Author Topic: Can I be resident of nowhere?  (Read 9951 times)

alwaysonit

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Can I be resident of nowhere?
« on: July 23, 2014, 04:07:54 PM »
I’m a perpetual traveller and have not satisfied the residency conditions of any country in the past few years. Is this allowed?

Also, when I arrive in a new country or apply for something online, they always ask my residency and don’t give a “nowhere” option so I’ve been just putting down my country of citizenship (Ireland) as country of residency as well. Is it possible to be resident of somewhere but not tax resident?

alwaysonit

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 04:29:26 PM »
Nobody sure about this?
I'm domiciled in Ireland.

CanuckExpat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3001
  • Age: 37
  • Location: North Carolina
    • Freedom35
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 04:40:29 PM »
Is it possible to be resident of somewhere but not tax resident?
Yes, and no. This will depend on the the two countries involved, their respective laws, and usually the tax treaty between the two of them, if one exists. So it is highly specific on the countries involved.

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3233
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 08:17:19 PM »
Can you get a PO Box in Ireland? That should satisfy some requirements. What do you put for your address for taxes? So I guess the answer is yes, you can be a resident but not a tax resident. But you have to be a tax resident of somewhere. Legally (in the USA) you should be filing even if your income is less than $10k USD. For USA citizens you have to report your earned income, no matter what country you received it in. I hear that it may be different for other countries. For non tax residency, what did you put on your visa/permit? Are you saying that you currently do not have an address, like are you living in a van?

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3440
  • Location: France
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2014, 11:35:41 AM »
The USA is different from (almost) everywhere else, so saying in the USA/for tax purposes is usually not helpful to anyone other than an American (not being snippy, just FYI).

It does depend on the country, but IMHO unless you become actually resident somewhere else, your last country of residency stays 'it' for all other countries. THAT country may think differently (but are unlikely to turn down tax due!).

A person needs an address, for all sorts of reasons. PO Box isn't ideal but it'll do (especially in N America if you put #123 rather than PO Box 123). But, when setting up a mailbox you'll need to give them a real address...

OSUBearCub

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Tackling student loan debt/not saving dryer lint.
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2014, 02:07:29 PM »
There's a whole movement of people who renounce citizenship and then sort of hop around the world, leaving their wealth in a tax-free nation and never having to claim income tax to their nation of citizenship.  There was a thread on this forum (I think) about it but I can't for the life of me remember what they call themselves.  I thought it was pretty interesting - there's even a guy who wrote a whole book about it.  Searching for the thread and a little google research hasn't come up with anything to help you. 

The whole idea is quite in the grey area of ethics and law.  I also recall it being a little "tinfoil hat" in nature.

billybaht

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Location: Thailand
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2014, 10:21:31 PM »
The USA is different from (almost) everywhere else, so saying in the USA/for tax purposes is usually not helpful to anyone other than an American (not being snippy, just FYI).

It does depend on the country, but IMHO unless you become actually resident somewhere else, your last country of residency stays 'it' for all other countries. THAT country may think differently (but are unlikely to turn down tax due!).

A person needs an address, for all sorts of reasons. PO Box isn't ideal but it'll do (especially in N America if you put #123 rather than PO Box 123). But, when setting up a mailbox you'll need to give them a real address...

Agreed. Uncle Sam loves US citizens so much that he ALWAYS wants to know where to find us. I don't think it has anything to do with taxes :)

Best bet for a US PT is to domicile yourself in a state with no (state) income tax :)

former player

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5511
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2014, 12:37:35 AM »
There's a bunch of people who live on converted cargo barges and move around on the canals between the Netherlands/Belgium/Luxembourg/Germany/France.  Less than 90 days in each country each year is easily doable with relatively little travelling, and no tax to pay anywhere.  EU passport required.  Especially good for IT people working remotely.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4726
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2014, 08:47:18 AM »
There's a whole movement of people who renounce citizenship and then sort of hop around the world, leaving their wealth in a tax-free nation and never having to claim income tax to their nation of citizenship.  There was a thread on this forum (I think) about it but I can't for the life of me remember what they call themselves.

"World citizens?"

OSUBearCub

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Tackling student loan debt/not saving dryer lint.
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2014, 01:26:30 PM »
Found it!  "Flag Theory"  http://flagtheory.com/about/

The idea is that you plant strategic citizenship flags in multiple countries to maximize various benefits.  It looks rather complicated and I highly doubt much of it is fully legal in the eyes of the government but it's an interesting idea.

So to answer your question from this perspective, being a resident of "everywhere" is almost as good as being a resident of "nowhere".


Beric01

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1156
  • Age: 30
  • Location: SF Bay Area
  • Law-abiding cyclist
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2014, 01:31:17 PM »
What I'd really like to do is "downgrade" from a US citizen to a green card when I reach FI. Then I can come to the US whenever I want, without having to pay US taxes on income while living abroad.

