USVI Income taxes
This all sounds like hints and clues for people making well over, say, $30,000 a year? For someone like me, who is nowhere near an "upper" income bracket of any kind, the transition from stateside to island should be pretty straightforward, right?
"The BVI, Anguilla and some other Caribbean islands do offer some corporate tax benefits, but very little to the individual tax payer."
The BVI does not have a reciprocal agreement with the IRS. Therefore, money earned by US citizens residing in the BVI must pay full BVI income taxes and full Federal income taxes; BVI taxes cannot be deducted from Federal taxes. Therefore, employed Americans residing in the BVI end up paying much higher taxes than Americans residing in a US state or territory.
I don't know how you could afford to barely squeak by as a single person if you weren't making at least 30k. Its expensive to live here, I guess someone will let me know if its possible. I have friends that make 60k or 80k and they stay on a budget, do their laundry at the laundrymat, etc... So how do you make it on less then 30k if your single transplant?
A lot of people manage to live on that amount and less. Having a cheap apartment, no ac keeps the bills down. If you are not extravagant in your living style, 30,000 is sufficient to live on in the VI. You just have to be frugal and save up for larger purchases like airplane tickets etc. But it is definitely doable.
When I first moved here I did not have a car, had a cell phone ($35/mo), studio apartment in town $400/mo included WAPA (won't find that deal anymore) and used the internet cafe. You can live a cheap as you are willing too and when I first moved here that is what I wanted after 20 years in the corporate rat race. It only lasted a little over a year then I got a better job, a car and nicer place. It's all in what you are willing to give up and for how long.
I knew people would have stories. I did it when I was was in my twenties, but it was stressful, always being a car repair away from being homeless. I finished school as quickly as I could and worked my ass off after that to get ahead at work. I have a hard time imagining a fully grown person wanting to go back to that. But we're all different and all have different comfort levels.
I remember making more waiting tables (working my way thru college) then I did in my first couple of corporate jobs....lol...Always thought that would be a good gig here if you can get in at the right restaurant. If you break it down to hourly I'm sure most of the servers here do make more then that especially in season.
I find I can easily live on way less than $30K a year - no AC, paid off car and house, not too many dinners out - lunches often, no cell phone, self insure house, washing machine - air dry, single, keep required monthly expenses at a minimum, don't overload on groceries, don't use drugs or alcohol. Take one 6-10 week trip off island each year - work while I am here.
It totally depends on your lifestyle and needs - every one has a different situation and a different set of ideas about what is important and what is necessary. I find simple easier.