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Working on Adsense sites while overseas

Would this be considered illegal in some countries?



10:34 am on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am taking a laptop and working / travelling around South America and Asia and because I will still be paid into my UK bank and pay UK taxes have not thought this would be a problem.

While I know it would be very hard for immigration or customs to prove I am working in their country (for instance I may not have a laptop at all and just update blogs from internet cafes) is this allowable?

From a moral standpoint should I be working in other countries if I am not allowed?

If I ever considered going public and writing a book about my travel / webmaster exploits would this come back and bite me the fact that I earnt money whilst on a tourist visa (albeit not earning money from the country which I am visiting).

What do you guys think?


10:41 am on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


I think that if you are going to be earning money through your UK-domiciled business (and paying relevant taxes in the UK) then no one is likely to complain.

When I visit the US as a consultant I am not allowed to take a job there (ie take one from a US local), but I am allowed to have meetings, etc, and when I get home charge for writing a report, or doing stuff on behalf of a UK entity and paid for by that UK entity, etc.




11:22 am on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

also, if I import goods from another country, I go to that country and perform actual and physical work (for example, checking goods).

My MAIN workplace is in my coumntry, though, I get paid in my country and the activity I have in the foriegn country is just temporary and secondary.

And no, if you write a book about that it won't harm you.


11:49 am on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You only need pay tax in your country of residence - if that is the UK then that is where you will pay tax. It doesn´t sound like you will be in any other country long enough to be classed as resident for tax purposes, but if you plan to spend six months or more in any one country then you may be liable to pay tax in that country.


12:13 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't worry either. This is the way I see it:

The sales are contracts between your UK business and the customer - so the business is don in the UK, probably with a contract in UK law. Infact - to make sure - have this fact written in your conditions of sale.

When you travel, don't say you are travelling on business. You aren't. You are travelling for pleasure. The fact that you have to work occassionally is not a function of you travelling in your instance.



12:23 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

you dont need to/ are not allowed to pay taxes in the uk
if you are working most of the time in another country.

so if you travel in countries with less or no taxes, you save lots of money.

if you are working in 3 different countries for 4 months, you need to pay taxes in all of those countries 1/3 depending how much you earn in those months.


12:28 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You would be fine, but remember your laptop is just for reading emails and surfing the net ;)

Have Fun!


12:35 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

if you are a sole trader, where you pay taxes depends on which country you are working for most of the time.

It is independent of your country of residence.

if you have a company that receives google payments, the company needs to pay taxes in the country where the company is run from, which means the country of residence of the company director or where the company director is working from respectively. if the company director is travelling, and is not living/working from the UK, you need to pay in the country you spend most of the time.

If there are several company directors, then where most of them live. If you have one company director travelling and one staying at the same country and there are some employees in the same country it is easy to prove that the company operates from that country.

The only exception is for people that were born in the USA as the US laws weird and makes you pay taxes in the USA in any case. Due to double-taxation treaties those people can get a refund of taxes paid abroad if they have already been paid in the USA. In countries that have not joined any double-taxation treaties, you may end up paying taxes twice.

So an US American living on the Bahamas needs to pay taxes in the USA unless he marries on the Bahamas and becomes a Bahamian (or unless he marries in any other country and gives up US citizenship).

A British citizen living on the Bahamas does not need to pay taxes at all.

A company on the Bahamas with a company director in the UK does not need to pay taxes if the company is run by other people on the Bahamas. But if he receives money from that company he would beed to tax that in the UK.


12:38 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just be sure to keep us updated on how your adventures turn out!


1:19 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Jason77 - I think you will find residence is indeed what is important as far as the Inland Revenue is concerned. Tax liability is certainly not independent of your country of residence.

An individual is generally considered as a UK resident for tax purposes if present in the UK for 183 days or more. Domicility is another factor - where your permanent home is - that can be taken into account by the Inland Revenue.

uk_webber - If in doubt, I suggest you contact your local Inland Revenue office.


1:24 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all the information and guidance...and of course when the blog of my trip is up running I'll be encouraging you all to come along and click my ads ;o)


4:25 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I would say no problem. I travel on a rotation basis through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia -- working on my site and deriving income in part through Adsense. So far no problems. Carrying a laptop barely raises an eyebrow with customs/immigration.

Hope that helps


7:27 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thailand, for example, does consider it working illegally. You can only 'monitor' your overseas business, but you cannot legally work on it. So - monitor away.


8:18 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I guess we aren't allowed to discuss taxes here anymore as I see another thread was just shut down for the same thing... Sometimes I think these guys work for the government on the side.



8:20 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"I suggest you contact your local Inland Revenue office"

This is a very complex area of taxation. I would suggest you contact the country in which you are living and in effect working on your computer to see what there view is, because you want to know if you are liable for tax in that country for your activites. It is a complicated subject and the Inland Revenue is not going to advise you on your possible liabilites in any other jurisdiction. Where the money is banked is not so important as where the money was made in the eyes of the various tax authorities. The best thing to do is consult an international tax accountant, not just any old accountant, but one that is savvy with international business dealings and tax rules.


9:02 pm on Aug 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

GuitarZan - welcome to the Internet and freedom of information!

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