10 Countries You Can Live Tax Free
I spent more than 10 years living in Monaco. It is located on the Sunny French Riviera close to the Italian border. Monaco is the second smallest country in the world after Vatican City. There are no annual property taxes and no inheritance tax oif you leave your estate to your spouse or children. Monaco is a great place to live. It’s easy to make new friends and there are always lots of social events like Galas, Opera, Dinners to keep you entertained. There is a lot of commentary online about how expensive it is to get a residence card in Monaco. In my experience the process was simple. After you have a Schengen Visa, which is not required for EU residents, you need a letter from your bank, confirming that you can afford to live in the Principality and proof that you have a residence available for you to live in. Many people I know use Monaco as a European base and spend 6 months here, spending the remainder of the year in other locations.
Panama is located in Central America to the South of Costa Rica. Panama City is a modern city populated by skyscrapers.Panama has a territorial tax system so if your income is generated outside the country you will pay no tax there. Panama is open for business and one of the easiest residences in the world to obtain if your home country is on it’s list of ‘Friendly Nations’. You will get immediate permanent residence by depositing $5,000 in a local bank and proving at least one economic tie to the country. This is achieved by incorporating a Panamanian company. After 5 years of residency you can apply for citizenship.
The Bahamas is the third richest country in the Americas after the USA and Canada. There are no taxes on income, capital gains or inheritance. The Bahamas is a member of the British Commonwealth and has been independent since 1973. It is home to around 400,000 English speaking inhabitants. It is politically stable and real estate purchase and rental prices are moderate compared to places like Monaco and The Cayman Islands.
Permanent residency is easy to obtain if you buy a home on The Bahamas. According to the government, applications from homeowners who have a home worth more than $1.5m will be fast tracked. There are other residence schemes including The Annual Residence Permit. This is simple to obtain and does not require any investment. There is an annual fee of $1,000. This seems like a small price to pay to live in a tax free paradise a short 20 minute hop from Miami.
If you want the opportunity to live tax free in a sunny country in western Europe Portugal has much to offer.
From the beaches of the Algarve to the historic city of Lisbon, Portugal has something for everybody.
For me, that something is the Non Habitual Resident’s Scheme (NHR). Anyone who has not habitually resided in Portugal during the last 6 years can apply to the tax authorities to become a non habitual resident of Portugal. Once accepted the Portuguese authorities will give you a 10 year guarantee of no taxes on certain types of income. Provided you structure your affairs to make sure that any income you have is paid as a dividend from your Company it will be free of Portugal’s otherwise high tax rates.
There may be something to be said for living in a ‘real’ European country that’s not an obvious tax haven. At least 10,000 people in Portugal are non habitual residents. It’s good for the Portuguese economy as these people are spending money and investing in Portugal.
Costa Rica is a Central American country, with Nicaragua to the North and Panama to the South. In the Central Valley area around the capital city of San Jose it has an almost perfect year round climate. Temperatures are never more than 25C or less than 20C. There is a tropical climate with a dry season from November until April. The rest of the year you will find sunny mornings and rain for an hour or two in the afternoons.
Costa Rica has a territorial tax system, so any income from outside Costa Rica isn’t taxed there. The bureaucracy here, like much of Latin America, moves slowly. After you submit your residency application you are allowed to stay indefinitely but it will take around a year to get your residence card.
The United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates has no income tax or capital gains tax. Until recently it didn’t have sales tax either. It is home to thousands of European ex-pats who mostly stay in the cities of Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Air links to the rest of the World from these cities are amongst the best in the Worls thanks to the expansion of Ethiad and Emirates airlines.
You can live a very comfortable life here. You will find mega malls and familiar chain restaurants like Cheesecake Factory and PF Changs as well as Michelin star restaurants.
Immigration here involves starting a Company and getting a residence permit as an investor or employee of the Company. It is straightforward to arrange. The Emirates are keen to attract new investment. It is a perfect location to live tax free for many entrepreneurs.
Turks and Caicos
The Turks and Caicos is an archipelago of 40 islands in the Atlantic Ocean to the South East of The Bahamas. Most of the activity in The Turks and Caicos is on the island of Providenciales. This is the most developed island where you’ll find most of the shopping and government offices. The other islands are less developed.
The Turks and Caicos is a zero tax country. It is a British protectorate and you can live here without ever filing a tax return. It’s definitely for those who prefer a peaceful and quiet existence though.
You can easily get a residence permit if you are of independent means. There are several categories but the most attractive for ex-pats is the annual residence permit which costs $1,500 per year.
Georgia is located right between Europe and Asia and borders Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey and Russia. Georgia’s Capital is the ancient city of Tbilisi. It is home to excellent food and under-rated Georgian wine. Georgia is very liberal on immigration. You can stay for a whole year without any kind of residence permit or intrusive questions. After that year you can pop across the border to Turkey or Armenia for a few days and then return for another year. Georgia has a territorial tax system so any income you earn outside Georgia will be tax free.
Georgia has a pleasant beach resort, situated on the Black Sea. Batumi is not well known to western tourists but it’s very popular with Russians, Turks and Iranians. Property is relatively inexpensive. You can still buy apartments in Batumi or Tbilisi for $50,000. You will need to invest $100,000 though, if you want a longer term residence permit.
The Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands are in the Western Caribbean. There are 3 islands – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The Caymans are one of the most famous tax havens and renowned for having no income, capital gains or inheritance taxes.
You will enjoy an amazing climate here and as one of the most developed countries in the Caribbean there is no shortage of good restaurants and other friendly ex-pats.
Property is expensive here. A 3 bedroom apartment with ocean views will cost upwards of $5,000,000.
To get a residence permit to live on The Cayman Islands you will have to demonstrate annual income of CI$120,000. Alternatively you can deposit CI$400,000 in a local financial institution and invest CI$1,000,000 of which CI$500,000 must be in real estate.
Given the close proximity to the US, the sophisticated financial services available and the political stability as a British Overseas Territory the Caymans are one of the most attractive tax havens, giving European havens a run for their money.
If you’d like to spend time in Asia, Malaysia could be a good option. Malaysia is actively seeking immigrants under the governments My Second Home programme (MM2H). Malaysia is an ideal base in Asia with good transport links and proximity to the financial haven of Singapore for your banking needs. It has a world class city in Kuala Lumpur where you’ll find everything you could possibly need for a comfortable life.
Malaysia has a territorial tax system so you will be able to live here tax free provided your income comes from outside Malaysia.
You can qualify for MM2H if you have monthly income of $2500 or deposit around $120,000.