Contractors’ Questions: Which ten foreign cities are the most lucrative?

Contractor’s Question: This ContractorUK news article interestingly reveals that Mumbai in India is the most lucrative overseas contracting city. But it’s not clear which other cities make the top 10, in terms of where disposable income tends to be highest for Britons who work in them temporarily.

Is this information available please? And although tax should apparently not be the main consideration, I’d also like to know the tax as a percentage of income figures for the top 10; are these figures available too?

Expert’s Answer: The ten most lucrative overseas contracting cities are ranked, in order, below in Table 1.0, in Euros (€). The rankings were compiled by taking the contractor’s total Pay (an annual average), and then deducting both the Cost of Living and Tax & Social Security Contributions.

Where the city’s tax as a percentage of income figure is not displayed in Table 2.0, which shows the 10 highest tax-as-a-percentage-of-income cities, the percentage is displayed in brackets in Table 1.0.

Table 1.0 - Most lucrative overseas work-destinations for UK contractors

Rank/ Country (City) Disposable Income (€) 
1. India (Mumbai) 115,585
2. China (Shanghai) 101,313
3. Switzerland (Zurich) 98,368 (25%)
4. UAE (Dubai) 95,348 (0%)
5. Hong Kong 78,226 (14%)
6. California/ USA (San Francisco) 75,924
7. Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) 71,458 (21%)
8. New York/USA (NYC) 69,554
9. Singapore 65,174 (9%)
10. Australia (Sydney) 52,282

Table 2.0 - Most taxing work-destinations for contractors

Rank/ Country (City)  Tax as a % of income
1. Belgium (Brussels) 50%
2. France (Paris) 37%
3. California/ USA (San Francisco) 36%
4. UK (London) 34%
5. Sweden (Stockholm) 34%
6. India (Mumbai) 34%
7. China (Shanghai) 34%
8. New York/USA (NYC) 33%
9. Australia (Sydney) 33%
10. Ontario/Canada (Toronto) 32%

The expert’s answer is based on 2018 tax year data exclusively provided to ContractorUK by Access Financial, an advisory to Britons contracting overseas.

Monday 3rd Dec 2018
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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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