Episode #
003

Nomad Tax Tips & More with Krystal Pino

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Episode Summary

An accountant turned digital nomad who serves the location independent, digital nomad, expat and explorer with their tax, accounting and business services when it comes to the US Internal Revenue Service. She tells of her travels, and her perspectives on this lifestyle. Founder and Chief Nerd of nomadtax.io, Krystal Pino, CPA, PFS, enlightens us with the ins and outs of tax filing while hopping from one place to another. This episode educates people on how to find out what your tax liabilities are per country and what to do after.

A truly helpful episode especially for remote workers who travel frequently and need to attend to the nitty gritty of tax filing.

From the episode

CONTACT KRYSTAL

LOCATION WHERE THE INTERVIEW TOOK PLACE

What You'll Learn

Timestamps

[5:38] What to look for in a location as digital nomads

[10:00] The ups and downs of being in the laptop lifestyle

[12:09] Why taking a rest day is important as a remote worker

[15:51] What dates we need to be aware of when it comes to taxes

[19:43] Enjoying and exploring diverse cultures as you travel

[25:14] The uniqueness of each of our perspectives

Show Transcript

Allen  

Welcome to The New Nomad. We have a great guest today with Krystal Pino, of Nomad Tax will share her story, her ideas, her perspectives on the Nomad lifestyle. The new Nomad, it's not just a podcast, it's a community of people, ideas and spirit helping you take advantage of the cross-border lifestyle. Please welcome my co host, Andrew Jernigan, who himself has been a new Nomad who has just recently traveled to and from Brazil, and would love to talk to you a little bit about what he learned in the airport experience. Andrew, take it away,

Andrew  

I just get settled land in one of my most favorite airport lounges in some Paulo, Brazil. And it's nice, at least, showers were open again, you know, during COVID, it's been one of those things where you couldn't shower in those long waits between international flights, just due to the pandemic. But that's one of the nice things and the food options were better. You know, this time they did have roast beef and all kinds of nice hot ravioli dishes and different things in the lounge that I was that is one of my favorite lounges. 

And you know, it's, it makes this expat New Nomad, global lifestyle a whole lot more pleasant when you can have a quiet room to catch up on emails, get a drink, connect to secure Wi Fi, or at least Wi Fi, take a shower stretch for a minute in those long waits. So that was one of the best things about my airport experience other than the fact that again, it wasn't very crowded. So you didn't have to be bumping into people in the Duty Free as you drooled over the West Chocolate again. But the flights from Sao Paolo to Newark, New Jersey, was sold out. It was packed. And it seemed like everyone had a buy one get one for young kids crying kids went to flee. So those are a couple of my observations on this last trip.

Allen  

Well, it's interesting, Andrew, you know, the other thing I always say at the club lounge is when I'm sitting there, I often frankly, look at my own personal data, you I want to check my how the stock should go in reading those, those interesting emails that are coming from the home office, etc. And I have this creeping feeling in the back of my mind that maybe I should make sure that I have my secure VPN on and 

Andrew  

Something like that. It's so easy. Um, you know, we use our phones, I know what you're saying. Our phones are mini computers. And you and I, and I know Krystal too, because she deals with so much personal information. She'll be talking about that later on today. But yeah, you hit on something that is so vital that whether on our phone, or tablet or a laptop, we've got to be connected to a VPN. And I'm sure that everyone listening today, always on a VPN on their cell phone. Because they value their privacy and their protect, they protect the sites that are logging into but yeah, great point, Allen.

Allen  

It's, and by the way, given the fact that the world is going to be opening up shortly, and I think you'd probably have the same feeling. It's also when the children around the home computer and they're just playing games, you might be opening yourself up for issues if there's not secure VPN there too. So like I said, security is a big part of things. And as we talked about tax today, we'll be talking to Krystal it just made me think all the more issue to make sure that you have a secure, you know, computer set up or phone if people forget, you're right, the phone is a computer. 

So we're gonna welcome in Krystal to the conversation. Krystal, where are you today? And I know you've traveled all over, but often you're on the road. Tell us about where you're at.

Krystal  

Yeah, so today I'm actually in my home area right now. When the pandemic hit, I decided to settle down in Mexico. So I've been living on the Yucatan Peninsula since last July. So that is where you find me today in the middle of a heatwave.

