Almost two years ago on this blog, we documented some of the countries around the world that offered the most interesting opportunities for contractors.
Bulgaria was one of them, on account of the openings that it offered – and continues to offer – in such sectors as agriculture, manufacturing and electronics. But what kind of all-round experience can you expect if you do choose to contract here?
More than simply a low-cost destination
One of the key reasons why so many international contractors seek out Link Global Management’s tax compliant payroll solutions in the first place, of course, is so that they can maximize their take-home pay.
This can also be assured in large part by Bulgaria’s highly reasonable living costs, with rent being an average of two thirds lower than in the United Kingdom, and other living expenses some 40% lower, according to Numbeo.
Indeed, the noted affordability of Bulgaria has helped to make it one of Europe’s go-to value holiday destinations in recent years, further assisted by the facilities and events on offer at major seaside resorts like Sunny Beach and Golden Sands. History enthusiasts are also well-rewarded in Bulgaria, however, for which Nessebar is a picturesque focal point.
Are you allowed to work in this intriguing corner of Europe?
Securing a contracting role in this European Union (EU) country is made somewhat easier for nationals of the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland by the fact that they can work here without having to hold a visa or work permit. If you are a national from outside of these areas, you will generally need to secure relevant approval to work in the country.
If you do require a work permit, the application for one will need to be made by the intended employer, and any work permit you are granted will only entitle you to work for that specific employer.
We can assist you in remaining abreast of your tax responsibilities
The Bulgarian tax year is the same as the calendar year, and you will be regarded as a tax resident in Bulgaria if you have spent more than 183 days in the country during the previous 12 months, or if your centre of vital interests is considered to be in Bulgaria. The latter will be determined on the basis of such personal and economic circumstances as family residence, real estate owned and place of work.
We’re sure here at Link Global Management that as a contractor in Bulgaria, the last thing you will wish to have to worry about is whether you are minimizing your tax obligations in a manner that abides by the law. This is where our own tax compliant payroll solutions can prove invaluable.
Call the Link Global Management team now on +44 (0)20 3908 7997 or send us an email, and we will be delighted to provide the guidance and assistance that you may require for your transition into life as an independent professional in Bulgaria.
What comes to your mind when you first think of Sweden? For many people, it’s the quintessential Scandinavian cool – in several senses of that word – that initially dominates their thoughts. Alternatively, you might be reminded of the stunningly picturesque landscapes that dominate the country and are even visible in urban areas. A fascinating history, delectable cuisine and a friendly welcome are other hallmarks of Sweden and Swedish life.
If you are considering contracting in this Nordic country, however, it is the diverse, knowledge-based economy – and the associated healthy range of opportunities for contractors – that are likely to especially interest you.
Indeed, despite some historical struggles including a severe financial crisis in the early 1990s, the Swedish economy today has become something of a paragon of stability and success. Unsurprisingly, then, the country is also now highly regarded for its standards of living, wellbeing, income and gender equality and environmental quality.
What are some of the legal and practical issues that you should be aware of, however, if contracting in Sweden appeals to you?
The facts that contractors in Sweden must know
The great news if you are an EU or EEA national is that there are no restrictions on your right to work in Sweden; there’s no need for you to even hold a visa or work permit. In the event of your stay exceeding three months, however, you will need to register for a residence permit.
As a general rule, nationals from outside these areas will require the relevant approval to work before their arrival in the country.
The tax situation is another crucial factor for foreign contractors in Sweden, especially in light of the country having one of the world’s highest personal income tax rates. The country’s tax year is the calendar year, and you will be considered to be resident for tax purposes if you are present in Sweden for six months or more.
Nonetheless, the sheer complexity of the Swedish taxation regime gives you good reason to seek out the services of specialists in global payroll solutions when you are contemplating contracting here.
Our team here at Link Global Management can provide such a service, simplifying the task of keeping up with your salary, taxes and social security so that you can focus on making the most of your new job and life in Sweden. Simply complete and submit our online contact form today to find out more about our in-depth expertise and the tailored guidance we can provide.
In the event that you do decide to contract in Canada, you are also sure to be entranced by the stark contrast between its large and sparsely populated areas of forest and tundra, and the urbanized parts in which the vast majority of the population lives. Canada is a place where the natural world is never far away, which is sure to add a captivating dimension to your leisure pursuits here.
But before we go any further, as a highly regarded global payroll vendor, what advice would we give you here at Link Global Management when you are looking to make the most seamless and stress-free transition to Canadian contracting?
