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purplebadger
12th March 2012, 14:15
Hi,

Complete newbie here, so apologies if I'm in the wrong place, or these are stupid questions. I'm trying to understand whether working for a UK company, on a contract based in Belgium, via an umbrella company, is a worthwhile proposition.

I've been asked if I'm interested in a contract with a former employer. They're UK-based, and it would be them that would be paying me, but the contract they have that they want me to fulfil is for a company based in Belgium. The contract is initially for six months, but it's possible it might be extended. I'd be travelling back to the UK at weekends.

I'll have no dealings with the Belgian company on a financial/business level other than to do the work; I won't be billing them or claiming expenses from them or anything like that - that would all go through the UK company that's contracted me.

Can I use an umbrella company in this situation, or is what I'm suggesting not possible? One company I've spoken to has told me they could only do this for six months, but as far as I'm concerned - and this is probably where I'm probably being completely naive and not understanding how this works - it's the UK company I'm contracted to, the work they're asking me to do just happens to be in Belgium.

Any and all advice gratefully received.

LisaContractorUmbrella
12th March 2012, 15:08
You can work in most foreign countries for up to 183 days (6 months) without becoming liable for local taxes so you would be able to work through a UK umbrella company up until that point; we also have an international arm so should the contract extend it would be an easy transition from one to the other

purplebadger
13th March 2012, 08:40
You can work in most foreign countries for up to 183 days (6 months) without becoming liable for local taxes so you would be able to work through a UK umbrella company up until that point; we also have an international arm so should the contract extend it would be an easy transition from one to the other

Thanks for that, Lisa. I had no idea local taxes were relevant as long as I was paying them somewhere within the EU, but goes to show what I know.

Thanks also for the recommendation, I'll look into it. I suspect this contract has serious potential for extension, and while I don't want to be away from my family for extended periods of time, the money is very hard to turn down, but I'd need to understand what I'm going to take home both before and after the six months are up and I get caught up in international tax regimes.

I still don't understand why the Belgians even need to know, heh. They're just contracting from a UK company - seems to me that how that company supplies its staff should be transparent and irrelevant to the Belgians (even if I appreciate the tax man is interested wherever you are).

LisaContractorUmbrella
13th March 2012, 10:51
Thanks for that, Lisa. I had no idea local taxes were relevant as long as I was paying them somewhere within the EU, but goes to show what I know.

Thanks also for the recommendation, I'll look into it. I suspect this contract has serious potential for extension, and while I don't want to be away from my family for extended periods of time, the money is very hard to turn down, but I'd need to understand what I'm going to take home both before and after the six months are up and I get caught up in international tax regimes.

I still don't understand why the Belgians even need to know, heh. They're just contracting from a UK company - seems to me that how that company supplies its staff should be transparent and irrelevant to the Belgians (even if I appreciate the tax man is interested wherever you are).

Unfortunately the tax man is international :frown

isabelhunt
28th March 2012, 05:17
Hi Purplebadger,

You may find some helpful information about contracting in Belguim via a UK work permit, Contracting in Belgium without an EU Passport | Belgium | Contractor Taxation (http://contractortaxation.com/belgium/contracting-in-belgium-without-eu-passport)

You may need to pay taxes in country if you are there more than 183 days. Otherwise your tax is paid in UK.

moggy
28th March 2012, 09:22
Hi Purplebadger,

You may find some helpful information about contracting in Belguim via a UK work permit, Contracting in Belgium without an EU Passport | Belgium | Contractor Taxation (http://contractortaxation.com/belgium/contracting-in-belgium-without-eu-passport)

You may need to pay taxes in country if you are there more than 183 days. Otherwise your tax is paid in UK.

I believe both yourself and Lisa are missing the important part, which is its 183 midnights. So if you leave on a Monday morning and return Friday evening, you are only away 4 midnights a week, so you could in effect work away for 45 week not the 6 months previously stated.

LisaContractorUmbrella
28th March 2012, 11:55
I believe both yourself and Lisa are missing the important part, which is its 183 midnights. So if you leave on a Monday morning and return Friday evening, you are only away 4 midnights a week, so you could in effect work away for 45 week not the 6 months previously stated.

Slightly pedantic but thanks for the clarification.........what a strange first post :confused:

itsmo1
17th May 2012, 18:16
You can work in most foreign countries for up to 183 days (6 months) without becoming liable for local taxes so you would be able to work through a UK umbrella company up until that point; we also have an international arm so should the contract extend it would be an easy transition from one to the other

Can you please post more info (link etc) about this?

LisaContractorUmbrella
18th May 2012, 07:09
Can you please post more info (link etc) about this?

Here you go HM Revenue & Customs: Meaning of 'residence' and how it affects your tax (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/international/residence.htm)