Recently, I read an article by Thomson Reuters COO, Brian Peccarelli which definitely caught my attention. In particular, was the fact that the country of Estonia has been attempting to put its entire government online. The e-Estonia program has enabled citizens to file taxes, sign documents, vote and allow foreigners to become e-residents. Estonia’s e-Residency program allows anyone from around the world to become citizens, companies, and digital nomads. The world of the peripatetic professional is on the rise.
According to the E-Residency 2.0 Whitepaper, one day at 8 o’clock on a Tuesday morning, three people are granted e-Residency in the Republic of Estonia – a consultant named Pierre who in any given year works from five different countries; Azumi, a programmer from Japan; and video artist Miguel from Brazil. By 2 o’clock that afternoon, our brand-new e-residents have already registered companies in the Republic of Estonia. Pierre starts his company through e-Residency because he wants to be based in a transparent and trusted jurisdiction with paperless management, Azumi registers his company so he can offer services within the EU market, and Miguel does so because he wants to produce a VR film and hopes to find partners among the global community of e-residents. The following week, Pierre hires Silvia, an accountant from the southern Estonian town of Võru. Azumi teams up with Tõnu, a graphic designer from Tartu, and Miguel finds a producer called Paul and recruits him as CEO.
All these contacts evolve into mutually beneficial business and cultural ties. This is a vision of 2030 when stories like these are the norm among the e-Residency community, which is now several million strong. Estonia has created a new international market and a global platform for collaboration. In one way or another, e-residents account for billions of euros in business activity. The Estonian people reap a noteworthy part of the value generated by the e-Residency programme, in the form of increased business, investment, partnership opportunities, jobs and tax revenues. E-Residency is even a boon for Estonia’s national security and has helped promote Estonian culture around the world. Today, this scenario is already coming true. Estonia has taken the first steps by becoming the first country to establish a global community of e-residents. Close to 50,000 people have signed up so far for this BETA Program.
The report also states that according to various estimates, the number of digital nomads globally is continuing to grow at ever faster rates, and for many the average stay in a given country is about 2-3 weeks. These are people who often drift between different tax systems and most countries in the world would not conclude that they are based in their country. Therefore, these people aren’t clear on where they should pay taxes, and to what extent. It shouldn’t be like that. There are close to 200 countries in the world, which means there are close to 200 finance and social welfare ministries and 200 tax and social insurance boards. But there is another jurisdiction with intense economic activity but does not have a finance ministry or social insurance board and that’s the Internet. Estonia has a potential way of filling this void.
While entire countries are going digital, TaxConnections has spent years developing a digital virtual office that travels the world with you. Within your office is everything you need to operate from any location in the world with a few clicks. Professionals will have their needs met with resources easily available to them as our virtual offices continue to evolve. Why would anyone need to spend hours researching every tool they need to operate a business when the research has been completed and presented to them? We are currently doing the research for the profession. Making it easier to operate a professional business online has always been our mission. We invite tax professionals in public accounting and legal firms, corporations and academia to join us as a TaxConnections Member today.