Author Topic: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.  (Read 8632 times)

Malaysia41

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US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« on: September 07, 2015, 03:18:27 AM »
This thread is for those of who wish to FIRE abroad. Let's document the tax implications of living in various countries - esp for those of us who are US citizens*.  I've been obsessing on this topic lately, so thought I'd present my findings here, rather than in my journal.  That way we can collaborate and stay on topic.

Purpose of this thread
1. to share hard won knowledge about tax implications of living abroad. 
2. to be corrected in the event we get some of this stuff wrong - and oh we will.
3. ask and answer questions regarding international taxes. 
4. (eventually - put together a quick guide for lots of different countries we want to consider for an extended FIRE stay).
The focus is on how foreign countries tax expats, not how the US taxes expats**

Let's start with...

RESIDENCY
Many countries tax you if you are considered a resident, and, from what I've found, 183 days, give or take, of being physically present in a country is enough to qualify.  For places like Malaysia, being a resident is no big deal.  If you don't earn any income within her borders, you don't owe her any tax. For a country like Italy, on the other hand, you're gonna pay a hefty tax bill. 

Why?  Because Italy, like so many other countries - esp those in the EU - tax residents on worldwide income, no matter where that income is earned. Now if the resultant income tax bill in Italy works out to be smaller than what you pay in the US as a US citizen*, then you're fine. This is because there's a tax treaty in place that ensures you won't be taxed twice.  But beware, because the chances of your US tax bill being higher than your Italy bill is slim.  As high as you think taxes are in the US, they've got nothin' on EU countries.  In the US we have oodles of deductions and credits and our tax brackets span up to the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Not so in the EU (or at least so far as I can tell - I'd LOVE for someone to correct me on this understanding). 

But it's not just income taxes.  France is well known for it's wealth tax, but did you know Italy instituted a similar thing a few years ago?  They did!  Even wikipedia didn't know.  So I updated the page.  What do you think of my work?: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_tax#Current_examples

The taxes  to be considered in this thread:
1. Income taxes  (federal / state / local)
2. Wealth / Asset taxes
3. Property taxes for those buying property

Okay that's enough for now.  I'm going to post a blow by blow estimate of our first year of FIRE living in Malaysia (where we currently live) vs Italy, where we are (spoiler alert:were) considering moving to.

*Not to exclude Canadians, Australians, etc. By all means please participate, however, I'm a US Citizen so that's my perspective.  I believe our situations will be more alike than different, but I didn't want to solve the entire map puzzle of all 200 + countries with expats in each of the other 200+ countries.  How many cases is that?  200x200 = 40,000 cases.  Must... constrain ... problem!

** I added this line after OP.  The focus is on how foreign countries tax us, not on how US taxes us as expats - IRS.gov and other  sites provide lots of info there: two key phrases to know well: foreign earned income tax exclusion, and safe-harbor provisions - esp at state level.  For reference / getting started from SnackDog: http://www.taxesforexpats.com/expat-tax-advice/tax-advice.html
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 09:33:49 AM by Malaysia41 »

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2015, 04:11:25 AM »
User case: US citizens living in Malaysia, where neither worldwide income nor assets are taxed, considering moving to Italy where worldwide income and assets are taxed. 

PROJECTED 2015 INCOME ( all originates in the US)
INCOME SOURCE$ USDEUROS €
Interest $4,000 3,600 €
Qualified Dividends $6,000 5,400 €
Rents (net expenses) $20,000* 18,000 €
LTCGs $30,000 27,000 €
401k to Roth IRA Optional $40,000 36,000 €
Total Income $100,000 90,000 €
*Passive Income = NET Income from CA house (gross rents - interest, repairs, maintenance, property taxes) + Net Loss from apartments (gross rents - management fees, op expenses, property taxes, utilities, repairs, etc.).  In the US, we cannot net gains and losses across properties unless we plan to link them when divesting.  So while one operates at a paper loss, mounting up passive loss carryovers in the $80k range, the other chugs along with income.  This passive income shit sucks. And no, I'm not an 'active participant' in operations on the loss property.

Before we get down to calculating, here are the relevant tax credits, deductions, you know, the free money part:
2015 DEDUCTIONS, EXEMPTIONS  US   Italy
Std Deduction  $12,600  0 €
Pers/Dep Exemptions  5x$4k=$20,000   Me,DH=9,600€,  3kidsx690=2,070€
Total Deductions:    US:$32,600    IT:11,670 €

2015 CREDITS
Even more free money - yeah!
USA! USA!   Italy
Education Tax Credit DD = $2500 0
Child Credit DS = $1000 0
TOTAL CREDITS US:$3,500 IT:0 €


US Tax calculation:
$100,000
- $32,600 in deductions and exemptions
= $67,400 AGI taxable income
This is less than $74,900, so within the 15% tax bracket.  That means LTCGs and QDs are taxed at 0%.  So, subtracting them out:
$67,400
-$36,000
= $31,400 AGI taxed at 15%, (corrected: first $18,450 taxed at 10%)10% for the first $18,450 and 15% on the rest
$18,450@10% = $1845
+ $31,400 12,950*.15 = $1942
= $3788 tax liability before credits.   Credits are $3500, so,
$3788
- $3,500
=$1,210 $288 (credit to MDM catching math error ) US Tax liability in 2015.

Italy Tax calculation:
90,000€
- 11,670€ deductions & exemptions
= 78,330€ AGI
Half of LTCGs and QDs are not taxed, so 36,000/2 = 18,000 :
78,330€
-18,000€ ( 1/2 of LTCT + QD total)
= 60,330€ AGI
Now, interest is taxed at a flat 26%.  I'm not sure if this amount counts as filling up the the tax bracket or not.  I'll go ahead and count it as if it does. In meantime, interest of 3600€ taxed at 26% = a €936 tax liability.
First  3,600 (interest) taxed at 26% = € 936 tax liability.
Next 26,400 taxed at 23% = € 6,072
Next 16,000 taxed at 27% =€ 4,320
Next 14,330 taxed at 38% =€ 5,445
Total IT IPREF Tax Liability: €16,773

But that's not all.  There's a wealth tax.  I'm going to assume that the property taxes we pay in the US offset the .76% annual tax on overseas real estate holdings, per the double taxation tax treaty between both contracting countries.   If it didn't, this tax liability would be approximately €6,500.  The other wealth tax is for out of country financial assets.  I have found nothing that says our 401ks are exempt from this tax.  Therefore, the tax on the total value of all non-real estate financial assets would be approximately €1500.