Make sure you’ll actually be able to secure work here!
There is a wide range of countries whose nationals do not require an entry visa if they are interested in contracting in Canada; these include, but are not exclusive to, the likes of the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
Whichever country you come from, though, you will be required to secure a work permit before starting work in Canada. A Labour Market Opinion (LMO) is usually needed to support the work permit, and if this is the case for you, the LMO will not be issued until the employer has demonstrated that they have undertaken recruiting efforts in Canada.
These factors, together with the type of work to be done, mean the processing time for a Canadian work permit can greatly vary; nonetheless, about two to five months – including job advertisement time – is typical.
What should you know about taxation in Canada?
The Canadian tax year corresponds with the calendar year, with the deadline to file a tax return being 30th April of the following year. It is also by this date that any balance of tax due must be paid. This deadline is final, unless it falls on a weekend, in which case, the filing deadline is normally extended to the next business day.
A number of factors determine tax residency in Canada. These include the habitual residence of you or your family in the country, whether you have immediate family relations and economic ties in Canada, and whether you are physically present in Canada for 183 days or more in a calendar year.
Don’t look anywhere else for specialized advice and guidance
Our many years of experience as a global payroll vendor here at Link Global Management leave us well-placed to answer your questions on any aspect of your tax planning as a would-be contractor in Canada; however, we can also assist you with various other elements of your work arrangements.
Send us an email today, and we’ll get swiftly back in touch with you to discuss how we can help you to thoroughly prepare for your new life in this enchanting and diverse part of the world.
The Republic of Ireland makes a lot of sense as a place to head for independent professionals, and not just because of such factors as English being widely spoken, the friendly welcome extended to outsiders, and the many urban and natural stimulations that can be enjoyed here.
Indeed, it already feels like a long time since Ireland’s economy was going through the doldrums as a result of the late 2000s and early 2010s global economic slowdown. Ireland has returned to swift economic growth in recent years, and offers a standard of living matched by few other European countries.
So, what are the basics that you should be aware of if you are thinking about contracting in Ireland, and could do with the global payroll management and tax planning knowhow that we are renowned for here at Link Global Management?
How easy will it be for you to find a role in Ireland?
This naturally depends largely on your area of expertise, although there are a number of sectors in which Ireland continues to experience skills shortages, ranging from business, finance and engineering to IT, transport and logistics.
Furthermore, there’s no doubt that the presence of such multinational companies as Apple, Dell, Facebook, Google and Microsoft has helped to maximize opportunities in the country, even if there remains intense competition for skilled jobs.
One factor that will definitely help you as a prospective contractor in Ireland if you are an EU or EEA national, is the unrestricted right that you have to work here without the need to hold a visa or work permit. Nationals from outside these areas, however, will generally have to secure the relevant approval to work before their arrival in Ireland.
We can help you to stay abreast of the tax and payroll situation
As is the case if you contract in any other part of the world, if you are looking to become an independent professional in Ireland, you must stay on the right side of the local tax law, while ensuring you are not hit twice in the pocket by the need to pay tax in both Ireland and your home country.
Thankfully, Ireland has double tax agreements with most countries, which helps contractors here to largely avoid the menace of double taxation. It is vital to be mindful, however, that the Irish tax year runs from 1st January until 31st December, as well as that you will become tax resident in Ireland if you are physically present in the country for 183 days or more in a tax year, or spend a combined total of 280 days or more here in the previous and current tax year.
On the tax-residence point, being present in Ireland at any time on a given day means that day is counted towards the total number of days spent in the country. Furthermore, if you do become tax resident, you will be taxable on worldwide income by default, unless a double taxation treaty is in place to exempt you from this – so you should be sure to check beforehand.
Would you like to benefit from tailored and informed advice, guidance and services from respected experts in global payroll management and tax compliance? If so, the Link Global Management team is always available to contact by email; you can also call us on +44 (0)20 3908 7997.
When many independent professionals consider the merits of Southeast Asia as a region in which to seek contracting openings, Malaysia may not be the first destination that comes to their mind, especially given the appeal of neighboring Singapore.
However, much as Malaysia is an enduringly popular country in which to take a holiday on account of its captivating cities, jaw-dropping natural beauty and relaxed vibes, so contractors may be drawn to this vibrant and multicultural nation for many of the same reasons.
