Re: O'seas work: confessions of a 10-year expatriate

Subject: Re: O'seas work: confessions of a 10-year expatriate
From: Steven Read <sread -at- NIRVANA -dot- NOSUBDOMAIN -dot- NODOMAIN>
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 1994 10:05:06 GMT

Great post. Can I pick a few nits/add?

In article <009853E194F8CCA0 -dot- 00000821 -at- software-ag -dot- de>, Jack Shaw
<jsh -at- software-ag -dot- de> writes:

|> * Living standard. If you can give up a townhouse for a two-room
|> flat, a flitzy Toyota for a bike or public transport (usually
|> extremely reliable), and at least one night out at a laundromat
|> because your place has no washer/dryer, you'll probably make
|> the adjustment. This is not to say there are none of the neat
|> conveniences of U.S. living--in fact, they're all here. But
|> they cost like crazy. And you'll have enough to do with local
|> beauracracy and getting your feet wit:

My living standards have actually improved: I can afford a house here,
and I get a flashy new company car every 3 years, to say nothing of a
35-hour week and five weeks holiday.

|> 1. Local nationals (no matter what Brussels says...)
|> 2. Citizens of other EU countries (sometimes...)
|> 3. Others.

All very true. And it's stupidly difficult to convince them that you're
the boy/girl for the job.

|> Add to this other exemptions for moving/living that you
|> can deduct. The point is, you must file. Always. Every
|> year, the IRS sends me 5 lbs. of forms/instructions, only
|> for me to file a simplified, "Sorry, don't qualify to join
|> your club" form back. But if I don't, they have folks right
|> here in Bonn to remind me... . And to get those neat
|> exemptions, I have to be out of the U.S. a full calendar
|> year, contiguously.

You don't *have* to be out of the country a full year contiguously. You
must be out 330 days out of the year. The other test you can pass is
what the Feds call a "bonafide residency" test. If you can prove that,
yes, you really do live there by things like a house, then the
physical presence is irrelevant.
|> And of course, you pay local taxes. Just like a real, live
|> German/French/whatever person. And since you haven't grown
|> up with the local system, you need a tax accountant. Here,
|> they don't charge by the work they do, but by percentage
|> of my gross income. Right, no matter how much/little work
|> they have to do. Tax accountants here just love high-income
|> foreign workers...

My accountant charges a flat fee. The rest is all too true.

|> Bottom line: if you're freewheeling and gregarious, you
|> just might do fine. If you (figuratively speaking) drive
|> home weekends to do laundry/eat a decent meal/see Grandma,
|> you might be miserable. But you will experience:
|> * Frustration bordering on rage


|> * Diarrhea from nerves/water/fatigue/bureaucrats

Not since the last time I was in Mexico. :-)

|> * 25-55% taxes

Less than I paid in CA for income tax. Indirect tax makes it about even.

|> * Great bread/beer

Undoubtedly. The wine is okay, as well.

|> * Unsalted butter

Why is this weird?

|> * Pancakes for supper
|> * Pickles for breakfast

Not in England. They'd probably arrest you for crimes against nature.

|> --and a bit of yearning whenever you see someone off at
|> the airport on their way back to Great Bend...

Nope. Not yet, anyhow.

Steve Read

Oracle UK

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