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I'm a US citizen living in Europe for the last couple of years. I work remotely for a US company, receive salary in a US bank, 401k, pay full federal/state taxes - all as if I'm in the US.

My employer isn't concerned by the fact that I'm not physically present at my address in the US (New York) for more than 6 months a year, and simply treats me as a US employee.

Is my employer at fault at this situation? Is this problematic for me in any way (from the perspective of the US work law, or some other law)?

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  • Where are you living? Your host country may expect that you pay taxes there, if you are a resident. There may be also issues with your visa.
    – SJuan76
    May 15, 2022 at 21:27
  • No, I'm a resident of the expat country and pay some additional local tax. The question is is about whether my company in the US (or me as a US resident) are breaking any laws and whether this can cause any trouble down the line.
    – anon2328
    May 15, 2022 at 21:51
  • "or me as a US resident": You're not a US resident.
    – phoog
    May 16, 2022 at 15:53

2 Answers 2

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There is nothing wrong with a US citizen working remotely from outside the US, and paying taxes as if that person lived at his orm her lawful US residence. Problems may (will) come if such a person tries to stop paying federal tax. No US law that I know of is being violated by either employee or employer.

If the person no longer owned or rented a residence in the US, and wanted to claim not to be a resident of any US state, it might be possible to avoid state (but not Federal) taxes, but that is a somewhat complex matter, and such a person would be wise to consult a lawyer experienced in such issues.

As a comment mentioned, there may be taxes due to the country where such a person physically lives, but that is separate from what is owed to the US or what is legal under US law.

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  • "There is nothing wrong... No US law is violated...": This arrangement likely violates employment law in the host country.
    – phoog
    May 16, 2022 at 15:54
  • @phoog That would depend on what those laws are, and thus on what the host country is. The OP already said that s/he is declaring income and paying taxes to the host country. What employment laws do you think this arrangement would violate? May 16, 2022 at 20:35
  • Laws providing for a certain amount of paid time off, whether for vacation or for illness, accident, childbirth, and so on, laws requiring employers to make payments to various social protection programs on behalf of their employees, that sort of thing.
    – phoog
    May 16, 2022 at 21:02
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Is my employer at fault at this situation?

No, your employer is doing all that they are legally obliged to do. They are domiciled in the US and (apart from you) have no connection to the foreign jurisdiction.

Is this problematic for me in any way (from the perspective of the US work law, or some other law)?

Problematic? No, so long as you pay both your US taxes and the taxes in the foreign country. There will be accountants who specialise in this.

If your country has a tax treaty with the US it is likely that there will not be double taxation but you will still need to lodge tax returns etc. if there isn’t a treaty, you will have to pay tax in both countries - worst case this could be more than your income.

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  • The employer could be violating the law of the employee's country of residence by employing a person who resides and works there without complying with that country's laws concerning tax withholding, social security contributions, medical insurance, labor conditions, and probably others I can't think of.
    – phoog
    May 16, 2022 at 15:51
  • @phoog - from the company's perspective, they have a work-from-home employee with a valid US residence that they pay US federal and state taxes on. They are not required to track down specifically where the employee is while working remotely.
    – Jon Custer
    May 16, 2022 at 18:41
  • @JonCuster from the foreign country's perspective, they have someone living and working in their territory whose employer is skirting its labor laws. This creates legal liability for the company. So it really is in their interest to know where the employee is. Furthermore, the employer and the employee are skirting tax laws. They are paying taxes that they don't actually owe to the US federal and state governments, but this doesn't relieve them from the tax liability they're incurring in the European country.
    – phoog
    May 16, 2022 at 20:26
  • @phoog - no, the employee is the one skirting laws. Their misrepresentation of where they are working is not the fault of the company.
    – Jon Custer
    May 16, 2022 at 20:37
  • @JonCuster "My employer isn't concerned by the fact..." suggests that they know about it and are ignoring it. That's a far cry from being the victim of a fraud perpetrated by the employee.
    – phoog
    May 16, 2022 at 21:03

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