Our compliance specialists have noticed that there is a common misconception about the 183-day rule. Many believe that they are free to go to work in any EU country without applying for a work permit or paying taxes as long as they work there under 183 days. As a result, these mistakes may lead to serious legal charges and tax liability.

We have put together this document providing information on everything you need to know about the 183-day rule.

First and foremost, let us establish what the 183-day rule is and how it works.

The 183-day rule is used by the majority of countries to determine whether someone should be considered a resident in a certain country for tax purposes. It states, that if a person spends more than half a year (183 days or more) in a single country, then this person will become a tax resident there. Consequently, if an individual stays in a certain territory for less than 183 days, they are not considered a tax resident in this state.

  1. I am not taxable as long as I stay under 183 days 

The 183-day regulation is the exception to the rule rather than the rule itself. It applies only to the fully-employed dependent workers, not contractors or freelancers. The latter are considered to be tax residents in the host country as soon as their assignment begins. Therefore, they are obliged to pay taxes in their work country. 

  1. If I am not paid in country A, I am not taxable there 

Even though you do not exceed 183 days in Country A, and are paid elsewhere, you could still be taxed in Country A under certain circumstances. For example, if you work for a company permanently established in Country A, you would be taxed in Country A. 

  1. 183 days rule covers work permits and social security 

Some migrant employees believe that the 183-day rule includes working visas and social security too. However, this is not the case. As far as immigration law is considered, normally the legislation of the host country will overrule any tax treaties. The same works for social security contributions. 

  1. 183 days rule applies only for working days 

One of the most popular misinterpretations of the rule is that you should not work over 183 days in Country A. In reality, it counts the days of physical presence in the state. All days spent in the work country, be it holidays, visiting family or friends, count. This only excludes international transit spent in the airport. 

  1. There is more to the 183-day rule than just counting days 

A lot of migrant workers don’t know that there are two additional conditions to be met. The first one states that your salary should be paid by or on behalf of an employer in the work country. As far as the second condition is concerned, if you have an employment contract with a legal entity in your home country (Country A) but work for a branch office of this entity in Country B, you may become taxable in Country B. 

  1. Your employer is not your “employer” 

This is the point where it gets really confusing. For instance, the employee has an employment contract with a legal entity outside the work country. But domestic law would qualify the relationship between an individual and a host entity as employment (even without the formal employment agreement). Consequently, the employee might be taxed in the host country, even without a formal employer. 

It is true that the 183-day rule has many advantages. On the other hand, sometimes it is more beneficial to avoid it. Ultimately, the situation depends on your unique circumstances. The best solution we can offer to you is to seek expert advice. As you can see from the article, this rule has many edges. 

Bradford Jacobs are unrivalled experts in European Tax Compliance, offering flexible and innovative approaches, uncommon services, and bespoke solutions to meet the individual needs of each and every customer. 

Contact us today to find out how our professionals can help you to stay compliant.