Crypto Taxes for Digital Nomads: From Bitcoin to Borders

Crypto taxes for digital nomads involve navigating a complex mix of tax residency, domicile, and international treaties to ensure compliance and optimize tax savings. Digital nomads need to know the tax rules in each country they stay in, keep detailed records of their crypto transactions and travel logs, and consult with tax experts to manage their global tax obligations effectively. 

Navigating the maze of crypto taxes can feel like a puzzle, especially for digital nomads who blend work, travel, and investment into a unique lifestyle. As you hop from country to country, understanding how your global earnings, including from cryptocurrencies, are taxed becomes crucial.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to navigate tax laws around the globe, keep your finances in check, and make the most of your nomadic lifestyle without the tax hassle. 

Basics of Crypto Taxes

Basics of Crypto Taxes for Digital Nomads

Even though the rules for taxing cryptocurrencies can change from one country to another, there are some common trends and rules that many places like the USA, Canada, and Australia share. Understanding this is foundational to learning how crypto taxes for digital nomads work. 

Capital Gains Taxes

If you make money from selling, swapping, or cashing in your cryptocurrency, you’re likely to owe capital gains taxes. These taxes might be a set rate or could change depending on whether you made your gains quickly (short-term) or over a longer time (long-term). Usually, if you made your profit in less than a year, the tax rate might be higher. But if your gains were over a year in the making, you might pay less in taxes, or sometimes not at all, depending on where you are. For instance, long-term gains are tax-free in Germany. 

Most places that charge capital gains taxes also let you reduce your tax bill if you’ve realized losses. So, if things didn’t go as planned, your losses could help lower your taxes.

Income Taxes

Getting cryptocurrency as payment for work or from selling things? That’s seen as income, just like money you’d make from a job. You’ll pay income taxes on the value of the crypto when you get it.

This also goes for crypto you get from staking, lending, or mining.

But wait, there’s a catch: if you sell the crypto you earned and make a profit, you might have to pay capital gains taxes on it, too. So, you could end up paying taxes twice on the same chunk of money.

In short, while the specifics of crypto taxes can vary across different countries, the general idea of paying capital gains and income taxes on your crypto dealings is pretty standard. To make sure you’re handling your crypto taxes right, it’s a good idea to look up your local tax rules or talk to a tax expert who knows about crypto.

Factors Affecting Crypto Taxes for Digital Nomads

Factors Affecting Crypto Taxes for Digital Nomads

To understand crypto taxes for digital nomads, let’s follow the journey of Alex, a software developer and cryptocurrency trader with a passion for exploring new places. Alex’s story will help us understand the intricacies of tax residency, domicile, tax home, citizenship, and how international tax treaties come into play for digital nomads.

1. Tax Residency

Tax residency is key in determining where you owe taxes, often based on how many days you spend in a country. For globe-trotters like digital nomads, this can get tricky. Different places have their own rules, like the 183-day guideline, where staying over half the year makes you a tax resident, obligated to report worldwide income, including from crypto.

Take Alex. Spending 190 days in Germany but only 175 in Portugal within a year makes Germany his tax home. There, he must declare all his earnings, crypto included, to German authorities. 

2. Domicile

Domicile goes beyond where you temporarily hang your hat; it’s your permanent home base, often where you’re originally from and plan to return. It’s a sticky concept that doesn’t change as easily as your travel plans or tax residency and has a big say in how your worldwide income gets taxed.

Alex is born and bred in the UK and is considered domiciled there, making him liable for taxes on his global income, including crypto profits, back in the UK. 

This distinction between tax residency and domicile means Alex must juggle tax rules in both the UK and Germany, his current residence. This might sound confusing and probably unfair. However, by the end of this section, you’ll know how all these different concepts come together and work in unity. 

3. Tax Home

Understanding where your tax home is helps clarify where you might owe taxes on your income earned in crypto. But what is a tax home?

Tax home generally refers to a person’s primary place of business or employment despite where they maintain their family home. This can be a bit of a moving target for digital nomads like Alex, further complicating crypto taxes for digital nomads. 

For him, “office” is wherever he opens his laptop. However, having a business registered in Portugal adds a layer of consideration for him, potentially anchoring some of his crypto business income to Portuguese soil for tax purposes.

4. Citizenship

Most countries tax individuals based on their tax residency, not citizenship. However, the U.S. and Eritrea are the only two countries that tax their citizens on worldwide income, regardless of where they lay their heads. 

This means digital nomads with a passport from these countries, like Alex with dual UK and U.S. citizenship, need to report their crypto earnings to the IRS, as well as to any country they reside in, which is Germany in this case.

5. Double Taxation Agreements and Tax Treaties

Double taxation agreements (DTAs) and tax treaties are lifesavers for digital nomads like Alex, who find themselves tangled in the web of international taxes. These agreements ensure that income, including from cryptocurrencies, isn’t taxed twice by different countries, providing much-needed relief.

For example, although Alex is a tax resident in Germany and domiciled in the UK, he also earns from freelance projects in the U.S. Thanks to DTAs between these countries, Alex can avoid paying tax on the same income twice. He reports his U.S. income to the IRS and can claim a foreign tax credit for these payments when filing in Germany or the UK, depending on where the income is attributed according to treaty rules.