Allen  

Sometimes I feel weak we'd be happy to trade with because finally when and 60 degrees and we're ready to pop the champaigne corks, but you've had great weather down there. And you're living a lot of the experience that we've heard from folks. So you've been down there throughout the pandemic, how has things been like Wi Fi and keeping the business going? And the different questions you're getting for people that have really packed up and gone to a different location?

Krystal  

Yeah, it's been an interesting year for everybody. And, you know, for us, not only on the tax side, you know, but kind of, you know, we do consulting with, you know, digital nomads about life decisions too and their effect on their taxes. So, I mean, it's been a lot of discussion about, you know, what does it mean, if I live in three different states? And one year Oh, you know, what the, you know, what countries? Can I go to? What are restrictions, like, you know, is, you know. 

Here in Mexico, I'm pretty fortunate, you know, I feel like everybody here just kind of does what their, quote unquote, supposed to, but there's not a lot of anxiety around the pandemic, you know, and Wi Fi is generally good here. So I mean, it's been a good spot for, for me, but I think that there's been that balance this year for digital nomads is like, Okay, well, where do we wait this thing out? 

Allen  

It's interesting and ever, maybe you can apply this. We've seen Mexico, Portugal, Estonia, Costa Rica, as three, sorry, four of the hotspots that we've seen people move off to? And maybe Krystal quick question and then of Andrew to pine on this. Is it because of the quality of life? Or is it because there is an ease in tax and the paperwork, etc? Or is it just because it's such a great location to be at? 

Krystal  

I mean, I think it's probably a combination of all of the above, right? So what are the things that digital nomads look for? Obviously, quality of life, cost of living, ease of entry, um, you know, there's not a lot of places that we can get in right now. I mean, honestly, like Mexico is one that the borders are open to people can move here freely. You know, so I think it's a combination of factors for sure.

Andrew  

Yeah. And I know a lot of people that are going to Mexico love their watersports, whether it is just wave boarding or you know, just being beachside with their their laptop in the sun while everyone else is waiting for the sun to come out again for the spring. And are you you're into watersports quite a bit, aren't you? Often I see an Instagram post of you on some kind of board.

Krystal  

Yeah, so we kind of have a quote me and my friends are always say "never not boat". It just basically just translates into really don't give up an opportunity to get out on the water. And I've been kind of fortunate you know that there's like Playa Del Carmen has a great paddleboarding club. Right so I get out there and do like sunrise paddleboarding, you know, or since that paddleboarding and it's really kind of a nice and a socially distanced activity you know a way to get out there on the water so

Andrew  

so in comparison to Tulum to where you are because Tulum is one of those places that is famous for all the parties and the solopreneur environment you've been there you've spent time there I'm not sure if that was in your seasons long ago in a remote year or if it's been more recent even how would you compare where you are there?

Krystal  

I always say that you know, because people People always ask those questions right is what is your favorite or what are you recommend? And I think that that's so I mean, it's really too broad to be able to answer that. I think that Tulum offers you know certain things that Playa Del Carmen doesn't, you know, and it's really ties back to like what are you looking for? Are you really looking for that social aspect? Are you looking for that you know, kind of Instagram or influencer you know solopreneur environment you know that then that party environment you know, that Tulum was kind of famous for. Tulum is also absolutely gorgeous and wonderful. They have some of the best cafes that I've ever been to, delicious food. You know, the kind of you know, you move up into like, maybe Playa Del Carmen you're going to see a more toned-down version of that, you know, so it's really just like, what are you looking for? Are the lifestyle or what does a place work for you? Or does it not

Allen  

Stand up paddleboarding? That is a great workout. It really is. And, you know, during this COVID year, I think so many people discovered new ways of just exploring life. What's your feeling about what's coming after COVID most people are able to travel again, you feel it, that people are going to be like the roaring 20s of 100 years ago and, and going all over. I mean, obviously your your folks that you work with, you must be getting a feeling of either there's a pent up demand or is people saying you know what, I'm really kind of happy that I secured my spot and I'm going to wait this out even longer.

Krystal  

I mean, I think that you're definitely going to see an uptick in the lifestyle, visiting one of the biggest hindrances of it so far to date has been industries just absolutely convinced that there's no way they could support a remote workforce. You know, and a year ago, they were kind of forced into it, you know, they were forced to figure out how to allow their employees to work remotely. And they've had a year to see how that plays out, you know, does it hinder productivity? Or does it increase it? You know, what are the security concerns that we had to work through? So I mean, we've worked through a lot of all of this now. 