You’ll get to enjoy quite the lifestyle as a contractor here
For contractors from the West, Malaysia is at once fascinatingly exotic, and also somehow reassuringly familiar. The government system here, for instance, is closely modeled on the Westminster parliamentary system, while – despite the country’s official language being Malaysian – English is recognized and widely spoken, including in business.
Malaysia has recorded impressive GDP growth figures in recent years, thanks in part to highly productive oil and natural gas reserves, but also burgeoning technology and services sectors such as IT, sales and marketing, ecommerce, supply chain, banking and finance.
All of these factors – as well as the generally very low living costs, well-developed infrastructure, schools and medical care, and high level of friendliness and personal safety – could combine to give you a lifestyle that is rich in more ways than one when you set up as a contractor in Malaysia.
Is it straightforward to secure a contracting role in Malaysia?
Unfortunately, the process of trying to land a Malaysian contracting job in the first place can present a certain level of consternation, given that you probably won’t be able to obtain the appropriate work permit and work visa until you have an employer willing to sponsor you. Furthermore, you would need to secure a new sponsor every time you decided to take on a new contract.
This, and the mistakes that can easily be made by independent workers attempting to navigate the Malaysian tax system, can make it a very good idea to get in touch with a trusted professional employment organization to take much of the stress out of the process.
Here at Link Global Management, for example, we can engage you on our payroll and deduct your tax and social security at source on a PAYE basis, with the relevant payments being made to the authorities on your behalf.
On the subject of the tax system, Malaysia’s tax year corresponds with the calendar year, running from January 1 until December 31, and personal income tax rates rise as the worker’s income does, starting at 0% for the lowest earners and being capped at 28% for the most well-remunerated.
Link Global Management can make your new life easier
Could Malaysia be the most rewarding ‘outside’ contender among the destinations for your next contracting job? If so, we can help you to derive the greatest benefit from your time in Southeast Asia, by serving as your go-to professional employment organization.
Call +44 (0)20 3908 7997 for an in-depth discussion and advice tailored to your situation, in relation to everything from initial planning to the payroll services that would match your needs best.
Spain is such an archetypal holiday destination for many around Europe and beyond, synonymous with white sandy beaches, tasty tapas and Moorish castles simply begging for exploration, that it can be easy to overlook just how fruitful and rewarding a place it can also be to contract.
Make Link Global Management your choice of payroll vendor in Spain, and you can expect the assistance and guidance that will enable you to derive the maximum enjoyment – and minimum stress – out of your time working here. But what else should contractors know about Spain?
A country that has come a long way since the financial crisis
The late 2000s and early 2010s global economic slowdown was certainly perilous for Spain, but the country’s economy has rebounded impressively in the last few years.
Indeed, the Spanish economy recorded 2.5 per cent growth over the course of 2018, marking the fifth year in a row of solid economic growth, and even giving Spain the fastest growth rate of all of the big Eurozone economies.
Of at least as much relevance to someone contemplating contracting here, however, is the wide range of sectors in the country that continue to require the talent of independent workers from overseas. While the tourism industry still booms during the traditional peak months, such industries as construction, ICT, biotech, health and social services also present a range of openings.
But don’t be caught out by the legal and tax requirements!
The abundance of things for sun-seekers, history buffs and city slickers alike to see and do in Spain – as well as the fact that EU citizens don’t even need to obtain a work permit to be permitted to work here – can make it easy to forget about certain other crucial requirements.
There are, in fact, two general requirements that you must be aware of as a foreigner moving to Spain for any purpose: obtaining an NIE number and signing the foreigners’ register.
NIE is pronounced ‘near’, and is short for Numero de Identificacion de Extranjeros. An NIE number is the foreigners’ equivalent of the national identity number, known as a DNI, that all Spaniards have. The foreigners’ register, meanwhile, must be signed if you intend to spend 90 days or more in Spain.
If you are coming to Spain from outside the EU, you will not be able to start work until you have obtained a working visa and residency card. The sponsoring employer often assumes responsibility for helping their new worker to secure these documents.
Make us your dependable choice of payroll vendor in Spain
Finally, it is also strongly advised that even those seeking English-facing roles in Spain ensure they are capable in basic Spanish, given that firms in the country almost always expect professionals to speak the local language in some form.
Are you considering making Spain the next stop in your overseas contracting career? If so, our team can give you the benefit of the best-tailored and most informed services, advice and guidance.
Call +44 (0)20 3908 7997 for a suitably in-depth conversation with one of Link Global Management’s well-qualified and experienced experts.
