Bali is offering tax-free status to freelancers

People who work from home are being offered the chance to move to Indonesia and live and work tax-free, thanks to a new government initiative.

IMAGE: Dojo Bali

Indonesia’s government has announced it is launching a five-year ‘digital nomad visa’, which, it is hoped, will bring in more than 3.5 million travelers to the nation – as well as create up to one million jobs for Indonesians.

The proposed visa would mean workers can live on any of Indonesia’s islands – including Bali – and pay no tax – although they have to earn their money from work coming from outside of Indonesia – they cannot enter the local labour market. There are many people now who are considered digital nomads – people who can work from anywhere, as long as they have a laptop, phone, and decent wifi access.

Freelancers will soon be able to work tax-free in Indonesia, including on the island of Bali. Credit: Shutterstock

Indonesia’s tourism minister, Sandiaga Uno, speaking to the South China Morning Post, said this is part of Indonesia’s plan to move in people’s perceptions from being just a holiday destination, to somewhere people can work as well.

Uno pointed to research that showed that Indonesia was a top choice for 95% of remote workers surveyed about places they would like to carry out their work.

Other countries such as Georgia, Croatia and Portugal also offer digital nomad visas. Credit: Shutterstock

This isn’t the first time the digital nomad visa idea has been floated – it was in the works last year, but the COVID-19 pandemic saw it put on ice until now.

Several visas for Indonesia are already available to digital nomads, such as the Tourist or Cultural Visa and Free Visa, but these only last for a maximum of 180 days.

This is not an original idea, as digital nomad visas are already available in countries including Croatia and Portugal.