So I really think that it's going to be up to the industry, to, you know, to see if, you know, individual companies are going to be open to allow their employees not just to work from home, but work from anywhere. But in speaking with some of my colleagues that are in this same area, I think that we're all in the same place, Andrew probably agrees that we're going to see a big uptick. Once things start to open back up,

Andrew  

yes, in that, but from that pendulum swings to another side, to where yes, you can be remote, but you got to have a day off, or a day of no meetings so that you can actually get your work done. Because in this new world, that many of us I've been in this remote work environment for many years, Allen has as well. And and you have done it from all around the world as over the years. But for many, this is new, and boundaries don't exist. So sure we can we can get excited about okay, more companies are going remote.

But now we've got to really put in, how are you going to not work remotely 24 hours a day? You know, that's that was my problem some years back when I was working across time zones, and ended up with a stress induced heart attack. Because I was doing morning jumping on the laptop could somebody in Taiwan needed help, right, then, you know. My boss was on a trip to Taiwan and the hero was popping up my laptop because I got a text notification. Help this is urgent. Well, it wasn't meant this help. This is urgent for you right now. It was urgent for them where they were they didn't assume for me to jump out of bed and deal with that wire transfer right then. But

Krystal  

yeah,

Andrew  

I wasn't used to it. And we've got a world now that needs to get used to the pendulum swing of I don't have to go to the office. And I don't have to turn it off at a certain time, certain time every day and get in the car and enjoy the radio or the subway and chill and watch people now it's I'm working at my home desk and my home dining room table and my home sink and work never goes off. interesting dynamic we've entered into

Krystal  

it is a is a tough swaying. And I think you know, I always try to go back to a quote that my father used to say all the time, he always says poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine. And I added on to that one too. And then I picked up in the industry, that's useful for us to say there's no such thing as an accounting emergency. Right? 

So it's a perception. And it goes both ways. Right? So it's on you personally to set boundaries around that work time to say, okay, I'm, like me personally, I only take calls on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Friday mornings during tax season. So and then then I have Mondays and Wednesdays that I know that I can dedicate to, you know, just working without those constant interruptions. But I mean, also setting that boundary with yourself to say, Okay, well, these are the hours that I'm out of office, and for your clients to have that understanding to that you're not always available. And they get that perception from you, when you actually take that time when you say I'm not available during these times, don't be available, don't answer your emails, don't answer the slack messages, you know, whatever it is, I promise you can wait at least 12 hours.

Allen  

I totally agree with you. And you're talking about boundaries, because you're in an industry that boundaries, often are April 15 is an immutable boundary until somebody finds out that they can do an extension or this year. I know a lot of people are still scurrying about April 15. But really May 17 is the the date this year. So maybe you could comment on that because you're in a unique area. And a lot of the nomads we work with move overseas because they want to leave a high cost high tax area. But what they forget as they move often from W2 to 1099 employees is that they've got to keep some good paperwork. And they got to be able to hand something off to Nomad Tax that makes some sense. So you can actually file a tax return for somebody or help them do that. So maybe could you comment on that? Cuz I think there's a lot of people who are on the edge of this look, really, it looks really easy until they talk and they don't realize they've saved anything all year.

Krystal  

Yeah, and I think we have way too many of those conversations on the back end instead of on the front end. Now. I will say that I do applaud I do have a good number of consulting calls when people call me and they're like, I'm switching from W2 to 1099. What do I need to know, we've actually got a great blog post on our website to about those two, that you can just go and read. 

You know, so, yeah, I think the the nuances between the two are something that definitely needs to be considered when you're making that move. It has tax implications. It has, you know, business implications. You know, we talked a little bit touched a little bit about, you know, business structures the other day when we were chatting, you know, like, what is the ideal structure? Now that you're going out on your own? Do you even need a structure? You know, so I can say, probably my best piece of advice to somebody who's making making that move is to just reach out, you know, do some research online or reach out to a tax professional, could be me could be somebody else that can kind of, you know, show you show you the way there,

Allen  

it really is an area of being prepared. And then even, you know, tracking the days. I mean, I remember when I used to travel, man, am I at nine days or 10 days in California 10 days means I have a tax event, nine, I don't. So I know in the global world, especially for Americans abroad, is it 330 days, that's the important number to think about, or is it 183, I mean help me out as a lay person on this.

