Is it legal to work remotely in Taiwan on a visitor visa?

It’s becoming increasingly apparent to me that working remotely in Taiwan for my current UK-based company on the Gold Card might be more hassle and costly than its worth in my situation. This is because I would need to rent out my property and, therefore, pay taxes in both countries.

I understand that it’s pretty straightforward to keep extending a visitor visa by leaving and re-entering Taiwan and nobody at the airport ever questions people about this (at least, this seemed to be the situation when I lived in Taiwan several years ago). But would it be legal for me to work remotely for a UK-based company while staying in Taiwan on a visitor visa? This could, in theory, massively simplify things as I’d continue to be a UK resident and pay all my taxes to the UK.

'4. Q: Who has the obligation to include his or her overseas income in the amount of basic income?
A: Someone who meets both of the following conditions shall include his or her overseas income in the amount of basic income: (1) He or she is a resident of the ROC, and (2) His or her filing unit has aggregated both overseas income greater than or equal to 1 million NT dollars and basic income greater than 6 million NT dollars in one year.
5. Q: What is the definition of a resident of the ROC?
A: Someone whose circumstances fall under any of the following conditions shall be a resident of the ROC: (1) A person who has domicile within the territory of the ROC and resides within the territory of the ROC; or (2) A person who has no domicile within the territory of the ROC but resides within the territory of the ROC for a period of more than or equal to 183 days during a taxable year. ’

But then you’re working on a visitor visa and that’s not allowed.

It wouldn’t be legal, nor would it affect your tax liability in Taiwan.

If you stay here long enough in a year to need to pay tax on a gold card, you’d also be obligated to pay tax on a visitor visa (while also working illegally) - the gold card wouldn’t change anything. Plus the gold card would be easier than relying on neverending visitor visas (if they’re still available at the moment - not sure they are).

If the goal is simply not to pay the tax you’re supposed to pay in Taiwan, the easiest way would seem to be getting the gold card and not declaring the income (also not legal of course and not what I’m recommending, but no more illegal than doing the same thing on a visitor visa). You can’t really just choose where you’re resident for tax purposes, and it’s independent of whether you have an ARC.

I’m 90% sure you wouldn’t be required to simultaneously pay tax twice on the same income - I suspect you’d want to do something like pay tax on the rental income in the UK (if necessary when non-resident) and pay tax on the UK-derived employment in Taiwan, but I don’t know the details - that’s something you’d have to look into.

As others have said: your visa does not affect your tax residency in Taiwan. You’ll owe the same taxes either way, so you’re better off on the Gold Card.

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The main issue is if you have income for a year that you have to account for. For instance, in my home country I could be audited, they do randomly selection sometimes. If I can pull out the Taiwan tax form that I declared here, the tax office will lay off. Otherwise, I’m in trouble. They’ll want to tax me at a much higher rate there. Easier to take the hit of lower taxes in Taiwan then back home. No matter what, never heard a cogent argument for how income tax is not theft, but pick your fights, report in Taiwan…a huge benefit to living here - easy and low.

Thanks for the good replies. I guess there are just no easy answers.

It depends on what you mean by legal. I had a whole thread on this once … especially in relation to income received in your home country in that country’s bank account, while living elsewhere. It gets complex in some ways, especially if there is no footprint outside of your home country in relation to the work done. I know there ar some very black and white posters on here in relation to this, but most countries do not consider you a resident unless you are there over 183 days and do not consider you tax liable unless you are a resident and/or receive income in that country.

From a tax point of view (rather than can I “legally” work in X - from an immigration point of view), it depends purely on where you are a tax resident. This often is based upon where you are a “resident”, which in most countries is where you spend more than 183 days in a year, or where your vital interests are mostly present. This is something that should be discussed with the tax authorities or a savvy accountant with international experience (many are very ignorant in relation to international tax laws).