So, while crypto taxes for digital nomads may seem super complicated and daunting at first, there are agreements in place to tackle these complications. However, it’s crucial for digital nomads to be aware of these tax treaties and actively seek ways to optimize their tax savings

Takeaway: Each factor plays a role in shaping your tax landscape, making it essential to stay informed and organized. Keep track of your travels, your crypto transactions, and how the laws of each country you touch apply to you. By understanding these elements, you can navigate the complex tax waters more confidently, ensuring you meet your obligations without paying more than necessary. 

Country-Specific Examples for Digital Nomads

Expanding on country-specific examples, we can look at the tax residency requirements in several popular digital nomad destinations. This gives us a clear view of crypto taxes for digital nomads in popular places


Portugal is known for its Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) program, which offers favorable tax conditions for new residents for a period of ten years. To qualify as a tax resident, one typically needs to spend more than 183 days in Portugal in a tax year or have a habitual residence there by December 31st of that year.

Read our in-depth guide on crypto taxes in Portugal to learn more.


In Thailand, tax residency is established by staying in the country for 180 days or more in a tax year. Thailand taxes residents on their worldwide income, but foreign-sourced income is taxed only if it is brought into Thailand in the same year it is earned.


Germany considers individuals tax residents if they spend more than 183 days in the country or have a permanent home there. As a tax resident, one is subject to taxation on worldwide income, including income from cryptocurrencies.

Read our in-depth guide on crypto taxes in Germany to learn more.

Bali, Indonesia

Indonesia has a residency test based on physical presence for more than 183 days within a 12-month period. If you pass this test, you’ll be taxed on your worldwide income. Bali also offers a B211a Digital Nomad Visa with two choices: a 60-day option, renewable twice for up to 180 days, or a 180-day single-entry visa, requiring a new application upon leaving and re-entering the country.


Spain’s tax residency is determined by spending more than 183 days in the country during the calendar year or having the center of economic interests in Spain. 

Spain also offers a special tax regime for new residents, known as the Beckham Law. For digital nomads and expatriates qualifying under this law, it presents a significant benefit by allowing them to be taxed as non-residents on their worldwide income for the first six years of their stay in Spain, subjecting them only to a fixed lower tax rate on their Spanish-sourced income. 

Read our in-depth guide on crypto taxes in Spain to learn more.

United States

The U.S. uses the Substantial Presence Test, calculating tax residency based on the number of days spent in the U.S. over three years. As mentioned before, if you’re a U.S. citizen or resident, you will be taxed on your worldwide income regardless of where you live. 

Read our guide on crypto taxes for US expats and non-US citizens for more information. 

Also, read our in-depth guide on crypto taxes in the US to learn more.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai, and the UAE in general, is known for not imposing personal income taxes on residents. There is no specific day-count rule for establishing tax residency in the UAE. However, one can obtain a residency visa through employment, property investment, or as an entrepreneur. 

The UAE offers a long-term residence visa known as the ‘Golden Visa’ for investors, entrepreneurs, and specialized talents, which can be beneficial for digital nomads planning to stay longer. While there’s no personal income tax, it’s crucial for digital nomads to understand other forms of taxation in the UAE, such as VAT, and to comply with any reporting obligations in their country of citizenship.

Read our in-depth guide on Dubai taxes to learn more. 


Malaysia uses a territorial tax system, where tax residents are taxed on income earned within the country. Tax residency is typically determined by physical presence for 182 days or more in the tax year. For digital nomads, income earned from outside Malaysia and not remitted into Malaysia is not taxable. 

Malaysia also offers the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program, which provides a long-term visa option for foreigners.

Read our in-depth guide on crypto taxes in Malaysia to learn more.


In Singapore, tax residency is established by staying in the country for at least 183 days in a calendar year. Tax residents are taxed on income earned in Singapore and on income received from outside Singapore if sent to Singapore. Singapore’s tax system is progressive, and tax rates vary depending on the resident status and amount of income earned.

Puerto Rico

Though part of the United States, Puerto Rico has a unique tax system under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, Section 933. U.S. citizens who become residents of Puerto Rico are exempt from U.S. federal income tax on income derived from Puerto Rico sources. 

The Act 60 Individual Investors Act in Puerto Rico offers attractive tax incentives, including a 100% tax exemption from Puerto Rico income taxes on all dividends, interest, and capital gains for residents. To qualify as a resident, an individual must spend at least 183 days in Puerto Rico during the tax year and meet other residency criteria.

Practical Tips to Optimize Crypto Taxes for Digital Nomads

First off, maintaining a detailed log of all your crypto transactions alongside a diary of your travel dates and locations is non-negotiable. This dual tracking is made easier with specialized crypto tax software like Bitcoin.Tax, which automates the calculation and reporting process.

Diving deeper, it’s essential to understand the tax agreements between your home country and the places you plan to explore. These treaties can significantly influence your tax duties, potentially offering benefits like reduced rates or exemptions. By familiarizing yourself with these rules, you can strategically plan your stays to optimize your tax situation.

Lastly, the complexity of international taxation shouldn’t be underestimated. Consulting with tax experts who have a firm grasp of the nuances related to freelancers and self-employed individuals working across borders can be a game-changer. 

As we close our guide on crypto taxes for digital nomads, we’ve given you the tools and tips you need to handle your taxes smartly. Knowing how to manage these taxes means you can enjoy your nomad life more, keeping more of your crypto earnings.