€16,773
+1,500 wealth tax on overseas financial assets
-€1,090 200 credit for tax payment to US
€18,072 IT Tax Liability in 2015. Uh, er, uh, that's $20,000.


Italy Tax Table For your reference: (Note: so far as I can tell, DH and I technically file separately, even if we sign our names to a common return.  This has the effect of doubling the ranges of the tax tables in what would be an effective joint return.  I could be wrong, but that's how I read it so far).

ANNUAL INCOME ABOVEANNUAL INCOME BELOWTAX RATE
0 €15000 € /  MFJ: 30,000 € 23%
15000€ /  MFJ: 30,000 €28000 € /  MFJ: 56,000 € 27%
28000€ /  MFJ: 56,000 €55000€ /  MFJ: 110,000 € 38%
55000€ /  MFJ: 110,000 €75000€ /  MFJ: 56,000 € 41%
75000€ /  MFJ: 150,000 €- 43%

 So what if, in 2016 we opted to do no 401k conversions?  Ugh, then we lose that sweet 15% tax treatment of the conversions.  Also we're giving up the  ability to take LTCGs and QDs at 0% as they'd be taxed in Italy even if not in the US.  I don't even care to compute the alternative case at this point.  I'm so... despondent.

Sigh, I love Italy, but Malaysia's looking much much better, at least as far as taxes go.  After my first pass analysis... who am I kidding here?  Let's start that sentence again: After my ninth-ish pass analysis, I wrote Italy a cheesy Dear John letter the other day, announcing our imminent breakup  (url removed - the wound is still raw - too soon -  ( does Scarlett O'Hara swoon, back of hand to forehead)).  It hurts,man.  I was hoping the flirtation would turn into something more permanent.  Alas, perhaps it's not meant to be.   


Italy taxation open questions:

1. If I have two rental properties, one which shows a net positive income, and one which shows a loss, can I net the two totals for income tax calculations?  (Hypothetical example: our house, after deducting interest, property tax, maintenance, insurance, earns us $10,000 per year and is reported on 1040 schedule E.  Meanwhile, apartments, after depreciation, management fees, insurance, tax, etc. are on paper negative let's say, -10,000 per year, also reported on schedule E.  Can we net these against each other in Italy? )

2. What about passive loss carry overs? Can we 'carry forward' previous year passive losses to offset this year's passive income for the purpose of Italy taxes?

3.  If we get taxed as individuals, that means we can each claim a 4,800 euro deduction?  In effect, does filing as individuals double the ranges of the tax brackets?


Sources:
http://www1.agenziaentrate.gov.it/english/italian_taxation/income_tax.htm

NOTE: Modified US tax calcs per MDM catching an error.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 01:06:04 AM by Malaysia41 »

MDM

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2015, 07:27:57 AM »
US Tax calculation:
$100,000
- $32,600 in deductions and exemptions
= $67,400 AGI
This is less than $74,900, so within the 15% tax bracket.  That means LTCGs and QDs are taxed at 0%.  So, subtracting them out:
$67,400
-$36,000
= $31,400 Income taxed at 15%
$31,400*.15 = $4710 = tax liability before credits.   Credits are $3500, so,
$4,710
- $3,500
=$1,210 US Tax liability in 2015.

The situation with US tax is even more favorable:
US Tax calculation:
$100,000 AGI
- $32,600 in deductions and exemptions
= $67,400 Taxable
This is less than $74,900, so within the 15% tax bracket.  That means LTCGs and QDs are taxed at 0%.  So, subtracting them out:
$67,400
-$36,000
= $31,400 Taxable Ordinary Income taxed at 10% for the first $18,450 and 15% on the rest
$1,845 + ($31,400 - $18,450)*.15 = $3788 = tax liability before credits.   Credits are $3500, so,
$3,788
- $3,500
=$288 US Tax liability in 2015.

fa

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2015, 07:46:08 AM »
I don't know the accuracy of these numbers, but none of it surprises me.  It helps to be careful in picking a retirement destination!  Enjoy Italy but get out before 183 days.  Maybe a short term rental?

Europe's welfare system is at the breaking point.  Taxes are nothing short of ridiculous.

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2015, 08:24:35 AM »
US Tax calculation:
$100,000
- $32,600 in deductions and exemptions
= $67,400 AGI
This is less than $74,900, so within the 15% tax bracket.  That means LTCGs and QDs are taxed at 0%.  So, subtracting them out:
$67,400
-$36,000
= $31,400 Income taxed at 15%
$31,400*.15 = $4710 = tax liability before credits.   Credits are $3500, so,
$4,710
- $3,500
=$1,210 US Tax liability in 2015.

The situation with US tax is even more favorable:
US Tax calculation:
$100,000 AGI
- $32,600 in deductions and exemptions
= $67,400 Taxable
This is less than $74,900, so within the 15% tax bracket.  That means LTCGs and QDs are taxed at 0%.  So, subtracting them out:
$67,400
-$36,000
= $31,400 Taxable Ordinary Income taxed at 10% for the first $18,450 and 15% on the rest
$1,845 + ($31,400 - $18,450)*.15 = $3788 = tax liability before credits.   Credits are $3500, so,
$3,788
- $3,500
=$288 US Tax liability in 2015.

Oh yeah - duh! Thanks mdm. You really have my back today.

