“I can do anything I want to, the world’s my oyster”
We had a couple of clients lately that required their staff to be run globally – but paid locally. One was local and the other was an international firm.
It resonated with my view and backed up my theory of how the ‘New World of Work’ will change. The finance department is the engine room of any company, as long as they are invoicing debtors and looking after payroll all in one system that you can access globally – the world will definitely be your oyster, to travel and work at the same time, or to fulfil global contracts.
Australia has tax treaties, also called tax conventions or double agreements, with more than forty countries, which work to reduce and eliminate double taxation by overlapping tax jurisdictions and provide a level of security about the tax rules that will apply. Further, in most countries, including Australia, you are not seen as a resident for tax purposes unless you are working for there for at least six months, meaning you won’t have to declare your income there. The USA does have a global tax declaration system, however I won’t discuss that here.
What was interesting in this situation, is that the international company was from Europe and they wanted to run somebody in Australia, who was coming in from Singapore. They were interested in how this could be achieved with minimum effort from then and within the tax laws of the land, what visa would be required and how the flow of money would work.
In the other situation, an individual here in Australia had been offered two different contract roles in Europe from two different Australian entities. Both entities wanted to pay him in AUD, and the individual wanted to ensure his own entity here in Australia could be looked after while he was overseas and that all the relevant tax options were being utilised and adhered to, so that he could get on with the job for the two clients.
Both the requests came with some interesting ways of running the operations for them, and both clients saw the benefit of one entity handling all the back office services required to tie it all up – including setting up the contract, handling the accounts, pay rolling, invoicing and chasing money, whilst also maximising the net revenue into both the company’s and the individual’s pockets.
The New World of Work is here now. It offers the exciting premise that you can work anywhere, deliver your service from any part of the world, as long as you have the engine room chugging away and taking care of the details in the background.
This is not the first instance that we have experienced a situation such as the two above, involving different countries and services.
A few years ago, we were running a contractor in Holland. He was being paid in Holland and was paid in accordance with the Dutch tax laws. However, part way through the contract his mother fell ill and he was required to return to Perth Australia. He managed to negotiate that he could continue to do his job remotely, and that he was still paid under the Dutch tax laws and in Euros, but was living in Perth. He would essentially log into their system at strange hours, but he was completing his tasks and using Skype, he was able to talk to the team back in Holland, and work just as though he was in another room in the building.
As I said earlier, the world is your oyster. If your back office is looked after, then my vision of the ‘New World of Work’ won’t just come true, it’s already true – especially once the banks start to offer instant pay, which should be by the end of this year.