Thinking About Taking A Job Outside The US?

By: Pete
Date posted: 06.17.2013 (5:48 pm) | Write a Comment  (0 Comments)

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taxesIt’s a mistake that happens over and over. For those working for a large multinational company, it’s rarely an issue. They offer you a job abroad and take care of all the moving/taxes/legal issues so you barely notice the impact. They even usually offset any tax impact by higher pay/paid housing, etc.

For everyone else though, it’s a very different story. I’ve been thinking about eventually going to work abroad, possibly in Asia (Singapore is the most likely choice for now). Both my wife and I have lived several months abroad and would love to give it a try, especially with young kids who could learn so much from an experience abroad. I don’t know how it would happen but it’s unlikely to be my company offering me a position abroad as it only has a handful of small offices abroad. More likely would be me going out and finding a job in a financial institution abroad.

One Common Mistake

One very common mistake that those in my situation make is to not look into the tax options or consequences before making the move. It usually would not be a deal-breaker but if you’re going to end up making more (or more likely) less money than expected because of the expat taxes, it’s really worth meeting with a tax specialist, that will help you the basic setup.

Who Can Help?

Unfortunately, the cheap options are not the best ones in most cases. Usually, the best option is to find accountants working for American accounting companies located in that country. They’d already have hundreds of clients with similar situations and would know about the differences between that company’s tax system and the US one. They’ll then be able to help in doing all of the other stuff (salary negotiations, housing, banking, taxes, etc) in the right way from the very start.

Just look at this document from Price WaterHouse for US citizens that live and work in Japan and you get an idea of everything that’s involved:

Yes, you could always try to figure it out on your own but it’s very likely that you will spend tens of hours and still come out with a very imperfect understanding. Instead, you should consider consulting one of them which could end up saving you thousands of dollars and even more headaches.

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