Kris

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2015, 08:34:08 AM »
Following.

Rightflyer

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2015, 09:05:25 AM »
We are off to Italy at the end of this month on a recce mission.

The tax situation is on our list of questions. We'll post back here with what we find out in October.

SnackDog

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2015, 09:08:13 AM »
Wealth of tax information here:
http://www.taxesforexpats.com/expat-tax-advice/tax-advice.html

Best option is to establish residency in the Bahamas (and then citizenship, if possible), because all taxes are 0%.  Then don't spend more than 182 days in any one country during the year.  You can move to Italy, just don't spend all your time there so you can avoid the extra taxes.

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2015, 09:19:07 AM »
Wealth of tax information here:
http://www.taxesforexpats.com/expat-tax-advice/tax-advice.html

Best option is to establish residency in the Bahamas (and then citizenship, if possible), because all taxes are 0%.  Then don't spend more than 182 days in any one country during the year.  You can move to Italy, just don't spend all your time there so you can avoid the extra taxes.

I added that site for reference in the OP, I'm also impressed with IRS.gov when it comes to explaining my US tax situation as an expat.  I think I have a workable understanding of my tax situation wrt the US.  The challenge I've come across is estimating tax liability in foreign countries.  Info is scarce, scattered, and can you believe it, often written in foreign tongues. 

That's what this thread is about - how foreign governments tax us.  Or at least that's what I'd intended.

We have a complicating factor: a 9 year old son.  Sure we could home school him, and I think we could - I mean he and DH were programming an arduino earlier today.  But, it's too much for me - teaching is one area where I prefer to hire professionals.  You can see why we are looking at the tax consequences of residency now.  It's hard to do a full school year when you are in town only 183 days.  Without son in the equation, we would still be talking with the realtor in Sanremo and raising funds to buy our half-time home.  We could easily find elsewhere to go the rest of the year.  But that's an isolated life for a 9 year old boy.

So now it's game on for finding the next place to live - and stay through DS's high school education.  While I love Malaysia from a tax perspective, I don't love it from a living perspective.  I feel like I should love it.  But 'should' only gets you so far.  I won't go into it all, suffice to say, I want to move, but the question is, to where?   I honestly thought the answer was Italy, but now I don't think so.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 09:37:04 AM by Malaysia41 »

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2015, 10:53:53 AM »
Not to hijack, but if Malaysia is not the place you need to figure out why.  Italy is a great place to visit but can be hell to live with the appalling govt bureaucracy and the "relaxed" attitude of most locals.  If you are at all organized or driven, it may drive you mad.  To paint broadly, Europe has high taxes, Latin America is a mess, Africa is still developing, Central America and the Mideast are too hot, Australia is too expensive, New Zealand is too quiet, etc.   I've known Americans who managed to hate every single place they have lived, including most of the U.S.   

Southeast Asia is humid, but the cost of living is low and the people, culture and food are fabulous.

The grass is always greener.  There's no place like home.

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2015, 11:22:54 AM »
Following - another great thread full of information that is very relevant to my goals!

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2015, 05:20:27 PM »
Not to hijack, but if Malaysia is not the place you need to figure out why.  Italy is a great place to visit but can be hell to live with the appalling govt bureaucracy and the "relaxed" attitude of most locals.  If you are at all organized or driven, it may drive you mad.  To paint broadly, Europe has high taxes, Latin America is a mess, Africa is still developing, Central America and the Mideast are too hot, Australia is too expensive, New Zealand is too quiet, etc.   I've known Americans who managed to hate every single place they have lived, including most of the U.S.   

Southeast Asia is humid, but the cost of living is low and the people, culture and food are fabulous.

The grass is always greener.  There's no place like home.

I do know the reasons I don't want to live in Malaysia - I don't want to air them here.
There's no utopia, I understand that. I just can't bear the thought of living here 9-10 more years,

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2015, 06:18:03 PM »
Oh do air them for those of us that may think Malaysia is an option for us.

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2015, 07:55:28 PM »
Oh do air them for those of us that may think Malaysia is an option for us.

Uh, er, it's a lot of small things really.  And when I list them, my inner voice says, "wow, you are a one snooty bitch, aren't you?"  This is why I'd rather not list them all. But, okay, since you asked...

For one thing, at least within the Malay community, women aren't treated well, but my husband says that's for their own good.

/KIDDING!  (my husband doesn't say that).

Okay, before I get all negative, here are things I like:

- Tax situation (but you know that)
- Low COL for most things.
- Heavy rains and thunderstorms - really cool.
- Gardening - I can stick a twig in the ground and it grows and blooms here.  It's amazing.
- The way people help each other.  I express a need, and within a few days, people come to me with contacts or advice on solving my problem.
- The people. People are genuinely helpful, kind, resourceful, happy.
- Medical options - cheap and high quality.  This place is a medical vacation destination.
- Hidden finds.  It took a while, but we found a coffee roasting company and now buy beans by the kilo, cutting coffee expenses by 75%.  Finds like that are everywhere - it just takes time and patience to, well, find them.
- The skim boarding / skater / punk community - those guys are rad.
- The way young men do their hair - y'know Miley Cyrus style - I get a kick out of it.  So cute.
- the public bus - cheap and air conditioned. Passengers friendly.
- son's British international school.  High quality and cheap. ~ 1/3 the cost of what we'd pay in Italy for a full year tuition.
- International feel - natives are Malay, Chinese (mostly Hokkien), or Indian; they're all Malaysian - but they've all retained their traditions - food, holidays, language. Nearly everyone speaks English in order to talk to each other.  That makes life easy for us. 
- English speaking - In the seventies, Malaysia Chinese schools especially went full frontal with educating in English.  The result is that people my age act and speak as if they're American.  They're familiar with American cultural touchstones such as Dukes of Hazard and The Love Boat.  It's surreal.
- fruit - dragon fruit, mangoes, various of types of bananas, mangosteens, rambutan, yum.  (Durian - bleck - but I no longer cringe at the smell)
- milk - there's a grass fed milk / yogurt company called Farm Fresh.  Amazing milk products.  Would love for them to start making cheeses.
- Indian food is for the most part amazing.  A little heavy, but spicy and delicious.
- Monkeys are cool - especially the gibbons.  The macacs however are cheeky bastards who will steal your keys if you set them down.
- Our water filter works really well - so we can drink tap water.  That's cool.