A cosmopolitan culture, no shortage of opportunities to catch some rays on the beach and a strong, high-income economy help to explain why Australia remains such an alluring destination for contractors, despite its comparatively high tax rates. But what else do you need to know if you wish to work Down Under with a little assistance from our own contractor advisors in Australia?
It’s certainly quite the lifestyle choice…
Whatever you could possibly desire from a place to work on a contract basis, it seems that Australia offers (almost) everything.
If a period of time spent living and working in this part of the world has long been on your bucket list, you can expect the opportunity to experience all of the rugged Outback rock formations, urban charms and captivating wildlife that you have long associated with Australian life.
So, what steps are necessary to secure the right to work here?
Before you will be able to start a contract in Australia, you must ensure you have the relevant work rights. Detailed information about visas can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website at www.homeaffairs.gov.au.
The 457 visa was once the most common visa for Australian or overseas employers wishing to sponsor skilled workers from abroad to work temporarily in the country.
Known in full as the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457), it was introduced shortly after John Howard became Prime Minister in 1996, but was abolished in 2018 by then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and partially replaced by a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.
Finally, that tax…
One of the main reasons you are likely to approach our contractor advisors in Australia here at Link Global Management is the unparalleled assistance they can give to ensure you always stay on the right side of the country’s tax law.
The Australian tax year runs from July 1 until June 30. Tax rates can be as high as 45%, with each person and company being required to lodge a tax return each year.
Individuals in Australia are able to claim a range of tax allowances, however, the most common being Living Away From Home Allowance, or LAFHA. This is principally made up of two components covering food and accommodation during your time living away from your normal place of residence.
The key deduction to be aware of, meanwhile, is superannuation. This is essentially your pension fund, and is about a tenth of your rate or salary paid into a chosen fund. If you will only be spending a short period of time as a worker in Australia, you are entitled to withdraw an accrued superannuation amount upon departure. Bear in mind, though, that tax is levied on your superannuation contributions both on their way into and out of your fund.
Do you have any other questions about what you can expect as a contractor in this diverse, fascinating and rewarding country? If so, our contractor advisors in Australia here at Link Global Management are always available to provide suitably tailored guidance.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work as an independent professional in the country that is not only the geographically largest sovereign state in the Middle East and the second-largest in the Arab world, but also the birthplace and centre of Islam?
With its domestic and business culture that places such a strong emphasis on religious life, there is no doubt that Saudi Arabia offers an experience quite unlike anywhere else for contractors. So, what are some of the factors that you should be mindful of before seeking work here?
The role of Islam in Saudi Arabian life
It would be quite the understatement to say that in Saudi Arabia, religion – specifically, Islam – is the underlying principle in all aspects of life. In a country where the typically Western practice of strict division between religion and other areas of life is absent, Allah and his Prophet are everywhere – even in business meetings.
It is therefore crucial for non-Muslim contractors looking to work with an umbrella company in Saudi Arabia to become well-versed in Muslim philosophies and tenets, so fundamentally do these relate to the daily lives of the population.
While, as a foreign contractor, you would be granted freedom of religion in Saudi Arabia, no religious practices other than Islam are permitted, and proselytising is illegal.
What is the current economic picture in Saudi Arabia?
While the Saudi government’s ‘Saudization’ policy of recent years – placing an emphasis on the greater employment of Saudi nationals – has impacted on the opportunities open to overseas workers in the country, there are still over 10 million foreigners living in the Desert Kingdom, with about 125,000 of them estimated to be workers from Western countries.
It is very rare, however, and almost impossible, for foreigners to come to Saudi Arabia and only begin looking for work on arrival; indeed, you will not be able to secure a work permit in the country without a concrete employment offer.
As an expat worker in the kingdom, you will have a sponsor – usually your employer – who will act as both a guardian and guarantor during your time working in the country. You cannot apply for a Saudi Arabia work permit yourself; instead, your sponsor must apply for one on your behalf.
Despite the ‘Saudization’ push, plenty of opportunities do continue to exist in Saudi Arabia for foreign workers with a high level of experience and expertise in such fields as engineering, IT, healthcare, medicine, telecommunications and construction.
Are you seeking out the ideal umbrella company in Saudi Arabia?
Whatever the sector in which you aspire to contract in the Arabian Peninsula, we can serve as your invaluable partners here at Link Global Management. We will engage you on our payroll so that such matters as your salary and tax obligations will be appropriately and efficiently dealt with for the entirety of your time in the country.