Krystal  

They're both important. It just depends on what you're talking about. So as US citizens, we are subject to your tax on our worldwide income, no matter where we are, or anything like that. But there are provisions out there to help us. One of the caveats of those being that you need to be physically present in a foreign country for 330 out of 365 days. So that 330 is definitely an important number. And the 183 is important because in the majority of countries in the world, if you're spending more than 183 days in that country, you could be subject to a tax liability there. So both of those numbers are important to keep in mind.

Andrew  

Okay, that brought up something, as in, you mentioned other countries, here there for 183 days or so, what about all those folks who decide, I'm going to come to the US, I'm going to get a you know, get hired into the US, they might need an accountant to help file their taxes because it's a whole new system. Whether they're getting employed by a major corporation, this new Nomad is not just the entrepreneur with their own business, but it's those who used to go by the term expat, which is so colonial or the international assignee, you know, they need somebody like you to follow their American taxes when they get a job here, right?

Krystal  

It depends. It depends on what type of visa you're coming in on, what type of job you have, how much time you're spending here. And I always say, you know, Alan, you touched on the states before 50 United States of America until it comes to taxes, because each state has their own regulations to you know, so I think definitely the first step coming into the US is to talk to somebody and have that information available. I have this kind of job, I'm on this type of visa, I'm going to be living in this state. What are my one of my tax liabilities here?

Andrew  

Yeah, this, you know, the whole world schooling, and then also van life. You know, I was talking to somebody the other day, as I was enjoying this sprinter Mercedes van, that was just math out fun. But it was one of those things to where a lot of people think that it's the United States where it is a country of state, and as you work from one place to another, or as you employ people from one state to another, and you need to partner with someone like Remote.com or there's so so many excellent providers in that space such as Remote, Globalization Partners and GlobalUpside.

So just consulting with a CPA with a professional in the industry, and not just somebody who says, Oh, yes, I'm an EA, I can I can file it for you, because I'm not American, but I did register on their website. You know, having somebody who knows American taxes more than just able to file it for you. And so it's it's great to have you here, there. There's so many aspects of life that you've experienced and from bouncing from one continent to another one country to another. In this lifestyle, what are enjoyable are things that happened that just made you laugh when you were in a country other than your own.

Krystal  

I mean, that list is exhaustive. It's a long one, right? I mean, I think that the The wonderful thing that you learn while traveling is that I mean, culture is really a thing. Right? So it's funny because, you know, when we talk about, you know, certain things, you know, in Latin American cultures are accepted where they're not accepted in the US, you know, right. I mean, think about something, one of the biggest ones is, you know, talking about the different animals that are eaten throughout the world, you know, India holds cows sacred, whereas, you know, in Southeast Asian countries, they eat things like dogs and cats. Right. 

So, I mean, those are just kind of the cultural nuances and the differences. I mean, it's definitely, you know, something that always has you on your toes, and definitely something that you need to be aware of, when traveling, and you just have to, you have to accept it for what it is because you're always your guests in their country. You know, so just remembering that, you know, even if you don't agree with what's going on there, I mean, obviously, if it's a human rights issue, and you want to, you know, volunteer around that. But you know, if it's something that's ingrained in their culture, and you don't agree with it, just remember, you're a guest in their country.

Allen  

That's a great point it, you know, if all the places you visited, is there an overlooked person, place or experience that you would suggest people to discover? It's, it's such a big world out there. And it's often people say, say to me, where do I even start? And you maybe pick a favorite city? Or here's a great book, you know, we'd love your feedback. And a couple overlooked items, perhaps. I mean, everybody always says Paris is wonderful. Well, that's that's obvious. Is there another great Paris out there?

Krystal  

Is Paris wonderful, though, what if you don't like cities?

Allen  

True

Krystal  

You know, what if you're allergic to dairy? Paris might not be great. If you know, Paris is very, it's very individualized. But I mean, I think that the most overlooked thing, or the thing that I would say is, the first thing that you should do is get plugged into the digital nomad community, because they are some of the most helpful people that I have ever met. I mean, it you know, even myself, you know, I'm thinking of going to Macedonia later this year. So I pop into one of these digital nomad communities. And I'm like, okay, who's been in Macedonia, because I don't even know where to start. And I mean, somebody will come and they will, they will help you out. 