You know what, I'm going to stop there.  I wrote out a whole negative list, but really, every item just reveals to the forum what a snooty bitch I am.  I'm pasting the text into a local document on my laptop and will ponder posting.   

Here's the tl;dr - I long to live somewhere that feels authentic and charming. I haven't found that here. This isn't my home.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 07:27:48 AM by Malaysia41 »

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2015, 10:30:06 PM »
Thanks for taking this on. Waaaay outside my comfort zone, knowledge base, and experience.

Bad malaysian stuff from your journal (hope u don't mind) include a culture of women treated like shit, human trafficking (or a lack of govt intervention), corrupt govt, and a choice bewteen really expensive wine or cheap shitty wine. All but the last don't seem snooty, and the last most people can understand.

I might live abroad one day, and I enjoy optimizing taxes, so I'm an ineterested follower.

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2015, 01:01:40 AM »
Thanks for taking this on. Waaaay outside my comfort zone, knowledge base, and experience.

Bad malaysian stuff from your journal (hope u don't mind) include a culture of women treated like shit, human trafficking (or a lack of govt intervention), corrupt govt, and a choice bewteen really expensive wine or cheap shitty wine. All but the last don't seem snooty, and the last most people can understand.

I might live abroad one day, and I enjoy optimizing taxes, so I'm an ineterested follower.

Hey Ched,  yeah that about sums it up.  a few other items - God awful smells that nearly knock me out of my flip flops, trash all over the place, insects, questionable dish washing effectiveness at hawker stalls.

Also, can you believe I made that mistake lumping my $18k in 10% income in with my 15% income?  Rookie error!  When MDM caught that I thought, "Goodness, what will Cheddar think?" 

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2015, 01:07:09 AM »
We are off to Italy at the end of this month on a recce mission.

The tax situation is on our list of questions. We'll post back here with what we find out in October.

Rightflyer, are you planning on meeting with a lawyer?

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2015, 01:19:53 AM »
Great idea that you're taking on here, and as a brit married to a us expat this is definitely is interest to us.

Don't forget when comparing taxes in different countries that it can be apples and oranges, and while the us had very low taxes compared to many countries, there's also a lot you don't get provided. For example what do you currently spend on health insurance and copays? How much of that could you avoid if you lived in a country with a state provided health system? How much do you currently donate or tythe? Would you be comfortable reducing this knowing that your higher taxes provided a social safety net that does the work of some of the charities you support? As parents would you even be able to benefit from state support for your kids which would offset some of these tags? How much are you saving for university for your kid? As an EU resident how much could you save on college costs?

Not meaning to be political here but sharing my life with an American I realise that many of these things you consider as unavoidable costs which we in the EU don't need to budget for as they are covered or largely covered by our higher taxes.

Is uk an option? Not sure if will be my first choice but it may check some of your boxes about authenticity. And while top line tax rates look higher, when you take into account personal allowances, separate capital gains allowances and lower tax rates on dividends along with free health care is not a bad place to be fire. Plus as a citizen you can travel and live freely within the EU

Rightflyer

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2015, 07:11:22 AM »
We are off to Italy at the end of this month on a recce mission.

The tax situation is on our list of questions. We'll post back here with what we find out in October.

Rightflyer, are you planning on meeting with a lawyer?

We had planned on consulting an accountant regarding our particular tax situation (small business owners etc.).

We had not specifically planned on seeing a lawyer.


Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2015, 07:28:24 AM »
We are off to Italy at the end of this month on a recce mission.

The tax situation is on our list of questions. We'll post back here with what we find out in October.

Rightflyer, are you planning on meeting with a lawyer?

We had planned on consulting an accountant regarding our particular tax situation (small business owners etc.).

We had not specifically planned on seeing a lawyer.

ah, yes, accountant may be better.  yes please report what you find!

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2015, 10:32:03 AM »
If gender equality is highly weighted on your metrics, you can check the Global Gender Gap report (I suppose).
http://www3.weforum.org/docs/GGGR14/GGGR_CompleteReport_2014.pdf

Malaysia is 107th (out of 142) while Italy is all the way up at 69th (behind such progressives as Zimbabwe, Croatia and Bangladesh).  High Gender Equality Index scores in cheap places to live include No. 6 Nicaragua and No 9. Philippines, but I'm not sure they would meet your Cleanliness or Corruption standards.

It is quite difficult to find a place with high gender equality, non-corrupt, clean, and cheap to live.  I suspect large swaths of the US South would be highest on such a ranking, corruption notwithstanding.

expatartist

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2015, 06:02:42 PM »
Not to hijack, but if Malaysia is not the place you need to figure out why.  Italy is a great place to visit but can be hell to live with the appalling govt bureaucracy and the "relaxed" attitude of most locals.  If you are at all organized or driven, it may drive you mad.  To paint broadly, Europe has high taxes, Latin America is a mess, Africa is still developing, Central America and the Mideast are too hot, Australia is too expensive, New Zealand is too quiet, etc.   I've known Americans who managed to hate every single place they have lived, including most of the U.S.   

Southeast Asia is humid, but the cost of living is low and the people, culture and food are fabulous.

The grass is always greener.  There's no place like home.

+1
My DH has been unhappy in every country he's/we've lived (the UK, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia, now China). Stated reasons have varied from the concrete "You weren't there" [we lived apart while he was in Taiwan] to the abstract "The people here are treated like **** and I can't participate in it" [Thailand]

Yet, strangely enough, he remembers some of these places with nostalgia.

