Last checked: 02/09/2022

Income taxes abroad

Which country can tax you?

There are no EU-wide rules that say how EU nationals who live, work or spend time outside their home countries are to be taxed on their income.

However, the country where you are resident for tax purposes can usually tax your total worldwide income, earned or unearned. This includes wages, pensions, benefits, income from property or from any other sources, or capital gains from sales of property, from all countries worldwide.


EU countries regularly exchange income tax information to ensure taxpayers meet their obligations and to combat tax fraud and tax evasion. For information about property taxes, local taxes, gift and inheritance taxes consult your local tax officeOpen as an external link.

Each country has its own definition of tax residence, yet:

Check tax rates, contact details of tax authorities, definitions of tax residence in the different EU countries:

Choose country

Dual residence

In some cases, two countries could consider you a tax-resident at the same time, and both could require you to pay taxes on your total worldwide income. Fortunately, many countries have double tax agreementsOpen as an external link, which usually provide rules to determine which of the two countries can treat you as a resident.

If the tax treaty does not provide a solution or if your situation is particularly complicated, contact the tax authoritiesOpen as an external link of one or both countries and ask them to clarify your situation.

Posted workers/jobseekers

In some cases, such as for workers posted abroad for a limited time or jobseekers abroad, you may be considered tax–resident, and therefore taxable, in your home country even if you stay abroad for more than 6 months - if you keep your permanent home in your home country and your personal and economic ties with that country are stronger. Contact the tax authoritiesOpen as an external link to check which rules apply to you.

In such a case, your host country may also tax you - your local employer may, for instance, deduct taxes from your salary at the time of payment.

In addition, whether or not you continue to be resident in your home country, that country may tax income (for instance from property) arising there.

In these cases, be aware that there are solutions to double taxation and make sure that your income is not taxed twice if it doesn't need to be.

Fictitious tax residence

Under some double tax treatiesOpen as an external link, the country where you earn all or almost all of your income will treat you as tax-resident, even if you don't live there. This status of fictitious tax-resident is granted by some countries to cross-border commuters.

Under EU rules, each country still has a certain latitude to decide what percentage of your income represents 'almost all'. In any event, whether the country where you earn all or almost all of your income treats you as tax-resident or not, it will be obliged to give you the same allowances and tax reliefs that it gives to a resident.

Of course, if you receive all allowances available to residents in the country where you work, you could not expect to receive all allowances and reliefs available to residents in the country where you live as well. Be aware that tax authorities will communicate with each other to ensure that you don't receive a double set of allowances and reliefs.

Equal treatment

Under EU rules, no matter in which EU country you are considered a tax-resident, you should be taxed in the same way as nationals of that country under the same conditions. For example, in the country where you are tax-resident or where you earn all or most of your income, you should be entitled to:

If you feel discriminated against, you can seek personalised adviceOpen as an external link.


EU legislation

Need more information on rules in a specific country?

Need support from assistance services?

Get in touch with specialised assistance services

Share this page: