Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Doing work while traveling
Thread poster: Kathryn Litherland

Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:53
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 28, 2009

This question just occurred to me--if I am a freelancer based in a particular country, and I am traveling primarily for pleasure: to what extent am I free to fire up the ole laptop and do some work for my clients without running afoul of anyone's work permit regulations? Does it matter if the client in question is located in the country to which I am traveling?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:53
English to Spanish
+ ...
Who knows? Mar 28, 2009

I suppose if no one really knows where you are, and no one has to, then go ahead and fire it up and do your thing. The money goes in the same direction regardless of where you are. It does not seem to be anything to worry about, but every country has its own rules so technically who knows? Or who cares?

Direct link Reply with quote
 
clifts  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 09:53
English to Chinese
+ ...
possibly not necessary Mar 28, 2009

According to my experience, in my country, China, if you travel and work for freelance jobs, the authority would not disturb you unless you report to them that you are not travelling but working here in general.

I do believe a permit is really required for an inhouse employment in most countries and not required for freelance jobs since it is difficult to determine whether you are travelling or working in stead.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:53
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You as a business - You as a person Mar 28, 2009

You as a business are surely registered somewhere as an independent professional. In that country you pay your taxes, pay your social security, report your income, etc. etc. That's one side of things.

As a person, you could be doing work in a hotel southern Congo or sitting in a café in Torino. It does not matter. From the work perspective, you are in the country in which you are registered. And from a legal point of view, you are not working in the country you are visiting, unless you are more than six months in it (this is the time limit in the case of Europe).


Direct link Reply with quote
 
FarkasAndras
Local time: 02:53
English to Hungarian
+ ...
travel vs residence Mar 28, 2009

I am absolutely convinced that no country or tax system will find fault with you working abroad during, say, a two-week stay while you visit your cousins who happen to live in another country.

I'm quite sure you could get into trouble if you were to "live abroad" ie. spend more than half of the year in a country other than where you are registered and pay your taxes. There may be other rules than the half year but I think that applies in many cases. Of course, official country of residence and nationality will probably also factor in.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mark Cole  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:53
Polish to English
+ ...
Mixing business and pleasure isn't a good idea Mar 28, 2009

I too have been attracted by this idea, and taken work which "just needs finishing off" with me on holiday, or something for delivery on my return. Needless to say, it ruins the holiday, as you spend the first few days unable to do much in the way of joining in on the holiday, or panicking about deadlines in the last few days.

I have found that the only exception is non-urgent work which I could do at odd times during the holiday if I felt like it (especially if I have a delayed flight), but could equally do back home. Otherwise the distinction between working and holidays gets so blurred that there is little point bothering!

As for the legalities, I agree with the other posters - what matters is where you are registered, pay your taxes, etc.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christina Courtright  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
you are working at your home office Mar 28, 2009

I checked with a tax advisor about this once, because I work in different places (physically) or with agencies who are headquartered in different places (virtually) but the payments all get sent to my home office. You are working where you are getting paid, basically, is what he told me.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

bohy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:53
English to French
+ ...
It depends how long you stay... and where Mar 29, 2009

Even been paid in your "home" country does not mean that you are not taxable in the country where you stay... Too easy, and expect the fiscal administration to watch that. If you have spent more than one half of a given year in a country, you should be taxable in this country. Which means that you will have to declare what you earned in your home country and pay taxes in this country... minus what you have already paid in your home country, as you are still liable there, because you have a business.
If you do not stay too long, it should be OK. But beware each country's rules, as for instance the U.S. not only count the days in the given year, but half of the days the previous year, and one-third of the days two years before. If all countries had such a rule, you could be taxable in three different countries, I guess
Be careful also when you enter the country: if you are asked what is the purpose of your trip, do not mention the fact that you are working remotely. It may make things difficult if you plan for an extended stay, as you may have to explain what is your financing during this period... If you are entering with a tourist visa, you are supposed to be a tourist, not a worker, and immigration legislations have not evolved yet.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:53
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Mar 29, 2009

Thanks for the interesting discussion so far. In the U.S. (which apparently is in the minority) one doesn't need to register as a business in order to do freelance work--you simply report your earnings on your individual income tax forms.

I think Christina's answer makes a lot of sense to me--registered or no, I'm still working for myself and domiciled in my home country--and as such it's no different than if I were working for IBM or Proctor and Gamble and flew abroad for a business meeting.