Happiness is hard work. A new location won't give it to us. We can't expect to move to a place which we're not from, settle in, reap the benefits of high taxes paid by others [which smooth wealth gaps making the locals happier, preserve traditions & provide good infrastructure] and buy authenticity & happiness on the cheap.

It all comes at a price, it's up to us to choose what that may be.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 06:06:48 PM by expatartist »

Letj

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2015, 06:11:43 PM »
Oh do air them for those of us that may think Malaysia is an option for us.

Uh, er, it's a lot of small things really.  And when I list them, my inner voice says, "wow, you are a one snooty bitch, aren't you?"  This is why I'd rather not list them all. But, okay, since you asked...

For one thing, at least within the Malay community, women aren't treated well, but my husband says that's for their own good.

/KIDDING!  (my husband doesn't say that).

Okay, before I get all negative, here are things I like:

- Tax situation (but you know that)
- Low COL for most things.
- Heavy rains and thunderstorms - really cool.
- Gardening - I can stick a twig in the ground and it grows and blooms here.  It's amazing.
- The way people help each other.  I express a need, and within a few days, people come to me with contacts or advice on solving my problem.
- The people. People are genuinely helpful, kind, resourceful, happy.
- Medical options - cheap and high quality.  This place is a medical vacation destination.
- Hidden finds.  It took a while, but we found a coffee roasting company and now buy beans by the kilo, cutting coffee expenses by 75%.  Finds like that are everywhere - it just takes time and patience to, well, find them.
- The skim boarding / skater / punk community - those guys are rad.
- The way young men do their hair - y'know Miley Cyrus style - I get a kick out of it.  So cute.
- the public bus - cheap and air conditioned. Passengers friendly.
- son's British international school.  High quality and cheap. ~ 1/3 the cost of what we'd pay in Italy for a full year tuition.
- International feel - natives are Malay, Chinese (mostly Hokkien), or Indian; they're all Malaysian - but they've all retained their traditions - food, holidays, language. Nearly everyone speaks English in order to talk to each other.  That makes life easy for us. 
- English speaking - In the seventies, Malaysia Chinese schools especially went full frontal with educating in English.  The result is that people my age act and speak as if they're American.  They're familiar with American cultural touchstones such as Dukes of Hazard and The Love Boat.  It's surreal.
- fruit - dragon fruit, mangoes, various of types of bananas, mangosteens, rambutan, yum.  (Durian - bleck - but I no longer cringe at the smell)
- milk - there's a grass fed milk / yogurt company called Farm Fresh.  Amazing milk products.  Would love for them to start making cheeses.
- Indian food is for the most part amazing.  A little heavy, but spicy and delicious.
- Monkeys are cool - especially the gibbons.  The macacs however are cheeky bastards who will steal your keys if you set them down.
- Our water filter works really well - so we can drink tap water.  That's cool.

You know what, I'm going to stop there.  I wrote out a whole negative list, but really, every item just reveals to the forum what a snooty bitch I am.  I'm pasting the text into a local document on my laptop and will ponder posting.   

Here's the tl;dr - I long to live somewhere that feels authentic and charming. I haven't found that here. This isn't my home.

Thank you so much for responding. It's really great to hear your perspective. I have traveled quite a bit outside of my comfortable first world zone and I have observed some shitty stuff that I despised that could make me look like a snooty bitch too (to the uninformed). I do have high standards and a lot of what I have seen is just downright lack of effective governance and cultural traits that for us Westerners is just weird (one of them being how women and children are treated; my God women in the Western world should thank their lucky stars).

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2015, 07:04:51 PM »


Why?  Because Italy, like so many other countries - esp those in the EU - tax residents on worldwide income, no matter where that income is earned.

This certainly sucks as a foreign resident in Italy.

But hey, from a which policy is stupider standpoint, the US is one of two countries in the world that taxes it's citizens no matter which country in which they reside in addition to no matter where the income is earned. The other being Eritrea. Apparently the means by which they have been collecting this tax have been condemned by the UN (note, the condemnation was about the means by which they were collecting it, not about the actual tax itself).
Oh yeah and on top of this, in certain circumstances, you will be taxed on your assets if you renounce your citizenship to avoid taxes.

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2015, 06:44:51 AM »
If gender equality is highly weighted on your metrics, you can check the Global Gender Gap report (I suppose).
http://www3.weforum.org/docs/GGGR14/GGGR_CompleteReport_2014.pdf

Malaysia is 107th (out of 142) while Italy is all the way up at 69th (behind such progressives as Zimbabwe, Croatia and Bangladesh).  High Gender Equality Index scores in cheap places to live include No. 6 Nicaragua and No 9. Philippines, but I'm not sure they would meet your Cleanliness or Corruption standards.

It is quite difficult to find a place with high gender equality, non-corrupt, clean, and cheap to live.  I suspect large swaths of the US South would be highest on such a ranking, corruption notwithstanding.

It's funny, I meant this to be a thread on international taxation, but you guys are forcing me to prioritize my values too???  Fair enough.  :)

Gender equality, despite discussing it in my journal, isn't a central issue for me.  It just gets under my skin when I encounter it. 

Okay, here's my top 10, FWIW

1. A place we can make home for DH for 10 years and raise him until he is done with high school
2. Culturally authentic and charming
3. Good schools
4. Taxes not too insane - I'm willing to pay some, but $20k every year? Not so much ( but in my next post I'll share an update on that calculation)
5. Decent medical care (No - I do not believe USA necessarily has the best healthcare on earth - this is a belief people seem to assume I harbor b'cuz I'm American.  Penang, Malaysia has stellar healthcare. As I understand it, Italy too.)
6. Clean
7. Natives speak one (not three) native language other than English.
8. In top half of corruption index ( Italy in top half, but scores not so great.  Oof, Malaysia ranks higher o_O )
9. Seasons.  I miss seasons.  And western holidays.

