The Advantages of working abroad for the Irish Contractor. Part 2

Accounting Pro gets quite a lot of queries about working abroad, particularly in Continental Europe. This can be lucrative (rates in some European countries are quite a lot higher than Ireland – Technical roles in the Medical devices area can pay double what they pay in Ireland for some contract roles) however there can be quite a few challenges with this too – logistically, geographically and of course where do you pay tax? Incorrect advice from an accounting provider can lead to all sorts of bother for a contractor. The last thing a contractor wants to deal with while working abroad and dealing with all the challenges this involves are accounting issues!

Recently we were approached by an Irish contractor who secured and started a contract in Germany and been advised to set up a UK Limited company by an Umbrella company (no one can work out why this course of action was advised) and was then advised to go to the German Labour exchange to register within a couple of weeks of arrival. When he presented himself to the German Labour exchange they asked him why he had come there and promptly told him to leave! The fact of the matter is that a 183-day residency rule in your home country normally applies (there is an exception or 2) before you must pay tax in a jurisdiction outside your home country and this can be extended in some circumstances too – so keep a detailed log of how many days you have worked with abroad during the course of your contract.

Here are some other points to bear in mind when considering contracting abroad:

  • Review whether you are entitled to a tax refund from revenue in the year you leave
  • Review if you qualify for tax exempt travel expenses while working abroad
  • Review if you can claim relocation expenses on a tax-exempt basis
  • Request PRSI coverage while working abroad to ensure you continue making relevant state social insurance contributions

Accounting Pro is Ireland’s premier contractor accounting service.  We are here to help, the busy contractor and company, with all your accounting and payroll needs. We are both an umbrella company and umbrella corporation and we can create your limited company. We are experts in contractor pensions, contractor health insurance, illness and sick benefit for the self employed and contractor expenses. To learn more about what we do please review  and contact us by email: or phone us 01 6933370. For the UK see Accounting-Pro UK. “The Advantages of working abroad for the Irish Contractor. Part 2” is an article written by Accounting-Pro Ireland for the benefit of everyone. Feel free to share it but please give attribution on a CC BY-SA license.