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asked2manyquestions t1_j5nrs6r wrote

Yes, because a lot of people get a WFH position and then move to third world countries for a low cost of living while lying to their employer about where they are.

I’m sure someone will say that it doesn’t matter, but it actually does.

First off there could be severe legal and tax consequences for companies that operate from countries where they don’t have an office or pay taxes.

So, let’s say that Bob is working for TikTok and tells them he lives in Los Angeles.

Then Bob moves to Ecuador and works from there.

One day Bob gets picked up by Ecuador immigration and asked who he works for and he says TikTok.

Since Bob has been living in Ecuador for 2 years, Ecuador could make a case that TikTok is operating illegally in their country and not paying taxes.

It gets even more complicated if Bob was pursuing permanent residency because TikTok can’t even argue that Bob was just in vacation.

And if Ecuador has any social services that Bob has used, like maybe free healthcare, Ecuador will see this as TikTok trying to pawn off their expenses on them.

And that’s not even touching subjects like whether or not it’s legal for the employee to be removing PII (personally identifiable information) about customers from the US.

Yes, selfish idiots screw it up for everyone.

Source: Someone that has spent more than five minutes in expat and digital nomad subs where everyone is asking for advice on how to use VPNs to hide their location from their employers when they move overseas.


realmastodon2 t1_j5q7vih wrote

VPNs won't hide you from tech companies. They can easily find out where you are. Not to mention, they can make you show hard proof you are in a city with an office. If they find out you lied you can be told you need to pay back a certain amount for lying about living in this city but living in another. This is why RTO was enforced. People always ruined a good thing.


asked2manyquestions t1_j5r5qcq wrote

I know that. You know that. Most people don’t.

I us d to work for a company where we had to know exactly where our software was being used from for legal reasons.

VPN doesn’t help with things like WiFi triangulation. They read all of the WiFi networks your receiver can see and compare it to a database of known WiFi networks that companies like Google sell.


realmastodon2 t1_j5ravei wrote

Tinfoil hat on: tech companies can just ask VPN companies about this IP and who uses it.

Reality they know your router.


asked2manyquestions t1_j5rjlb9 wrote

Any VPN company that released such information would likely not stay in business long.

It’s bad enough that some hand over the data to governments, but to corporations? Suicide.


azurleaf t1_j5pgb3u wrote

Another point is that Bob is likely violating his WFH agreement with TikTok. When I signed on to WFH, it came with the stipulation that I had to live within 50 miles of the local office. Not only would his WFH be revoked if they found out, he'd likely be terminated for violating his employment contract.

This is done exactly to keep people from taking a job in a HCL area like California, them moving to bumfuk nowhere North Dakota with that paycheck.


asked2manyquestions t1_j5r6fjv wrote

Yep. That’s what most people who are asking about VPNs are trying to avoid.

And, of course, some other moron that knows a little something about VPNs will tell them it’s super easy and all they have to do is this and that and they’re untraceable.

But they are traceable.


KeystrokeCowboy t1_j5ohu5x wrote

I don't personally know Bob. Got any proof? In your story Bob is the one illegally evading taxes. Not the company..


vicemagnet t1_j5ossmb wrote

The company is going to be held liable for taxes, privacy law violations, failure of registration to operate within the state by the state’s Secretary of State, any reciprocity agreements where disclosure was withheld because this employee was lying to his employer. That’s off the top of my head. Tell me you don’t know anything about operating a business and have only the perspective of a low level employee.


KeystrokeCowboy t1_j5p1dpl wrote

An employee remoting into work in another country does not make that company operate or does buisness in that country and thus is not subject to all the other buisness requirements for that state nor is that some privacy violation. Top of your head = out of your ass.

Are you telling me people who go on vacations to other countries are legally barred from doing any work remotely in that country? Becuase you are wrong.


vicemagnet t1_j5p64rq wrote

You have not presented an example that is the same: an employee on vacation is not the same as an employee relocating and working from a new location. It’s called a false equivalency. Try to be less disingenuous in your argument going forward.

My 35 years experience tells me I know a lot more about this than you do, cowboy.


0oooooooo0 t1_j5pxynz wrote

Yeah bro and I’m 35 years a rocket surgeon. 🤦🏽‍♂️


vicemagnet t1_j5q0lhy wrote

Well I turn 59 this week, so I guess you can’t always judge a book by its cover.


