently. Now that I’ve given up my apartment in Dublin (more on that later), I’m planning on doing more slow travel in the coming months and into 2018.

 

But for now, here’s a glimpse into some of the stuff digital nomads do.

July:

Vancouver for a long weekend/dog birthday party

 

At the end of July I used up some of my remaining vacation days and took a quick trip home to Vancouver. It was partially because I missed my family, partially because I wanted any excuse to be anywhere but the office for a few additional days before my last day, and mostly because it was my sister’s dog’s birthday party.

A beach party, to be exact. Yes, he’s a chihuahua, and yes, it’s always one of the best gatherings of the summer. 

Vancouver summer doesn’t suck

Family, friends, and dogs from far and wide gather annually to celebrate the birth of one very special chihuahua

Overall, it’s probably not the best use of a flight to go for such a short trip (5 days in total) but I also wanted to remind myself of the kinds of time constraints I’d very soon be free of.

 

My next trip home to Vancouver is for 5 weeks in Dec/Jan, and this time, I’ll be able to work and grow my business seamlessly the entire time.

 

In between sneaky mid-week ski days in Whistler, that is.

 

August:

 

Glasgow/Edinburgh with parents & Sister

 

Mid-August, only a few days after my unceremonious last day in the office, I hopped over to Scotland to meet my parents on the first leg of their holiday. We stayed in an Airbnb near my sister’s flat in Glasgow’s West End, and had a terrific few days exploring Glasgow, as well as a little day trip into Edinburgh, which was in the midst of the International Festival madness.

University of Glasgow

I love Scotland, and it was a lot of fun showing our parents around, as well as getting to see where my sister hangs out in Glasgow.

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

We found a quiet churchyard just steps away from the madness of the Royal Mile

West of Ireland (cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands)

 

Next, my parents came to Ireland to see where I live. My awesome sister joined too, and we rented a car and drove to the west to see the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands.

Inis Mor, Aran Islands (yes, this is the west of Ireland, not the tropics)

Sisters selfie cycle on Inis Mor

The Cliffs of Moher, from a boat tour

Galway

Parents in Galway’s Latin Quarter

The weather cooperated, which is never a guarantee in Ireland!

 

Newgrange, Dublin National Archaeology museum

Back on the other side of the island, we checked out Newgrange/Knowth and the National Archaeology Museum, which is excellent, and free. Score!

Family cliff walk near Portrane

Knowth, Neolithic passage tombs in Co. Meath

September:

 

Donegal and Westport, Co. Mayo with friends

 

Not long after I’d said goodbye to my parents, I said hello to a very welcome visitor, a good friend from Seattle! Well, neither she nor I are actually from Seattle, but that’s where we met, along with our other friend who now lives in Dublin too.

Beach walk in Donegal

We took a road trip up to Donegal, and then down the west coast to county Mayo, where we had an absolutely incredible meal at An Port Mor in Westport.

On the drive down from Donegal, we stopped at a picturesque spot

There’s always next year, Mayo.

Just some charming Westport charm

The superb An Port Mor, in Westport. One of the best meals I’ve had all year.

We also made an impromptu pilgrimage to the Knock Shrine.

Oslo with A friend

 

Since my friend had a few days to spare before the next leg of her trip in Europe, we decided to randomly choose a city neither of us had been to, that had cheap-ish flights. Such is the magic of a flexible schedule!

Oslo Opera House

Just chillin’

Oslo it is! It was a terrific few days. Oslo is gorgeous, the people are nice, and we once again had the weather on our side. The day of the boat tour was particularly gorgeous.

On top of the Holmenkollen ski jump, living out my dreams of Winter Olympic glory

I really loved the sculptures in Vigeland Sculpture Park

Rainbow over Oslo

Las Palmas (Nomad City!)

 

Then, a few days after I got back from Norway, it was off to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for Nomad City.

Gorgeous beaches in Las Palmas

Just inspiring quotes for digital nomads

It was a great event, in a stunning location. No surprise so many of my fellow nomads make it a recurring stop/base. I hope to spend more time there soon.

Nomad City in full swing! Such an honour to be part of this event!

I really should’ve stayed on a few more days to get in more beach time

 

On my last day in Las Palmas, I recorded a podcast with the one and only Johnny FD! I tried to play it cool, but I was so jazzed to meet such a prominent and well-respected voice in the digital nomad sphere.  Fortunately for me, he’s beyond nice, and put me right at ease. A great end to an all-too-short stay in Las Palmas!

 

Madrid

 

After Nomad City, I hopped over to Madrid to spend a few gorgeous days. It was end-of-September, autumn-y perfection.

El Retiro Park, Madrid

Just more stunning autumn colours in the park

Outside the Prado Museum, Madrid

Goya’s Saturn, just one of many masterpieces at the Prado

Mercado San Miguel, Madrid, perfect place to stop for tapas and a drink

Like everyone, I adore everywhere I’ve been in Spain. Love the food, love the people, love everything. I even practiced my very limited Spanish, with some success (my sincere thanks and apologies to the lovely people of Madrid).

 

October:

 

Nice/Monaco/Antibes with lovely boyfriend

First time in the south of France, first time on holidays with actual best boyfriend in the world. I was a very happy camper.

Monaco!

Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco

Walking around the palace in Monaco

More torturing the locals with my attempts at French, more great food, great weather, and great scenery.

Antibes!

It’s so easy to get around in the Cote d’Azur, that we took a few day trips from Nice, to Monaco and Antibes. We could’ve easily spent a few more days in Nice alone, and yet another day to add Cannes to the list.

Nice flower market

We love Nice!

The view from some steps. Where there are steps, so I must go.

Move out of Dublin flat/into lovely, lovely cousin’s house

 

Then, as the month of October drew to a close, I found myself packing up my few belongings and closing up my apartment in Dublin. It was a fine place to live for a while, but I wasn’t sorry to say goodbye to it.

 

My current location is by the sea, in County Louth, Ireland, with my amazing, amazingly generous cousin and her beautiful family. I’m beyond grateful to be able to spend some time with them this coming month.

 

Current challenge: getting work done when 7-year-old twin girls want to play…