And I get it (@expatartist)  no matter where you go, there you are, right?   Here's the thing.  We're FI.  We don't HAVE to live in one particular place because of a job or career.  We can go wherever we want.  So, right now, I'm exploring options, diving in and doing my due diligence.

edit: to make more concise.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 02:04:30 AM by Malaysia41 »

Johnny Aloha

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2015, 07:18:14 AM »
but the question is, to where?   I honestly thought the answer was Italy, but now I don't think so.

Aside from the taxes, I'd recommend you live in Italy short term before committing.  It drives some people crazy, especially if you are used to normal drivers, rules, keeping appointments, open markets, etc.  The people who do well here are very laid back and go with the flow.  Probably much like in Malaysia (a place I really like).  We (really) enjoy living here, but there are some big compromises based on the culture.

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2015, 07:20:30 AM »


Why?  Because Italy, like so many other countries - esp those in the EU - tax residents on worldwide income, no matter where that income is earned.

This certainly sucks as a foreign resident in Italy.

But hey, from a which policy is stupider standpoint, the US is one of two countries in the world that taxes it's citizens no matter which country in which they reside in addition to no matter where the income is earned. The other being Eritrea. Apparently the means by which they have been collecting this tax have been condemned by the UN (note, the condemnation was about the means by which they were collecting it, not about the actual tax itself).
Oh yeah and on top of this, in certain circumstances, you will be taxed on your assets if you renounce your citizenship to avoid taxes.

It's a good thing I'm not considering renouncing my citizenship for tax reasons then.  US tax law doesn't get me all up in arms.  With an effective tax rate of 0.288 this year, I can't complain too much.

2 significant updates:

1. The 401k to IRA conversion is likely a non-taxable event from the Italian tax perspective, as it's a transfer between accounts.  That'd be cool.

2. If I read the tax code correctly, house or apartment rents paid in Italy could be a tax deduction.  It all depends on the type of contract, and what they mean by 'low income' - which I can't find a definition of anywhere.  Now that I'm writing this, 'low income' probably means tenants who've officially registered for assistance.  That wouldn't be us. head hangs down anyhoo - here's the relevant code:

Quote

Tax allowance for low income tenants
 It is established an allowance for taxpayers who pay a rent for their main residence. In particular, subjects with a tenancy contract for real estate used as a main residence, signed or renewed according to the principles set forth by law n. 431 of 9th December 1998, are eligible for a total tax allowance.
Tax allowances for lease contracts with controlled fees
Taxpayers who hold a lease contract, signed on the basis of special agreements defined locally between the real estate property organizations and the most representative national tenantsí organizations (so-called controlled contracts, according to law n. 431 of 31st December 1998) can claim a tax allowance. In no case can the allowance be claimed for lease contracts between public authorities and private parties (for example taxpayers who hold a lease contract signed with council house organizations cannot benefit from the allowance).
If the total income is higher than this last sum, no allowance can be claimed.

3. Paying into the Italian health system is on the order of a few hundred euros a year.  I'll look into whether we could then drop our international plan.  But I'm not ready to dig into a whole new government website just yet.  Maybe tomorrow.  We pay $2200 for three of us for global insurance coverage.  So that goes into the calculation.

If all those things above are true, that $20,000 tax bill could be more like $2,000 (including the health care savings).

I also need to see if Italy lets me net passive gains and losses across multiple property holdings in the US.  If that's the case, then we could lower our taxable income further.  Because of depreciation, one property never shows gains at tax time, and we have piled up a ridiculous amount of passive loss carry overs on that place.  It's crazy. 
 
Some of this insight is based on an email from a friend who lives in Ligurea.  I'm going to ask if I can post snippets of his email.  In the meantime I thought I'd post my take-aways here. Tomorrow I'm going to email our tax accountant friend in Italy and ask if we can hire him to evaluate our situation.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 05:14:03 AM by Malaysia41 »

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2015, 07:30:36 AM »
but the question is, to where?   I honestly thought the answer was Italy, but now I don't think so.

Aside from the taxes, I'd recommend you live in Italy short term before committing.  It drives some people crazy, especially if you are used to normal drivers, rules, keeping appointments, open markets, etc.  The people who do well here are very laid back and go with the flow.  Probably much like in Malaysia (a place I really like).  We (really) enjoy living here, but there are some big compromises based on the culture.

That's exactly why we stayed there this past summer for a month. Granted that's not a lot of time, but as much as we could manage with a kid in school.  Having a 9 y.o seriously complicates FIRE options.  And if / when we move there, our plan is to rent for a year and then consider buying a place.  I mean, that would give us a good long trial period to make sure. 

I'm happy with driving in Italy - it's a lot like driving in Malaysia, and Malaysian driving doesn't bother me at all.  I've known expats who fume with rage daily because of the driving.  But I find it zen like.  It flows. Even the people who cut in and pretend to not see me?  Whatever.  I bow and say, "thank you sensei", and then, maybe tailgate just a wee bit closer.

And I'm fine with delays and not getting what I want IMMEDIATELY. 

Italy simply feels more like a place I want to live in.  Perhaps it being western makes it feel more like home to me.  Malaysia does not feel like home.  Plus both DH and I want to keep living overseas, so we're both reluctant to move back to US. 

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2015, 07:41:11 AM »

Aside from the taxes, I'd recommend you live in Italy short term before committing.  It drives some people crazy, especially if you are used to normal drivers, rules, keeping appointments, open markets, etc.  The people who do well here are very laid back and go with the flow.  Probably much like in Malaysia (a place I really like).  We (really) enjoy living here, but there are some big compromises based on the culture.

So, Johnny Aloha, may I ask, what region do you live in?  What country are you a citizen of?  Spill it man!

potm

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2015, 07:47:05 AM »
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Rightflyer

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2015, 08:39:57 AM »

Aside from the taxes, I'd recommend you live in Italy short term before committing.  It drives some people crazy, especially if you are used to normal drivers, rules, keeping appointments, open markets, etc.  The people who do well here are very laid back and go with the flow.  Probably much like in Malaysia (a place I really like).  We (really) enjoy living here, but there are some big compromises based on the culture.