[deleted] t1_j5p7cse wrote



Moredateslessvapes t1_j5pfguc wrote

I’m with this guy. Show some actual proof or evidence that the company would be held liable rather than the individual.


DetroitLarry t1_j5pqoa4 wrote

Didn’t you read the part about their 35 years of experience?!


wabbit02 t1_j5pg0tr wrote

>An employee remoting into work in another country does not make that company operate or does buisness in that country

unfortunately the laws of many countries define that the residential status does impact an employers liability which may include employment rights, regulatory compliance and Taxation, also the laws of the source company then also have an impact meaning that the situation can be doubly complex. This is less likely to happen if the employer has a strict location policy and can show that the employee has not informed them.


>Are you telling me people who go on vacations to other countries are legally barred from doing any work remotely in that country

This usually resolves around residential status. Residential status is also separated citizenship or legal right to remain (which in some countries the employer can be held liable for despite not operating or holding a legal entity there - enforcement of which may be interesting in this case but I digress).


KeystrokeCowboy t1_j5pm4x4 wrote

Show me proof a company has had to pay back taxes for the situation called out. Not theoretical law based upon a DIFFERENT SITUATION where that employer hires people THEY KNOW are in another country....


wabbit02 t1_j5px7w8 wrote

as a US based example

generally TAX investigations where a settlement is reached are private / only reported where it goes to court and most pay before this.

there is also the issue that the employee is not "likely" to call attention to it if they are benefiting, but that doesn't mean that a company can take the risk.


KeystrokeCowboy t1_j5qjslf wrote

Where are the others if this is such a huge liability issue? This article doesn't really have a lot of details and 500k number for one employee smells like bullshit. There is more to this story. Not sure what you are even trying to blame the company here for. How is the company supposed to pay taxes for an employee that did not notify them where he was living after they got their address when hired? Are you suggesting companies need to send private tax investigators out to verify addresses?


professor__doom t1_j5pt8mc wrote

>Are you telling me people who go on vacations to other countries are legally barred from doing any work remotely in that country

That is entirely dependent on the laws of the host country. Most countries, USA included, forbid paid work while on a tourism/visitor visa. Even a "business visa" to the USA is granted for a specific purpose, i.e. attending a meeting or conference, signing a contract, assessing a property, etc. It's not for regular, day-to-day work that could be done in your home country.


KeystrokeCowboy t1_j5ptu4g wrote

Buisness Visa? Seriously. You think someone who is going to another country and getting that is the same as someone going on vacation which nobody gets a buisness visa for? If someone is going on vacation and working on some issue remotely for a company not in that country there is zero liability. If that same employee just stays there and takes up residency, that company is not liable unless its proven that employee submitted paperwork.


professor__doom t1_j5q1dfy wrote

Just because a law is hard to enforce (especially on individuals), doesn't mean that it COULDN'T bite you in the ass (especially if you're an employer).

Vacation visa (B-2): no work at all. Period.

Business visa (B-1): Work for a specific purpose, nothing that could be construed as "putting an American out of a job" (because that's what politicians care about).

USCIS does not fuck around with this. If you want to even VOLUNTEER in the USA you will need a J1 visa in many cases.

Q: if you earn income in a country, whether legally or not, are you liable for income tax to that company's tax authority?

A: Generally Yes (of course, the tax itself may be offset by foreign tax credits or other exemptions)

B: If you earn wages, is your employer liable for employment taxes where you earn it?

A: Also yes, with the same caveats.

It all comes down to enforcement and whether it's worthwhile for the tax authorities to go after you. But generally, employers make better targets than individuals. An individual (a) has less money, and (b) may just say "well I just won't ever go back to the country where I owe money." A company doesn't have that luxury if it wants to retain its clients in that country. Also, companies make juicer ATM's for tax authorities to penalize and collect from.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Wait until you learn about data protection regulations - and the (often stricter) terms that clients sometimes dictate.

Source: work for a small head count multinational and have dealt with some of these situations regarding foreign national employees and "workcations." Maybe we could get away with it. In fact, we PROBABLY could get away with it.

But we strictly don't do the "fuck around" part, because we don't want to get bit by the "find out" part.


