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Register Estonian Company with Local Tax Authorities

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eRabbit

New member
Hi,
I was told by a tax advisor that if I am a tax resident of Cyprus and open an Estonian company I can then register it with local tax authorities in Cyprus and, that way, if I don't receive a salary and only pay myself through dividends, I wouldn't have to pay income tax or social security, all due tax would be corporate tax at a 12,5% rate, is this correct? If it is it sounds like a great idea since Cyprus is in Europe and has great weather. (I'm already an EU citizen sound it would be a simpler solution then moving to South/Central America or Asia).
Also, solutions like Georgia or Bulgaria aren't really attractive to me due to the weather and culture in general.
Would Malta work similarly to Cyprus or is it not a solution?
Thank you in advance!
 

marzio

Entrepreneur
register it with local tax authorities
You should clarify with your tax advisor what "registering with local tax authorities" means because you can't operate in Cyprus with an estonian company without establishing at least a branch.
 

eRabbit

New member
You should clarify with your tax advisor what "registering with local tax authorities" means because you can't operate in Cyprus with an estonian company without establishing at least a branch.
He says that by registering with tax authorities in Cyprus you pay Cyprus corporate tax instead of Estonian corporate tax due to their double taxation agreement.
 

Sols

Mentor Group Gold
Why not just form a local company in Cyprus? What's the upside of adding an Estonian company and all the overheads/extra work involved in navigating a tax treaty?
 

eRabbit

New member
Why not just form a local company in Cyprus? What's the upside of adding an Estonian company and all the overheads/extra work involved in navigating a tax treaty?
If it’s a local company you’d have to pay income tax + social security, right?
 

JustAnotherNomad

Mentor Group Gold
Income tax and social security depend on where the receiver lives and (in case of a salary) where the work was carried out. I don’t know the rules for Cyprus, but most countries don’t charge social security contributions on dividends.
 

eRabbit

New member
Income tax and social security depend on where the receiver lives and (in case of a salary) where the work was carried out. I don’t know the rules for Cyprus, but most countries don’t charge social security contributions on dividends.
Thanks! What if you live in Cyprus and you receive no salary, only dividends?
 

Sols

Mentor Group Gold
Thanks! What if you live in Cyprus and you receive no salary, only dividends?
Speak to a tax adviser in Cyprus to confirm, but generally speaking, you're just looking at 12.50% CIT and then tax free dividends to yourself.
 

blockchain4ever

Active Member
You typically do this sort of setup with UK companies, not Estonian companies. With your proposed setup, you need to pay both Estonian tax and Cyprus tax, or you need to at least create dual sets of accounts.

With a UK company instead, you don't need to file anything, as if nothing happens in the UK, then you are "treaty non-resident", a special status in the tax code.
 

JustAnotherNomad

Mentor Group Gold
I thought that there still were some annual filings required for all UK Ltd. companies?
What would be the difference between a non-resident UK Ltd. and a UK LLP regarding taxes? If nothing happens in the UK, wouldn’t both be exempt from UK taxes, while also offering limited liability?
I thought that with a Ltd., there would always be some tax to pay, unless you could prove that the profit was generated by a permanent establishment in another country.

“Treaty non-resident” sounds like there must be a tax treaty between both countries and the other country must agree that the company will be taxed there, due to its effective place of management? Or does the term refer to something else?
 

eRabbit

New member
Bear in mind that Cyprus is the only EEA country that can't get a USD Transferwise account (if that's important to you)
That’s good to know! Perhaps I’d use Revolut or DiPocket instead!

You typically do this sort of setup with UK companies, not Estonian companies. With your proposed setup, you need to pay both Estonian tax and Cyprus tax, or you need to at least create dual sets of accounts.

With a UK company instead, you don't need to file anything, as if nothing happens in the UK, then you are "treaty non-resident", a special status in the tax code.
Thank you for your reply! That’s good to know! Any site or service you recommend for establishing a UK company? Also, are you referring to an LLC?

I thought that there still were some annual filings required for all UK Ltd. companies?
What would be the difference between a non-resident UK Ltd. and a UK LLP regarding taxes? If nothing happens in the UK, wouldn’t both be exempt from UK taxes, while also offering limited liability?
I thought that with a Ltd., there would always be some tax to pay, unless you could prove that the profit was generated by a permanent establishment in another country.

