Working remotely within the EU

Discussion in 'Askaboutbusiness' started by ashen, 13 Feb 2018.

  1. ashen

    ashen Registered User

    An opportunity has arisen for me to work remotely full time for an Irish company as a contractor (I am Irish with an Irish registered company already set up).

    I was thinking about relocating to another EU country while working this contract as it might be a good opportunity to do some travelling at the same time. However, I am concerned about what the legalities of this are (in particular around tax liabilities). Is it OK to relocate and work somewhere else within the EU temporarily (I would most likely be renting accommodation there for 3 to 6 months) and is it possible to pay the tax in Ireland or would there be a requirement to pay tax in the host country as well/instead of, regardless if it is advantageous to do so or not?

    On a related note, would there be as many or more implications for a similar scenario if i was able to arrange this as a PAYE employee instead of a contractor?
  2. dublin67

    dublin67 Frequent Poster

    You've asked lots of questions here and the answers will be complicated. You could be looking the tax systems of two countries, a double tax agreement (DTA) and the respective interactions. Look into the split year treatment and being employed abroad. The Revenue leaflet on leaving Ireland ( gives a good overview. If you are non-Irish domiciled you typically have more options.

    On a side note it would be difficult for your to use your Irish company as earnings from an Irish directorship (i.e. which would include a director of an Irish company) are taxable in Ireland regardless of where you are resident. A DTA may get out of an Irish charge but that very much depends on the treaty. If the money is big enough you should pay for some expert advice.
  3. ashen

    ashen Registered User

    Last edited: 14 Feb 2018
    Thanks for the advice!

    Just to clarify, I wouldn't be looking to take up employment and/or residency in a non-Irish company and/or country, nor a European branch of an Irish company. It would effectively be so I could work an Irish job as an Irish domiciled employee 'from home', except 'home' in this case would be a temporary stay in another country (more like a long holiday while I keep working my regular job part time). The work itself and proceeds of it would wholly be for said company.

    From what I can see, most EU countries, or at least the ones I was looking at as potential destinations, have a 183 day threshold for tax residency so I was thinking if I stay a shorter time than this then I can keep my tax residency in Ireland and handle everything normally through the Irish tax system. I'm not looking to change my tax residency to try to save on my tax bill as I do not plan to stay away from Ireland for more than a year maximum and I'd prefer to keep everything as straightforward as possible.

    I will aim to get it squared away more officially before I pull the trigger but was looking to see if anyone had previous experience in a similar situation.
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2018
  4. Jim2007

    Jim2007 Frequent Poster

    You need to appreciate that living in another EEA/EU/CH country is very different to living in Ireland and you need to research it very carefully. For instance, you would have no problem living in Switzerland (where I am) for four or five months from a Federal tax point of view, but after three months you are required to have Swiss health insurance and your E111 card or whatever it is called is no longer valid. Like wise if you were to stay in one of the tourist regions you may be subject to some 'tourist' taxes after a few weeks there. So you need to check this out very carefully.

    You should also realise that even as an EU citizen you do not have the right to reside in an EEA/EU/CH state beyond three months. After that period you must follow whatever procedures are in place there to obtain the required residency permission and that normally requires you to show that you have established an economically viable live style there. The exception being the UK who have chosen not to apply the standard rules or you are retired with sufficient pension to cover you. Some countries are more relaxed about this, but check it out before hand so you will not have any nasty surprises.

    So generally speaking you'd probably want to plan in keep your stay in a member state below the three months or research very carefully the consequences of staying longer in terms of your local obligations.
    RETIRED2017 likes this.
  5. ashen

    ashen Registered User

    Thanks Jim. I wasn't aware of the 3 month limit but I was assuming there would be some restrictions, particularly around healthcare costs. While it doesn't seem as straightforward as I was hoping, it seems workable for at least a short time. I'll read up on it some more.
  6. Kevinwallis22

    Kevinwallis22 New Member

    Hi folks
    Hoping you can help me out
    I am currently working in a dublin based office on a Irish contract (global company) which also has an office in Zurich which I have been traveling and working remotely for last couple years as my GF lives there.. I have been looking at making this more frequent this year and while my boss is fine with me wfh and working remotely, I have not checked this with HR yet..
    1. I assume I can only work in Zurich no longer that 3 months in a full calendar year?
    2. When is my Irish tax impacted and how long can I work in Zurich before having to register or apply for permission or pay secondary tax?

    Anything else you can advise?