So, Johnny Aloha, may I ask, what region do you live in?  What country are you a citizen of?  Spill it man!

Aloha Johnny...Sounds as if you are living our (tentative) dreams...please tell us all you can.

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2015, 05:16:40 AM »
I cut out a bunch of rumblings from earlier posts to stick with the topic which is taxation from foreign governments as expats.  The other stuff belongs in my journal :).

Today I whipped up a spreadsheet calculating taxes in both US and Italy, per my understanding of deductions, rates, etc.  If the 401k-> Roth conversion is indeed *not* considered taxable income in Italy, we may be all set - I can adjust income levels here and there and get to a magic number where US tax is approx equal to Italy tax, of course that means some LTCGs end up getting taxed at 15% but that's probably okay.

Johnny Aloha

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2015, 06:43:23 AM »

Aside from the taxes, I'd recommend you live in Italy short term before committing.  It drives some people crazy, especially if you are used to normal drivers, rules, keeping appointments, open markets, etc.  The people who do well here are very laid back and go with the flow.  Probably much like in Malaysia (a place I really like).  We (really) enjoy living here, but there are some big compromises based on the culture.

So, Johnny Aloha, may I ask, what region do you live in?  What country are you a citizen of?  Spill it man!

Aloha Johnny...Sounds as if you are living our (tentative) dreams...please tell us all you can.

I prefer to keep a low profile online, but happy to say that I'm a US resident and currently living in southern Italy.  For about a year now, with plans to stay another couple years.

Southern Italy is a different animal than northern Italy, although not by much in some ways.  Once you cross the borders, things change quite quickly.  We just took a trip to Slovenia, and it was immediately clear when you left Italy.  And when you crossed back into Italy.  The drivers, trash, lines/chaos at gas stations, ability to communicate, ...

I personally think southern Italy is very underated.  It's cheap (amazing pizza for 3 euro?  yes please!) and the people are very warm, especially if you have kids.  Our child is in a local preschool, and it has been amazing so far - and very cheap at 210 euro/month for full days and lunch included.  Of course it has lots of drawbacks too, but so far it's been a fun adventure.

Happy to share any experiences or answers questions the best I can.  Please PM me if I don't respond quickly - I might be eating gelato.

kendallf

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2015, 08:20:13 AM »
M41, I have nothing to add on the tax front; of course I think you'd be hard pressed to equal the low expense of your current digs in Italy, but I know it looked like you enjoyed the Italian trip quite a bit!

I prefer to keep a low profile online, but happy to say that I'm a US resident and currently living in southern Italy.  For about a year now, with plans to stay another couple years.

Southern Italy is a different animal than northern Italy, although not by much in some ways.  Once you cross the borders, things change quite quickly.  We just took a trip to Slovenia, and it was immediately clear when you left Italy.  And when you crossed back into Italy.  The drivers, trash, lines/chaos at gas stations, ability to communicate, ...

I personally think southern Italy is very underated.  It's cheap (amazing pizza for 3 euro?  yes please!) and the people are very warm, especially if you have kids.  Our child is in a local preschool, and it has been amazing so far - and very cheap at 210 euro/month for full days and lunch included.  Of course it has lots of drawbacks too, but so far it's been a fun adventure.

Happy to share any experiences or answers questions the best I can.  Please PM me if I don't respond quickly - I might be eating gelato.

I have spent some time working in southern Italy (at Grottaglia, an Italian Navy air base).  I loved how the whole town came out for evening walks; loved the food, the fact that they served wine for lunch at the air base cafeteria!  The driving around small towns was fine; I speed with the best of the locals.  Beautiful, rolling countryside and friendly people.  Yes, nothing got done on schedule and shop hours seemed totally at the owners' whim.  The expats I met who worked there (most on very favorable US defense contractor contracts) were very happy.

michaelrecycles

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2015, 12:57:45 AM »
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Rightflyer

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2015, 06:36:34 AM »
If the 401k-> Roth conversion is indeed *not* considered taxable income in Italy, we may be all set - I can adjust income levels here and there...

This is our biggest question in all of our planning.
If we are not taxed on TFSA* withdrawals, then we may be okay. We would still need to deal with non-eligible dividends (which are dividends from a small, Canadian owned, private corporation)

*I am assuming that a Roth IRA and TFSA are analogous. The answers we get should be applicable to US and Canada. Possibly UK as well.

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2015, 04:08:43 AM »
RightFlyer I'll let you know what the Italian tax guy tells us.  As I await his answer, here are my latest calculations of COL in Italy v Malaysia as a US Citizen - only reporting line items that I expect costs to vary from country to country.  For example, I don't list food because the plan is to maintain the same budget.   

If I can deduct rent and 401k to Roth rollovers from taxable income, then Italy tax is approx $2,000.
If I cannot make those assumptions then the tax for Italy is approx $5,000.   

                            Malaysia          Italy          Italy Premium / Discount

DS Tuition                 $5,000      $17,600       $12,600
Taxes (income)          $0            $702        $702
Taxes (wealth)           $0            $1,140        $1,140
Transport / Car           $1,500      $3,000      $1,500
Utilities / Phone*          $2,100      $4,200      $2,100
Housing / Rent           $9,000      $12,000      $3,000
Medical Premiums        $2,200      $900          -$1,300
Medical OOpocket        $2,400      $480          -$1,920

TOTAL:            $22,200      $41,600      $19,400  ( no this is not 2x the COL - remember I omitted many line items that should not change)

As it turns out, taxes might not be the main expense.  School tuition may be the item to change the most.

*http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=Malaysia&country2=Italy&city1=Penang&city2=Rome
I take numbers on this site with a grain of salt, but, in the absence of anything better, its what I used to calculate some of the line items above. 
« Last Edit: September 16, 2015, 04:42:22 AM by Malaysia41 »

SondraF

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2015, 04:06:34 AM »
Following - was hoping there would be a thread on this somewhere.