“Treaty non-resident” sounds like there must be a tax treaty between both countries and the other country must agree that the company will be taxed there, due to its effective place of management? Or does the term refer to something else?

It’s all so confusing, I wish governments would make taxing and stuff like that simple, straight to the point and easy to understand! Governments and all its bureaucracy suck! That’s one of the reasons why I like what I’ve read about Estonia, I was able to understand everything, it’s clear and simple...
 

blockchain4ever

Active Member
I thought that there still were some annual filings required for all UK Ltd. companies?
What would be the difference between a non-resident UK Ltd. and a UK LLP regarding taxes? If nothing happens in the UK, wouldn’t both be exempt from UK taxes, while also offering limited liability?
I thought that with a Ltd., there would always be some tax to pay, unless you could prove that the profit was generated by a permanent establishment in another country.

“Treaty non-resident” sounds like there must be a tax treaty between both countries and the other country must agree that the company will be taxed there, due to its effective place of management? Or does the term refer to something else?

Treaty non-resident means exactly what you say. In a standard OECD tax treaty, there is always a definition for where a company is located. What the UK says is that if, through a DTA treaty, the company is located in the other state, then it's a "treaty non-resident" and pays no taxes in the UK. You need to do some annual filing, but it's basically just copying the balance and results sheets from your accounts. The complexity in taxation usually comes from matching your accounts to various classes of income in the tax system, and you don't need to do that. Also you can't do any business in the UK. The cost of having someone do the filing, secretary services, and address for you is around GBP 200 / year or cheaper. You also only need GBP 1 in equity for a UK Ltd company.

What I like about this setup is that while you have a real UK Ltd company and a real UK ltd company number, you do your business registered as a branch in another country (a country which has a DTA with the UK, but the UK has the most extensive network of DTAs in the world, or close to it). If you need to, you can stop being a treaty non-resident and pay taxes in the UK. You can also often use the identity of your branch when that is advantageous.

Compared to the LLP, the Ltd is not transparent. With both the LLP and the Ltd taxes must be paid, but with the Ltd the taxes are paid by the branch, while for the LLP by the members. With the Ltd, depending on the situation, you might talk about having a UK company, or a [insert other country]-company. Not all forms will ask about where a company is tax resident. For example, some EMI might not like Georgian companies, but might accept UK companies. Will it accept a Georgian tax-resident UK company? Who knows, but I assign it a higher probability than a UK LLP with a Georgian member for example.
 

JustAnotherNomad

Mentor Group Gold
Thanks, that makes sense. But why wouldn’t that work with an Estonian company? The DTAs are usually very similar. I agree that a UK company probably would make more sense because there are so many precedents and the reputation is better. But just in theory, that should also work with an Estonian company?
 

marzio

Entrepreneur
you do your business registered as a branch in another country
Could you please explain more how this would work? I'm thinking about bank accounts, payment processors and so on. For example will you register stripe, paypal, bank account and so on for your UK LTD or Cyprus branch? Or you can do both? I'm thinking about potential problems arising when you use UK stripe and UK bank account when the company is managed from cyprus.
 

blockchain4ever

Active Member
Thanks, that makes sense. But why wouldn’t that work with an Estonian company? The DTAs are usually very similar. I agree that a UK company probably would make more sense because there are so many precedents and the reputation is better. But just in theory, that should also work with an Estonian company?

Yes in theory it should work, but say you want to pay dividends from your Estonian company with a branch in Cyprus. What sort of papers do you need to fill out to prove your situation?

Alternatively, let's say your company is a german GmbH and you need to file full branch tax reports in Germany according to german rules even if you in the end pay no taxes? In both cases it could be a lot of $$$ for accountants and tax lawyers.

Could you please explain more how this would work? I'm thinking about bank accounts, payment processors and so on. For example will you register stripe, paypal, bank account and so on for your UK LTD or Cyprus branch? Or you can do both? I'm thinking about potential problems arising when you use UK stripe and UK bank account when the company is managed from cyprus.

In most cases I have opened bank accounts for the branch.
 

JustAnotherNomad

Mentor Group Gold
I would think that once you have successfully applied for “treaty non-resident” status, the filing requirements should be minimal?
Estonia especially is said to have very simple filing requirements as there is no corporate income tax until profits are distributed. But I don’t know.
I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Germany has massive filing requirements regardless.
 
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