Seriously, a US citizenship is almost a con these days.

frugalnacho

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4035
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Madison Heights, Michigan
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2014, 01:33:58 PM »
I have nothing relevant to add to the discussion.

I Can't believe this hasn't been posted yet:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGGphnDMVDI

Side note - is there a way to embed the video instead of just linking to it?

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3440
  • Location: France
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2014, 01:37:23 PM »
What I'd really like to do is "downgrade" from a US citizen to a green card when I reach FI. Then I can come to the US whenever I want, without having to pay US taxes on income while living abroad.

Seriously, a US citizenship is almost a con these days.

Billions would disagree. Apart from the consumerism, terrible politics, and lack of healthcare I reckon the USA is nearly perfect from where I'm sitting.

You can live in any environment, choose your level of tax, your cost of housing, etc, etc, etc. Decisions, decisions!

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4916
  • Age: 12
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2014, 04:04:51 PM »
What I'd really like to do is "downgrade" from a US citizen to a green card when I reach FI. Then I can come to the US whenever I want, without having to pay US taxes on income while living abroad.

Seriously, a US citizenship is almost a con these days.
You have to show intention of making the United States your primary home in order to maintain green card status. You also report and potentially pay taxes from abroad just like citizens.

http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/maintaining-permanent-residence

Spartana

  • Guest
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2014, 04:35:11 PM »
Try to set it up so your taxable income is at a level below both the Fed level and whatever state you currently reside in (or set up residence in a tax-free state). I do this living in high tax Calif and I don't even have to file fed or state income taxes most years (although I do). If you choose to be an ex-pat but retain US citizenship, be aware that you'll still have to file, and pay, taxes - both fed and, in most cases, state taxes.

http://www.taxmeless.com/page4.html
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 04:38:13 PM by Spartana »

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2317
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2014, 04:38:39 PM »
What I'd really like to do is "downgrade" from a US citizen to a green card when I reach FI. Then I can come to the US whenever I want, without having to pay US taxes on income while living abroad.

Seriously, a US citizenship is almost a con these days.

You have to reside in the US a certain number of days per year, and can't leave for more than ~1 year at a time or they'll revoke your green card when you try to return. This would also involve getting citizenship somewhere else, and then trying to get a US greencard (which require a job, 2 years+ and about $8K to lawyers).  The US also tax on worldwide income so not sure you'd escape the IRS this way. And if you do wouldn't your new country try to claim taxes on your assets/income?
source: has a greencard

Daleth

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1201
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2014, 06:08:07 PM »
What I'd really like to do is "downgrade" from a US citizen to a green card when I reach FI. Then I can come to the US whenever I want, without having to pay US taxes on income while living abroad.

That won't work. If you relinquish your US citizenship you would have to start from scratch to get a green card (I mean satisfy all the requirements for it like any other foreigner--but this could be more difficult for someone who had relinquished their citizenship; bit of a red flag there). And in any case a green card = US residence permit; you can only keep your green card if you are a US resident.

Beric01

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1156
  • Age: 30
  • Location: SF Bay Area
  • Law-abiding cyclist
Re: Can I be resident of nowhere?
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2014, 06:14:46 PM »
Try to set it up so your taxable income is at a level below both the Fed level and whatever state you currently reside in (or set up residence in a tax-free state). I do this living in high tax Calif and I don't even have to file fed or state income taxes most years (although I do). If you choose to be an ex-pat but retain US citizenship, be aware that you'll still have to file, and pay, taxes - both fed and, in most cases, state taxes.

http://www.taxmeless.com/page4.html

Thanks for the link. Yeah, my plan once reaching FI is to move to another tax-free state (such as South Dakota) and live there for a few months to set up residency (giving up drivers licenses, etc.), before leaving the country, so I don't get taxed as a California resident. I've seriously wondered whether I needed to renounce citizenship to avoid taxes, but it actually doesn't look as bad as I thought.

But I seriously need to speak to a tax professional before doing all this. It looks like if you make just one little mistake, California can screw you over.

What I'd really like to do is "downgrade" from a US citizen to a green card when I reach FI. Then I can come to the US whenever I want, without having to pay US taxes on income while living abroad.

That won't work. If you relinquish your US citizenship you would have to start from scratch to get a green card (I mean satisfy all the requirements for it like any other foreigner--but this could be more difficult for someone who had relinquished their citizenship; bit of a red flag there). And in any case a green card = US residence permit; you can only keep your green card if you are a US resident.

Yeah, it doesn't look at simple as I thought. I wonder how easily someone who renounced citizenship can get a visa. Probably not easily either.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 06:16:38 PM by Beric01 »