The extension of this would seem to be that the deciding point is when the receiving country considers you to have abandoned residence in your home country.

My initial curiousity was not just about the legalities of doing so while on a two-week trip, but about longer travels--such as a younger person who wants to see the world but also find a way to pay for basic necessities of a basic backpacker lifestyle. In my case, with two kids still in school, I don't see that happening any time soon. But I could definitely see doing something like a half-year or full year "semi-sabbatical" of sorts at some point in the future.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:53
German to English
+ ...
Not if you're a foreign citizen Mar 29, 2009

Kathryn Litherland wrote:

Thanks for the interesting discussion so far. In the U.S. (which apparently is in the minority) one doesn't need to register as a business in order to do freelance work--you simply report your earnings on your individual income tax forms.


Careful - This only applies if you are a U.S. citizen. I can't imagine a situation where someone of a different nationality (i.e., not a green card holder or something like that) could come and set up shop as a freelancer and not run into immigration trouble. We had this discussion on another thread. I'm sure that the duration of the visit plays a major role as several posters already said above.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
I do this all the time Mar 29, 2009

Mark Cole wrote:

holiday, as you spend the first few days unable to do much in the way of joining in on the holiday, or panicking about deadlines in the last few days.



It's a matter of taste. To me, taking work on a trip is an ideal solution. By working 15 to 25 hours a week when I travel, I can afford to stay in a foreign country and explore for a month or more instead of just 10 days or two weeks. I get a fuller travel experience, immerse myself in the local language and culture, and my clients are still happy.

The laws vary by region or country. In the places I tend to visit, it's not a problem as long as I don't go job hunting or overstay the allowed period.

[Edited at 2009-03-29 18:44 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 02:53
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Two scenarios, the same, but different Mar 30, 2009

I have to admit this has never crossed my tiny mind, but I have been travelling quite a lot recently and taking work with me.

Working while travelling is not a holiday; it is a means of survival!

My mother-in-law is nearly 90 and lives in a nursing home a couple of hours away from us. We visit her practically every week, and occasionally I take work with me to finish off. These trips are part of the time my husband and I have together, when we talk about everything under the sun, and possibly visit other friends, go shopping etc. as time permits. But they are definitely duty trips.

Recently I have started visiting my father as well, as he is now alone at the age of 88. The only difference in principle is that he lives in the UK, and my visits last several days each time. (The rest of us live in Denmark.) Within the European community, I assume that my rights under 'mobility of labour' allow me to go anywhere I like. My business is registered in Denmark and I pay tax etc. there. Obviously, if I go to a conference or other official business in the UK, I try to fit in a visit home while I have the chance. But just as other international companies send delegates to conferences or to talk to clients, etc. I travel too!

The only way to afford all this travel is to keep working fairly hard, and that means taking work with me.



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tal Anja Cohen  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 02:53
Member (2008)
French to German
+ ...
This might be useful Mar 30, 2009

http://www.nunomad.com/
http://www.laptophobo.com/

Lots of great advice... Enjoy (dreaming)!

[Edited at 2009-03-30 09:58 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Be careful, avoid assumptions Mar 30, 2009

As one of Anja's great links says:

"If you intend to stay out of the country for an extended period of time, learn about tax requirements in your country of origin as well as in your hosting country before you go. You are on the cutting edge of a new workforce trend. Policies may be unclear."

When I first started coming to Australia for "extended visits", I too was under the assumption that this was "no different than if I were working for IBM or Proctor and Gamble and flew abroad for a business meeting".

Once when flying back into the country, however, the immigration authorities decided to take a decidedly different viewpoint on my situation and nearly barred me from re-entering.

Let me assure you, whether or not the authorities will actually prevail in a legal battle concerning migration or tax issues is *not* something you want to be worrying about first hand! You may certainly take any risks within your tolerance (I did), but be aware that in a similar situation, if you don't look into the specific laws, you *will* be taking risks.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Geraldine Oudin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Japanese to French
+ ...
It depends... Apr 4, 2009

...on your country of origin I guess.
I just found out recently that to pay taxes in France you need to be physically in France for more than 6 years of the year.
So as long as your travel doesn't exceed 6 months, you'd ve fine. But if you want to live on the road, and spend, let's say, 3 months in France, 3 months in the US, 3 months in Australia and 3 months in Japan, you'll be in trouble with taxes and social security.
It sounds like even when you are willing to pay taxes, you are not free to travel as much as you want.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Doing work while traveling

Advanced search







SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »
Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search