Enquire today to our advisors, and we’ll work closely with you to ensure all of your professional arrangements are in good shape for your contracting career in this fascinating part of the world.
Norway has long been a highly desirable contracting destination, on account of such factors as its highly developed and stable economy, a strong social security system and some of the highest standards of living in the world.
However, there are also certain complexities about life as a contractor in this part of the world for which you may need to turn to our contracting advisors in Norway for assistance and guidance.
Will you need a visa to work in Norway?
If you are a national of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA), you will be able to work in Norway without having to seek a visa. You will probably require a visa, however, if you are a national of a non-EEA country.
An EEA national with a valid identity card or passport is able to legally reside and work in the country without a visa for three months, and is only required to register in Norway if they intend to work and stay there for more than three months.
An exemption also applies for six months for skilled workers. As for if you are an expat from outside the EEA, the exact process that you will have to go through will depend on the kind of work that you wish to do.
What tax system can you expect?
If you choose to become a regular employee of an employment solutions provider – which operates much like an umbrella company would in the UK, being a fully registered and compliant Norwegian business – you can expect your taxes to be deducted at source via the service provider’s payroll.
Indeed, if you are familiar with the UK tax system, its Norwegian counterpart is similarly structured, but with different rates. The combined municipal and state taxes, for instance, can be regarded as equivalent to Pay As You Earn (PAYE) income tax, while other social security taxes levied in the country are essentially the Norwegian version of National Insurance Contributions (NICs).
However, even for contractors from the UK, the Norwegian tax system can be tricky to get to grips with, not least given the very dated and complicated nature of the tax treaties between Norway and the UK.
We can tell you the ‘lie of the land’
Whichever country you are coming from when you are looking to contract in Norway, it’s well worth engaging the services of our contracting advisors in Norway here at Link Global Management, so that you don’t put a single foot wrong during your time in the country.
We can put your mind at rest when you are seeking to minimize your tax liabilities as a contractor in Norway, while remaining fully compliant with the law.
Simply enquire to our team today, and we’ll help you to immediately start making the most of your life contracting in this highly socially and financially rewarding corner of Scandinavia.
Turkey has long been a location of prime importance as the gateway between the West and central Asia; indeed, Turkish contractors are well-represented in these regions. If, meanwhile, you are a contractor from outside Turkey with an interest in working in the country, you are likely to find a particular abundance of opportunities being offered on major infrastructure work.
However, it is also true that it isn’t always straightforward to work as an independent contractor in Turkey, with various legalities relating to immigration, tax and admin work needing to be navigated.
How easy is it to secure contracting opportunities here?
As aforementioned, Turkey offers a good number of jobs for overseas contractors, especially with regard to construction and engineering. However, one of the most potentially onerous requirements is that of generally needing an employer sponsor if you are to secure the appropriate work permit and work visa for the country.
It’s sometimes difficult for independent workers to find clients that are willing to sponsor them, and even if they accomplish this, a new sponsor is needed each time the worker decides to take on a new contract. This can quickly cause paperwork to accumulate.
You also need to be aware of the local tax situation
Putting aside the matter of securing sponsorship from an employer, one of the other tricky aspects of life as a contractor in Turkey is ensuring compliance with the country’s intricate tax system.
You may still need to pay tax in your home country alongside that payable in Turkey, so you should make yourself aware of both Turkey’s tax laws and the legislation applicable in your home country in relation to overseas earnings.
Working on a permanent contract in the country is often preferable, as many companies employing you on this basis will handle your tax under the PAYE (pay-as-you-earn) system, thereby saving you from having to lodge a tax return yourself.
Allow us to lessen your worries as your payroll vendor in Turkey
The great news is that when you turn to Link Global Management, we can engage you on our payroll so that your income is paid by us in the form of a salary, allowances and expenses, and your tax and social security deducted at source on a PAYE basis. You’ll therefore be able to rest easy in the knowledge that payments will be made to the relevant authorities on your behalf.
We are far from just a basic payroll vendor in Turkey, also working in accordance with your personal circumstances and Turkish law to minimise your tax and social security liabilities where possible.
Don’t make serious mistakes while contracting in Turkey that could cost you a lot of money or even have serious legal repercussions. Instead, call upon our payroll services for Turkey contractors, making the most of our impeccable specialised knowledge and more than two decades’ experience of assisting international contractors like you to make the most of their lives and earnings.