Is Andorra Worth Considering?
This low tax hideaway has some advantages........
Andorra is somewhat off the beaten track and although it is no longer a pure tax haven since they introduced an income tax in 2015, it might still be interesting for some.
Andorra is situated in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, around 200km from Barcelona. It has a population of 76,000 inhabitants. The locals mostly speak Catalan, Spanish and French. English is now taught in the schools and becoming more common.
Andorra is a beautiful and peaceful place to live. Residents are mostly left alone by the small state.
It has 100% coverage of super-fast fibre broadband which might make up for its lack of an airport or connectivity with Europe’s rail system. The nearest airport is Barcelona, a 2-and-a-half-hour drive from the Principality.
For those seeking a quiet life and low tax rates amongst spectacular mountain scenery Andorra could be a perfect choice. There are a broad selection of conservative and safe banks in Andorra to store your wealth.
Andorra also boasts the lowest VAT rate in Europe at 4.5% for most purchases. It is certainly a haven for duty free shopping.
Andorra is not a member of the European Union but uses the Euro for all transactions.
Residents of Andorra are taxed on their worldwide income. The first €24,000 is not taxed, the next €16,000 is taxed at 5%. Amounts over €40,000 are taxed at 10%.
It wouldn’t be too difficult to imagine a couple earning €80,000 and keeping their tax bill down to €4,000 per year. Any income above this level could be structured to be received via a corporation with careful planning. This would let you live, at least part of the year, in this pleasant country with a minimal tax liability.
There is no inheritance tax or wealth tax. Capital gains are treated the same as income with a rate of 10%
It may also be meaningful for some citizens of high tax countries to prove that they are tax residents and paying tax elsewhere. In any case tax in Andorra is not too burdensome, although I do think it’s a pity that they introduced it at all. No doubt they were pressurised by organisations like the EU and the OECD.
Residency is relatively easy to obtain. Like most jurisdictions they want you to prove that you have no criminal record and have enough funds to live there. Your residency will normally be approved in less than 3 moths.
This is not a place to gain citizenship easily. You’ll have to live in Andorra for 20 years before you can apply. The only exception is if you marry an Andorran, then it’s is cut to 3 years.
So, if you’re in search of a country in Europe with pleasant scenery, no taxes and a more laissez faire existence than most of Europe Andorra might be worth a visit to see if it could work for you.