There are Facebook expat groups are a great place to start. You know, and then there, there are other other groups too, you know, slack communities and stuff like that, that once you start digging into the community, you'll start tripping across this a little bit more, but Facebook's a great place to start, just, you know, search, Montenegro, expat group, and there'll be one out there, and you can just pop in and start asking your questions. Well, I'm

Andrew  

Sure you post great things, you know, you have articles on your site. And I think you're a little social on a couple of places in particular. Where can people find you? And what are your links? I know, at the beginning, we mentioned the name of your business. But if you could tell us tell everyone how they can learn more about you reach out to your team. I know, just because I know, folks who've been your clients that have raved about you. It's one of those things of they deal with your team. You've got a team of professionals there. But so what's, what's the scoop?

Krystal  

Yeah, I mean, if you want to learn about us, the best way to do so is to go to our website. We have a fantastic website that was actually built last year alongside the Insured Nomads website as part of the No Code Rumble. So we have a beautiful product that came out of that where you can pretty much learn everything about our services about our team, kind of what we what we can offer and what we can help with. And it's nomadtax.io. So just head over there, and you should be able to get linked In. You know, find the information that you need, and then get linked In with either myself or our team. If you want to move forward with anything.

Allen  

Fantastic. What a great feedback. What great tips. And thank you for joining us today, Krystal, we really appreciate it. And we will we will look for you again. Hopefully we could do this more than every year before tax time. I mean, as we sit in April 8 right now, and the typical day a week from now would have been everybody's scurrying for the paperwork.

Krystal  

Yeah, yeah. I think it's a good it's a good reminder to what we said it's not April 15 anymore, it's May 17. And then also for Americans living abroad. The filing date is actually June 15. So good little tidbit there.

Allen  

I heard a collective  exhale out in the Nomad marketplace with that bit of information. I saw Andrew exhale, very much.

Krystal  

A lot of people. Yeah. Thanks for having me. I really had fun.

Allen  

Thanks again, Andrew. So we learned a lot today. I love the feedback and the tips as a matter of fact, mentioned one of my favorite countries. She mentioned Montenegro, which for folks who want to try out got like the Grand Canyon of Europe, which is absolutely incredible if you ever get a chance. So what did you learn today and, and share with us some of your ideas?

Andrew  

Well, you know, I, I took away one thing in particular that I heard that was that it's obvious, but we can't copy people, but they want to review their Instagram,  Facebook and think oh, wow look at those pictures, I should copy that, and that should be my life limit leaving the rat race of suburbia or the inner city of whatever city you're from around the world to go sit mountain side or beach side and thinking that's going to be it for you long term, it may not be what fits your, your personality.

So when I heard her say that everyone has a unique love have a particular place, whether it be Paris, Prague, or Pittsburgh, some people just love it. And other people would say, why would you want to go there? I heard someone saying that this week of Oh, it was fun to get a tour of Lisbon. But I'm getting an apartment in Kiev instead. And like what? Kiev over Portugal? you know, over Lisbon, and they said, Yep, it matched my personality, my desire for a base, even though they're only going to spend six or seven months a year there. So that's my biggest takeaway is where each unique and with respect are all of our differences. 

Allen  

Very well said. It's hard to argue taught that not only are we unique, but it's the reason why we're so spread around the Nomad community around the world is everybody has a different place that makes them feel comfortable and a lot of times that changes by different points of your life, too. So Excellent, excellent close there. So once again to our listeners, please subscribe to the new Nomad podcast. And leave a great view review. If you enjoyed our discussions. It helps our community find the podcast. You can also find us at insurednomads.com or thenewnomad.net. Once again, we look forward to your feedback, your comments and your exploration of this great planet and great people that we work with daily. Thanks again, and look forward to seeing you down the road.

Intro  

Cheers. Thanks for tuning in to The New Nomad podcast, where we bring together an incredible community of people and ideas that embody the nomadic spirit. Please remember to subscribe and leave a review. For more amazing tips to help you take advantage of the cross border lifestyle, please visit us at insured nomads.com forward slash podcast See you next week.

Nomad Tax Tips & More with Krystal Pino

About the Guest

Krystal Pino

Krystal, or Pino as most of her travel companions know her, is the mastermind behind Nomad Tax. Pino is a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), and PFS (Personal Financial Specialist) with a BA in Accounting and an MBA in Finance from UAB in Birmingham, AL. She's been at the tax game for over a decade now, working on both the corporate and public sides of accounting. Pino has been a digital nomad for nearly 4 years now, visiting nearly 40 countries. She's currently waiting out the pandemic in Mexico, but is looking forward to vegan street food in Cape Town, lake houses in Macedonia, and beaches in Nicaragua when it's safe to travel again.