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Old 18-10-2011, 04:15   #1
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Can You Have No Residency in Any Country ?

One of my colleagues and I somehow got onto this and it started us both thinking. (That's twice this week already I've had to think.) Due to the fact that some of the members on this forum travel the world on a somewhat permanent basis, maybe someone here can explain how it works.

Try to keep the answers simple. For some reason my brain just overloaded and fried while trying to come to it's own conclusion.

We all know it is possible to be a citizen of a country without being a resident in that country. What happens if you decide not to reside permanently in ANY country. So I hypothetically, (of course ) notify my country of residence that I intend to emigrate. I duly leave, climb on my yacht and proceed to travel the world, visiting various countries for short periods but never actually settling in any country permanently.

At the end of the day I would still be a citizen of a country, but not a resident in any one country.

The question we were asking ourselves is: Is this legal?
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Old 18-10-2011, 04:22   #2
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

try burning your passport and birth certificate.....you will become a stateless person....
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Old 18-10-2011, 04:32   #3
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

The only problem with that is getting though customs of the various countries you visit. Apparently countries various customs departments frown on people who sneak in without telling the authorities that they've arrived. Can't think why.
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Old 18-10-2011, 04:34   #4
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

What would be the point? I mean what would be the advantage to you of not being a resident? There is no tax advantage for a US citizen.
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Old 18-10-2011, 04:44   #5
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

Not sure if there would be any advantage. It's just a subject that suddenly came up. (As you can see we really work hard here. Total dedication. )

I assume there may be some tax advantage if all your money is in a tax haven country and you don't have income from any other recognised business. Not sure about that as I don't have any money, either in a tax haven or my current bank account.
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Old 18-10-2011, 04:46   #6
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

Not sure what you are trying to acheive.......

But the simple answer is yes.

Just leave and you are no longer a resident.........and when you arrive in other places don't stay long enough to be classed by the local authorities as a Resident.

Of course if you are also wanting to become non-tax resident (anywhere) then it becomes a bit more complicated as the more sophisticated tax authorities do want you to go somewhere (and become a Tax Resident) to help demonstrate you have actually left!........but no reason you can't pick a country that in turn won't care when you leave.......bit of a process, and depending on where you start from might not be a great idea if it affects the ability to return (healthcare / state pension).

Obviously a bit more to it, especially when assets are involved and where / how income is generated......but that's what Tax Accountants / Lawyers are for!
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Old 18-10-2011, 04:57   #7
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

Thanks David. Not really trying to achieve anything. It's like getting a song stuck in your head. This thought just popped in and wouldn't go away. (A bit like my ex wife.)

It's just something that came up and we were wondering, firstly, if it was legal, and secondly if anyone does it. Like you say, I'm not sure if there would be an advantage for anyone so I don't know if anyone would actually try it.
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Old 18-10-2011, 05:04   #8
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Still Hopefull View Post
One of my colleagues and I somehow got onto this and it started us both thinking. (That's twice this week already I've had to think.) Due to the fact that some of the members on this forum travel the world on a somewhat permanent basis, maybe someone here can explain how it works.

Try to keep the answers simple. For some reason my brain just overloaded and fried while trying to come to it's own conclusion.

We all know it is possible to be a citizen of a country without being a resident in that country. What happens if you decide not to reside permanently in ANY country. So I hypothetically, (of course ) notify my country of residence that I intend to emigrate. I duly leave, climb on my yacht and proceed to travel the world, visiting various countries for short periods but never actually settling in any country permanently.

At the end of the day I would still be a citizen of a country, but not a resident in any one country.

The question we were asking ourselves is: Is this legal?
Perfectly possible for citizens of many countries, the UK being one. UK rule - put simply - is tell the tax man you are leaving to sail around the world. Leave and don't come back for more than an average of 90 days (maximum in any one year is 180) in any one tax year for at least 4 years. Yes I know there are a few more rules to follow and they keep changing but that is basically it.

During that time away you must also observe the residency rules of any country you visit. In most places that will mean not staying in one country for more than 180 days in any one calendar or tax year.

Worthwhile certainly for a UK citizen. Absolutely no use whatsover for a citizen of the USA as their tax authorities want the money wherever you happen to be. A bit harsh but then the USA imposes a lot less tax (in percentage terms) on most of their citizens to start off with.
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Old 18-10-2011, 05:09   #9
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

quite a few wealthy europeons are getting residency in south africa to avoid paying tax in europe,also it's a nice place to live.......

my advice move to europe,work 40 years then retire to south africa.................
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Old 18-10-2011, 05:17   #10
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

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quite a few wealthy europeons are getting residency in south africa to avoid paying tax in europe,also it's a nice place to live.......

my advice move to europe,work 40 years then retire to south africa.................
Ah heck! I've done it backwards. I've lived in South Africa for 39 years and was going to retire in Europe Actually I would far rather retire on a yacht somewhere. Still working towards that though.

I must admit though, a European pension paid out in South African Rands would be an attractive proposition for a lot of people. It makes sense.
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Old 18-10-2011, 05:48   #11
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

What is required to give up residency and the tax consequences will vary from country to country. In Canada, it used to be sufficient to be out of the country for 6 months plus a day; now you must establish that you have no settled intention to return and, as a consequence, if you retain a residence (or store items of value) in Canada, you will be deemed to have retained your residency.

If a Canadian resident, one must pay taxes on income earned anywhere in the world; if a non-resident, only on income earned in Canada. In the United States, if you are a citizen then you are required to pay taxes in the United States on your world income regardless of your residency (and indeed, this has led to some anomalies where people who were born in a hospital in the USA, but then returned to the home country of their parents and lived there for their entire lives, have been deemed to have to pay income tax for their life's earnings in the USA!).

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Old 18-10-2011, 05:56   #12
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

Quote:
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quite a few wealthy europeons are getting residency in south africa to avoid paying tax in europe,also it's a nice place to live.......

my advice move to europe,work 40 years then retire to south africa.................
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Old 18-10-2011, 06:00   #13
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

People are confusing residency with liability for income tax.

I am resident in Norway. I had intended buying a property in Australia for eventual use. I stopped because I would then have been liable for income tax in 3 countries. two is too many.
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Old 18-10-2011, 06:02   #14
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

depend's a lot on wealth and area,plus there is a political element to reclaim the land by squatting on it.

never had these problems in the good old days..............
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Old 18-10-2011, 06:07   #15
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

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People are confusing residency with liability for income tax.
I agree. Everyone has a residence (where you live), but it may not be the same as what the taxman considers. And in thr US it isn't just a residence as far as the federal gov't but also to the State gov't. .................But this is different thread.
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