Taxation of digital nomads
: employment income and the OECD model convention

  • Bárbara Marta Bento (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The increasing mobility of individuals, together with globalisation and
technological evolution, results in both economic and professional changes, such as the expansion of digital nomadism. These changes entail significant tax implications. This thesis discusses the taxation of digital nomads in a context of an employment relationship. This is due to the technological revolution we are witnessing and which has brought with it new ways of connecting with each other namely with our employer, the way of providing the labour activity, leaving behind a criterion of physical presence to give way to a new one, that of digital presence. Although it is still an undefined concept, we consider as digital nomads those individuals who do not base their activity on a fixed territory, making use of a set of skills that allow them to carry out their professional activity with an internet connection, without infrastructure needed. This has become a challenging reality for international taxation, not only in terms of how to tax the employment income earned by these individuals but also due to the
growing economic relevance of digital nomads, taking into account the application of Article 15 of the OECD Model. Faced with this reality, the need for legislative changes capable of impacting the daily tax practice is recognized, since the allocation of international taxation powers to one of the disputing States depends on the place where the work is carried out, which is
determined according to a criterion of physical presence. As such, it is our opinion that we are faced with a taxation based on outdated criteria that needs to be reconsidered in order to adapt to the taxation of international remote work, particularly in the case of digital nomads.
Date of Award29 Jan 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorLeonardo João Santos (Supervisor)


  • International taxation
  • Remote work
  • Labour mobility
  • Digital nomads
  • Physical presence
  • Digital presence
  • Exit taxes


  • Mestrado em Direito

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