KeystrokeCowboy t1_j5qioc0 wrote

So you don't have any proof of an employer having to pay back taxes for an employee with the example given. Got it. F


Amyndris t1_j5rpyyp wrote

My company allows for remote work, but no more than 20 days a year outside of your assigned country, specifically for tax reasons. So I'm sure there's some reciprocal agreement between countries for small amount of days, but not a full time role.


Rickwh t1_j5xfuux wrote

I reread the posts above. I may not be an intelligent man, i may have only learned to read yesterday. But I do not believe that is what that poster is saying at all!


ichiban_mafukaro t1_j5pinnh wrote

The company withholds taxes out of Bob’s pay, unless Bob is a private contractor, so the company is paying taxes on behalf of Bob, which then Bob collects a return on, as well as other benefits. Unless Bob tells the company he lives in Ecuador, the company is withholding incorrect taxes and therefore the company is liable, not to mention companies need to disclose where they operate with the state, in some cases down to the county, which has tax implications. And that’s only income tax, not to mention corporate tax, sales tax, etc.

Also pay has historically been calculated based on where a person resides because tax is calculated based on where you work and reside, and there are tax benefits to live and work in certain places versus others. For example, if you work in NY and live in NJ, you get taxed by the city and state where your company operates and you get taxed by the state where you live, that’s 3 tax deductions between 2 states.

So all in all it does matter on multiple levels where you choose to live and work.


KeystrokeCowboy t1_j5plpke wrote

Your entire first paragraph is on the employee. They are liable for back taxes when it is proved they actually had income at their actual residence. Show me evidence a company has had to pay back taxes in this situation when an employee commits tax fraud.


ichiban_mafukaro t1_j5pshmm wrote

Quick google search resulted in:

Tax implications of employee working abroad

And another

It’s not only about back taxes. Without Bob’s declaration of working abroad, the company may run into problems in regards to international taxation, unless Bob hides the fact he’s in South America or wherever. Maybe the company isn’t liable for Bob’s unpaid taxes but the company itself has obligations in regards to collect the proper taxes in regards to wherever Bob decides to reside abroad. But if Bob is an independent contractor, then it’s all on him, but as an employee, his residence very much impacts the company. Again we’re talking about Bob who says he lives in Los Angeles but actually lives in Ecuador.


KeystrokeCowboy t1_j5psu7a wrote

We dont really have to keep going in circles. When the employer is knowledgeable about it and hires people in other countries, its clear. When the employee changes his residency and doesn't tell anyone, thats not the companys fault.


jmbirn t1_j5ptrhj wrote

> while lying to their employer about where they are.

That's not what the article is about. In this case, "TikTok sent a tough warning to a group of US employees whose home address didn't match their office address. "

TikTok is trying to require employees to come into the office "at least twice a week" and wants to know which employees aren't going to be able to do that.


0oooooooo0 t1_j5pxoqd wrote

“Selfish idiots screw it up for everyone.”

How does this screw over all employees? Sounds like the company would just be liable.


asked2manyquestions t1_j5r61lk wrote

Because the company has to crack down on all remote employees.

Either they start monitoring all employees or they don’t allow remote work.

So everyone pays a price.


0oooooooo0 t1_j67z1cd wrote

Then people move to a job where they can work remotely.


asked2manyquestions t1_j684aaj wrote

Of all the jobs in the US that can be done remotely, only a small fraction are offered as remote jobs.


0oooooooo0 t1_j684e72 wrote

Where did you pull this stat?


asked2manyquestions t1_j6855su wrote

Common sense and looking at job boards.

I also stay involved in digital nomad communities and probably the number one complaint is being unable to find employers that will allow people to work remotely.

Many people end up taking jobs way under their qualification or salary requirements in fields like customer support or freelance copywriting because of hey can’t find remote jobs in their field.


0oooooooo0 t1_j686j7r wrote

Wow. Thanks for the empirical evidence!!!! 🤦🏽‍♂️


hibearmate t1_j5ocgk9 wrote


capitalism is wild


vicemagnet t1_j5os3ji wrote

Government taxation and regulation at state and national levels would make your head spin.


demilitarizdsm t1_j5ogif0 wrote

>Yes, selfish idiots screw it up for everyone.

Yea, selfish companies never jump to whatever country suits them the best. Fuck them and remember a black laptop overheats easier in the sun.