Without this situation, the whole concept of Digital Nomads and remote work would not exist. However, if you spend more than six months in a year in Taiwan, it will likely be that tax is owed to Taiwan in some way, but it also depends on what you paid on it back home. There are exclusions for foreign earned income in Taiwan; definitely talk to an accountant about it.

Let me repeat - talk to a Taiwan based accountant about this, possibly in conjunction with an accountant who thoroughly understands tax residency laws in your home country (the UK?). These things are often not so black and white as they seem.

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Thanks for the helpful reply! Anybody here able to recommend a Taiwan-based tax adviser who speaks English and knows about the UK? I’m sure that would be easier to find than a UK-based tax adviser who knows about Taiwan.

I think @Marco had a good accountant that is familiar with these things.

Well, it’s not legal, but unless you are under investigation they would never know. However when it comes to tax reporting and all that for gold cards, this could be problematic.

If you make enough for a gold card, then get the gold card.

So you could just come as a visitor and keep coming back and forth, as Taiwan doesn’t seem to care (unlike more “developed countries”), as long as you fulfill your tax obligations back home if any (cough USA cough). But it would make things a lot easier if you just get the gold card if you qualify.


This is pretty black and white, at least from the Taiwanese side. The Taiwanese tax authorities have been very clear about the conditions under which resident and non-resident foreigners need to pay tax on income derived from Taiwan and abroad while physically present in Taiwan. 90 days or less - foreign income not taxed, 91-182 days - taxed as non-resident (bad), 183 days or more - taxed as resident. It’s stated in the Income Tax Act and pretty much every single guide about Taiwanese taxes you can find on the internet (and there are many).

I really don’t think you need an accountant or tax adviser here, at least for the time being. IIRC, you’ve been posting about this for a long time now (like your thread a couple of weeks ago asking about taxes for gold card holders, much of which applies here and that you already confirmed with the tax office). The questions you’re asking about tax liability in Taiwan and working on a visitor visa are honestly pretty basic and an accountant/tax adviser will tell you the same as you’re reading here for free. I’m sure they’ll happily take money from you for doing so, though.

I’d suggest first reading the Income Tax Act (it’s available in English) and the PWC tax guide for Taiwan (I think KPMG publishes one too, and maybe another consultancy firm, but you’ll have to google for those) to answer these basic questions (and probably some more advanced ones, like overseas assets). The rental income complicates things, but this stuff honestly isn’t that complicated if those are your only two sources of income.

I have gone into this at length in another post. It is not so clear cut. What about an LLC in another country? Equities owned overseas? The foreign income exemptions? Tax paid to the US? I will dig in a bit to link to that thread.

Yeah, the US and having a company would make it more complicated of course, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here as he’s from the UK (and from what I gather from “work remotely for a UK-based company” not a company owner - I also mentioned some of that in his/her previous thread).

I’m mostly saying that I think it would be a good idea for OP to read up on the basics in one of those tax guides I mentioned. They’re pretty thorough and a surprisingly good resource for these initial questions before considering paying through the nose for professional advice.

Gold Card lets (or will eventually let) you get APRC after 3 years of averaging 183+ days. I think for the flexibility you’re seeking you should go after that.

Yeah, I agree on reading up on relevant tax law. Some people find tax laws confusing though, and a professional can simplify things. I think the main questions would be something along the lines of:

  1. If he is a tax resident of Taiwan:
    a. What are his Taiwan tax liabilities on income earned outside of Taiwan (especially if tax was taken off at UK source); this requires navigating tax treaty regulations, as well as complexities related to Taiwan tax regulations on income earned outside of Taiwan.

  2. Or what is involved in remaining a non-tax resident in Taiwan? Or what happens if he is a tax resident in both countries? (This happens, and is quite possible in his case imho)

Anyways, I find that most of us on here are well intentioned, but as things become more complex, things are less clear cut, and an accountant can be a good resource (even if just $200 US for a consult call). In the OPs case it may be more straight forward, but it also may not be.

Just my 2 cents.

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There is a double taxation treaty between the UK and Taiwan… might help you.