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Thread: Working in USA

  1. #1

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    Default Working in USA

    Am keen to find out the tax situation of working in the USA. Have a limited company in the UK I would ideally like to use. The contract will be just less than 6 months.

    The plan is to spend half the time in the US and the other half in UK with US for client meetings and UK for doing the work. Over time I could spend more time in the UK than in the US but will need to kick off things in the US to begin with.

    Do I need any special via to attend meetings/work in the US being a british citizen ?
    Do I have to pay any local taxes ?
    Can I invoice for all the work from the UK Ltd company to the US Company ?
    As the work will be less than 6 months do I have to pay local US taxes, can I claim non residence ?
    The US Company is a large multinational, so am not sure if they will like some options, but wont know till i ask.



    Ideally would prefer a simple solution without any additional visa's to get a quick start and invoice from the UK company.

    Also if there is a more efficient situation of invoicing the US company for work, would be glad to hear. US company should be ok paying me from any country's company.

    Please advice/help. Its urgent. Need to make a decision by tomorrow.

    NewbeeUSA

  2. #2

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    aoxomoxoa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koradma View Post
    Do I need any special via to attend meetings/work in the US being a british citizen ?

    NewbeeUSA
    You don't need a special visa to attend meetings, but to work in the USA you do. It can be a bit of a fine line between the two but I would be wary of assuming you can get away with it - I've known a fair number of people who've been turned round and put on a flight back to the UK because they didn't have the right paperwork, and that's with global consulting firms who ought to know the rules!

    OTOH I did about three weeks for a client in NY a couple of years ago on the basis that I was just in meetings/discussions, even though in practice we were doing some real work, and wasn't seriously challenged by the passport people.

    Good luck.

  3. #3

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    As aox said, you need to be a bit wary about regular trips to the US for business.

    I did about 8 months in the US in 2003, travelling once/twice a month. Make sure you have an agenda from your client saying you are there for workshops/meetings with you as a participant only.

    One of our guys got told it was his last trip without a visa and next time he'd be sent home on the next flight. If that happens, good luck trying to take the kids to Disney in the future.

  4. #4

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    Be very wary about what you take over as well. I had to give a training course over there and took 10 reasonably hefty manuals across. I stupidly ticked something on the landing card that indicated I had non personal items on me, not sure what it was exactly but thought it better to declare them than get caught.

    Spent well over an hour standing there while someone virtually ripped my bag to bits searching it being watched by a slobbering dog that was eyeing my throat up and a twitchy guy with a big gun.

    So much for credit for being honest!!
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by aoxomoxoa View Post
    It can be a bit of a fine line between the two but I would be wary of assuming you can get away with it - I've known a fair number of people who've been turned round and put on a flight back to the UK because they didn't have the right paperwork, and that's with global consulting firms who ought to know the rules!

    Good luck.
    It seems like frequent trips back and forth is an issue. I am currently planning to work 2-3 weeks at a time and work the rest of the month here. In effect would be making 1 trip every month or so for 5 months.
    This it seems from the other replies that I would be subjected to *VIP* treatment.

    What are my options then? Can I get a business visa to help me travel in and out freely for the next 6 months or so. If so is it obtainable soonish or can I make the first trip and apply meanwhile ?

    Newbee

  6. #6

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    The rules are actually reasonably straightforward. You need a visa for any type of "productive work", which includes pretty much everything except participating in meetings (with a few exceptions). It includes delivering training, for example, which is not allowed under the visa waiver scheme. You can lie (not advisable), but if you're interviewed and caught, you will have violated the terms of the visa waiver and will always require a visa from that point on, including for routine travel. It probably isn't worth discussing the taxation issues until you're clear about your eligibility to work in the U.S. However, as a resident for tax purposes, you would be taxed on your worldwide income, and taxation is particularly complicated for a director of a foreign corporation receiving dividends and other income.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pondlife View Post

    I did about 8 months in the US in 2003, travelling once/twice a month. Make sure you have an agenda from your client saying you are there for workshops/meetings with you as a participant only.

    One of our guys got told it was his last trip without a visa and next time he'd be sent home on the next flight. If that happens, good luck trying to take the kids to Disney in the future.
    Thank you for sharing your experience. Am planning to travel once a month for next 5 months. Stay 2-3 weeks at a time. As this was almost 10 year ago, am keen to understand how things have changed since?

    You mention one of your guys being given a last warning, how recent was this ? How did he resolve his future trips. Am considering taking the first trip 'for business meetings with an agenda' and the next one I should probably apply for business visa. Am not sure being a small Ltd company will get that.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post

    Spent well over an hour standing there while someone virtually ripped my bag to bits searching it being watched by a slobbering dog that was eyeing my throat up and a twitchy guy with a big gun.
    Have had horror stories before for tourists, am not sure I will walk easily everytime i go in with a laptop in tow.

    Surely kids wont forgive me for ruling disneyland forever

  9. #9

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    Llook up the us department of immigration and naturalisation and visa. you'll probably need an h1 visa, good luck with that! you need a company to sponsor you and show they have attempted to recruit and could not find a us citizen to do the job. alternate route is to show you are establishing a US office of a UK firm and you are a manager, or start a new company from scratch over there by investing usd 500k ! iirc. haven't read it for a while. decided the risk of getting involved in a traffic accident, getting shot, being unemployed with no benefits, having every town looking the same and generally the only good thing going was stuff was cheap, made me decide to stay here and pay more taxes. good choice as they closed the office i was due to move to 6 months later.

    do not try and wing it (lie) one of or Dev guys gave the wrong answer to a question he was asked and got a 10 year ban from going back! the large UK utility company involved then started getting proper visas for people!

    your best bet might be to move to somewhere in the subcontinent and apply from there using the gen card system (its a diversification lottery, not the main visa system that a lot of people assume)
    Signed sealed and delivered.

  10. #10

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    From my understanding of the diversity lottery, it takes into account where you were born not where you live, so applying from an eligible EU country might not work if your birth certificate lists an ineligible country (e.g. the UK)

    Best bet would be as others have mentioned, get your company to sponsor you or blag it as just going over there to participate in meetings if it's going to be an irregular thing.

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