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24 Mar. 2023


Ukrainians abroad: how not to lose money earned

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Ukrainians abroad: how not to lose money earned

Employment and payment of taxes are complex and responsible processes. It is especially difficult for those who have moved to another country to understand all the intricacies of the system on their own. Important questions about declaring and refunding taxes abroad are answered in simple terms by an expert.

Moving to another country is always a challenge. New rules, new housing, new job, different mentality, different language, different principles and approaches.

Since the start of Russia's full-scale offensive, more than 14.5 million people have left Ukraine, at least 11.7 million of whom have gone to the European Union. Ukrainians who have moved to other countries admit that employment and taxation is an important and complex system that is difficult to understand and difficult to implement. And without knowledge of the language and legislation, problems can arise.

All the details of this complex process, which is necessary for the stability of life, are explained by Gedrius Lužinas, an expert and business development director at RT TAX.

- Ukrainians fleeing the war and moving to other countries are looking for work. Do you have any universal tips on how not to lose money?

- First, never accept illegal work. Secondly, never agree to receive your salary in cash, ask to have your salary transferred to your bank account. And thirdly, every time you get paid, ask for a payslip that shows how much money you earned, how much taxes were deducted, and how much was transferred to your bank account.

- For those who are already working and came from Ukraine earlier, how can they check whether they are paying taxes correctly and how much they are paying? Who can advise these employees?

- If you are working legally, you will always receive a payslip with each paycheck, which shows exactly how much you have earned and how much tax has been withheld from your salary. If you do not receive one, be sure to request one from your employer, who is obliged to provide this information to the employee with each paycheck, as well as to organize all the documents with the local tax office and make sure that each employee is properly taxed.

- And won't it happen that after the tax is refunded, a person will lose the social benefits that are accrued to him or her? For example, Ukrainians are now entitled to such payments.

- A tax return is like closing a tax year, where you and the tax authorities shake hands and say: "Here is the final tally of the tax year, and we can move forward to the next year." And the tax refund that most Ukrainians receive after filing a tax return, I would compare it to the change at the cash register, where you pay for something and get the change. So why should we keep the change if in some cases it can reach, for example, 2000 euros? And social payments are types of support and assistance that are not taxed in most countries, so they have nothing to do with declaring and tax benefits.

- Let's say a person is ready to fill out a declaration on their own, what data do they need and can they do it online?

- In most cases, all the information about his total income and taxes for the year is required from employers or the government, and then you can file a declaration yourself. Information on how to do this is provided by the tax authorities of each country, and it is also possible to do it online. However, it's not as easy as it sounds because you need to know how to do it without making mistakes, and that's why there are companies like RT Tax that help taxpayers fill out and submit a properly completed tax return to the tax authorities.

To learn more about the benefits of filing a German tax return, watch the short video here.

- If you get a tax refund, how long does this process usually take?

- It depends on the country and its tax authorities. The period from the moment of filing a tax return to the moment of tax refund can be from two to six months. It is also very important that we get all the truthful information from the client about his labor history in the country.

- Are there any firms on the market that do not have a good reputation? What should people pay attention to when they want to order a tax return and tax refund service?

- In most countries, companies that prepare tax returns for others for a fee must be registered with the tax authorities as tax preparers and must adhere to strict rules. Therefore, I advise you to ask them if they are registered with the local tax office as taxpayers before starting to work with any company.

- If a Ukrainian has already worked abroad for a certain period of time and returned to Ukraine or moved to another country, what should he do? Does he have to file a declaration and is he entitled to a refund?

- Yes, it is mandatory for him to file a declaration if he wants to continue to return and work in this country. And yes, of course, he is entitled to a refund. We file declarations and can guarantee tax refunds for the last 5 calendar years and will be happy to help Ukrainians with this.

If you have any questions, you can visit, where you will find all the relevant information on tax declaration and refund, as well as consultants who will be happy to help you with all tax issues.