Tax reform brings challenges and opportunities for digital nomads

With the dust beginning to settle on the largest overhaul of the U.S. federal tax system in several decades, tax professionals are steadily piecing together the specific implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 for each U.S. taxpayer community.

One newly emerging community of U.S. individuals that should feel the ripple effects of the tax reform is the so-called “digital nomad” community, particularly those who are globally nomadic. The growth of this group has been rapid enough that tax advisers would be well-advised to take stock of the specific reform provisions that are relevant for these taxpayers.

As defined most generally, a “digital nomad” is an individual who takes advantage of digital technology and communications to avoid being tied down to a particular office location. The ability to work from a computer, laptop, iPad, cellphone, or other device allows digital nomads to choose virtually any workspace, whether in the United States or abroad.

The digital nomad lifestyle has become increasingly popular for U.S. citizens in recent years due to a number of new programs that have been created to facilitate overseas commuting by organizing year-long trips for employees and freelancers to live in multiple cities abroad. Participants, for example, travel in groups to live in multiple cities throughout Europe, Asia and South America, for one month each over a year period.
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