American and dual American/Swedish couple currently living and working in the UK.  Our goal is to FIRE in 7-10 years, but have location independence to travel and move between the US/Sweden (or possibly the UK - the countryside is lovely, and it would be an easier place to live if we didn't have long commutes into London for work!).  It was our goal by the end of the year to start getting an analysis of taxes and investment budget/schedules figured out so we have a comprehensive picture of what our situation could look like.

This is a helpful layout to start from - thanks!

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2015, 06:59:28 AM »
Thomas Picketty's Capital in the 21st Century includes a chapter where he discusses the virtues of a global tax on wealth. It gave me heart palpitations.  But then he mentioned Italy, and it was a defibrillator to the chest.  His reading of the Italian tax, IVAFE  (the wealth tax on financial assets) differed from mine.

From Capital in the 21st Century:
Quote
In 2012, the Italian government, faced with one of the largest public debts in Europe, and also with an exceptionally high level of private wealth, also one of the highest in Europe, along with Spain, decided to introduce a new tax on wealth. But for fear that financial assets would flee the country, in search of refuge in Swiss, French, and Austrian banks, the rate was set at 0.8% on real estate, and only 0.1% on bank deposits and other financial assets, except stocks, which were totally exempt with no progressivity. Not only is it hard to think of an economic principle that would explain why some assets should be taxed at one eighth the rate of others, the system also had the unfortunate consequence of imposing a regressive tax on wealth, since the largest fortunes consist mainly of financial assets and especially stocks.

What, what?  "Except STOCKS?"  Totally EXEMPT?

I'm not finding it in the English version of http://www1.agenziaentrate.gov.it/english, unfortunately. Putting the italian passage through Google translate, however, gives this:

Quote
"Individuals resident in Italy who hold overseas financial products , current accounts and savings accounts , have to pay tax on their value : the Ivafe . The object of the tax is determined in this way by the European law in 2013 - a ( Act of 30 October 2014 no. 161 ) , in force since 25 November 2014. Previously , reference was made ​​by the " financial assets held abroad " ."

I'm still not 100% sure.  The lack of an oxford comma is leaving me wondering - are they saying 'current accounts and savings accounts' are the financial products they refer to, or are they saying financial products plus current accounts and savings accounts are taxed?
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 06:24:59 PM by Malaysia41 »

expatartist

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #39 on: October 04, 2015, 11:22:33 PM »
That book may well be out of date; Italian tax laws change every six months or so. They also vary by comune. Email your contacts in San Remo who will have a local English-speaking accountant/notaio to recommend. They will be au courant with current tax laws, more so than anything available online.

patrickza

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2015, 12:14:59 AM »
Wealth of tax information here:
http://www.taxesforexpats.com/expat-tax-advice/tax-advice.html

Best option is to establish residency in the Bahamas (and then citizenship, if possible), because all taxes are 0%.  Then don't spend more than 182 days in any one country during the year.  You can move to Italy, just don't spend all your time there so you can avoid the extra taxes.

That's kind of my plan, except I think it may be easier for us non-americans. South Africa doesn't tax you on income earned if you're out of the country 183 days, neither do most of the countries I plan to visit. So all I need to do is split my time between 2 or more countries I feel like staying in, and make sure I never hit 183 days in any one place.

I'm planning on spending most of the time in Europe, on a boat mostly, so it will be really easy to move ports whenever needed.

Malaysia41

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #41 on: October 05, 2015, 01:42:11 AM »
Wealth of tax information here:
http://www.taxesforexpats.com/expat-tax-advice/tax-advice.html

Best option is to establish residency in the Bahamas (and then citizenship, if possible), because all taxes are 0%.  Then don't spend more than 182 days in any one country during the year.  You can move to Italy, just don't spend all your time there so you can avoid the extra taxes.

That's kind of my plan, except I think it may be easier for us non-americans. South Africa doesn't tax you on income earned if you're out of the country 183 days, neither do most of the countries I plan to visit. So all I need to do is split my time between 2 or more countries I feel like staying in, and make sure I never hit 183 days in any one place.

I'm planning on spending most of the time in Europe, on a boat mostly, so it will be really easy to move ports whenever needed.

Nice.  Yeah, when DS has moved on to university, we'll be free to do the international under183 day tango too! 

BTW, Malaysia is super for FIRE living from a financial perspective.  They don't tax you on anything other than income earned here.  And with the ringgit at 4.41 to the dollar, COL is absurdly low. Healthcare is excellent and low cost too.  You just need to cross the border every 3 months to renew your visa, or do a MM2H program and you're all set.

But... you must like unrelenting heat, dealing with horrendous air pollution whenever the Indonesian palm oil producers slash and burn forest for planting new palm fields, and you'll probably want to like the food.  I'm pretty sick of all three of these items.

@expatartist, thanks - that may be the case.  Mr. Picketty seemed pretty darned certain about the IVAFE code - but that was in 2013. I want confirmation.  I just can't see how they can in good conscience tax retirement accounts. But we'll see when the Italian notario gets back to me.

2lazy2retire

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2015, 08:44:38 AM »
Italy seems to be ok - but inheritance tax is something else to consider if taking up residency in any country.

Secretly Saving

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2015, 09:51:31 AM »
Thank you for this thread!  I'll be following.

TealBlue

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #44 on: October 21, 2015, 10:46:40 AM »
following

Vilgan

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Re: US Expats living overseas in FIRE: TAXES in various countries.
« Reply #45 on: October 23, 2015, 01:57:06 PM »
I don't have the info your looking for handy, but Panama was something the wife and I were considering when we were thinking about leaving the US to FIRE earlier. great health care, good exchange rates => LCOL, and the local government considered courting Americans a priority.

It seems like a lot of things you mentioned can also be found in Bellingham :)