Can Andorra Still Offer Advantages for Those Seeking Low or Zero Taxes?
Andorra is somewhat off the beaten track. It is situated in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, around 200km from Barcelona. It has a population of 76,000 inhabitants. The locals mostly speak Catalan, Spanish and French. English is now taught in the schools and becoming more common. But is Andorra a tax haven? It was famed as a tax haven for most of its existence but sadly, they introduces an income tax in 2015.
That being said, it does still have some advantages over its high tax neighbours. Some will still find it attractive. It’s certainly cheaper and has more space than places like Monaco.
Residents Are Left in Peace by This Miniscule State
Andorra is a beautiful and peaceful place to live. Residents are mostly left alone by the micro state.
It has 100% coverage of super-fast fibre broadband which might make up for its lack of an airport or connectivity with Europe’s rail system. The nearest airport is Barcelona, a 2-and-a-half-hour drive from the Principality.
For those seeking a quiet life and low tax rates amongst spectacular mountain scenery Andorra could be a perfect choice. There are a broad selection of conservative and safe banks in Andorra to store your wealth. Residents can easily open accounts with banks such as Andbank in Andorra.
Andorra Is a Haven For Tax Free Shopping
Is Andorra a tax haven, then? No, it’s not a zero tax haven any more but Andorra boasts the lowest VAT rate in Europe at 4.5% for most purchases. It is certainly a haven for duty free shopping. Residents of Spain and France are known to travel to Andorra to buy high value items like jewellery at a much lower rate of VAT than in EU neighbours France and Spain.
Andorra is not a member of the European Union but uses the Euro for all transactions.
Tax Rates for Andorra Residents
Residents of Andorra are taxed on their worldwide income. The first €24,000 is not taxed, the next €16,000 is taxed at 5%. Amounts over €40,000 are taxed at 10%. This certainly beats other low tax havens in Europe such as The Channel Islands.
It wouldn’t be too difficult to imagine a couple earning €80,000 and keeping their tax bill down to €4,000 per year. Any income above this level could be structured to be received via a corporation with careful planning. This would let you live, at least part of the year, in this pleasant country with a minimal tax liability. So, no longer is Andorra a tax haven but it is still one of the lowest tax countries in the world today.
There is no inheritance tax or wealth tax. Capital gains are treated the same as income with a rate of 10%
It may also be meaningful for some citizens of high tax countries to prove that they are tax residents and paying tax elsewhere. In any case tax in Andorra is not too burdensome, although I do think it’s a pity that they introduced it at all. No doubt they were pressurised by organisations like the EU and the OECD.
Easy to Get Residency But Not Citizenship
Residency is relatively easy to obtain. Like most jurisdictions they want you to prove that you have no criminal record and have enough funds to live there. Your residency will normally be approved in less than 3 months.
This is not a place to gain citizenship easily. You’ll have to live in Andorra for 20 years before you can apply. The only exception is if you marry an Andorran, then it’s is cut to 3 years.
Here we have answered the question ‘Is Andorra a Tax Haven?’ It’s not a perfect zero tax haven, but with a little planning it could be an almost zero tax haven. You could easily plan your affairs to have your tax bill at less than 5 figures. You’d also save with substantially lower property prices than other low or zero tax havens. So, if you’re in search of a country in Europe with pleasant scenery, low taxes and a more laissez faire existence than most of Europe Andorra might be worth a visit to see if it could work for you.
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