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Settling into Poland to make it a new home; documents, drivers license, tax code, etc.


Dirk diggler 9 | 4,090    
24 Jun 2017  #1
So I wanted to ask you all especially those who moved from an Anglophone country to Poland how long did it take you to become familiar with day to day things in Poland?

Id especially like to hear a brief timeline of what kind of things you had to do to really be settled in poland and make it your new home. Some of the things id like to know include did you have a job offer before you moved or did you find work once already in Poland? What kind of documents should a polish citizen have aside from a dowod, passport and drivers license? Did you have any issues setting up a bank account? How did you go about obtaining a drivers license - is it similar to the US where you just take a written and driving test? How long did it take you to become familiar with the surroundings?

Also as far as taxes obviously you have to pay taxes if working in poland but do you also pay taxes back home? I've heard a few conflicting reports on this topic. Some say no and pointed to a specific article in the tax code while others say if you wish to remain a citizen of the us for example you still have to report your income abroad.

Any info on the questions and your own experience on the above would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
jon357 64 | 14,382    
24 Jun 2017  #2
Also as far as taxes obviously you have to pay taxes if working in poland but do you also pay taxes back home?

It depends what country you're from. Some have dual taxation agreements, some don't. In those that don't, taxes paid elsewhere don't generally count as taxable income - you'll need to check the precise situation regarding your country of origin - there's plenty of information online.
OP Dirk diggler 9 | 4,090    
24 Jun 2017  #3
Thanks jon. I've read that the us has some 40 different tax agreements with other nations. There appears to be several exclusions though. I typically have a Jackson Hewitt or my dads accountant to my taxes but id probably have to find someone that specializes in expats or at least is familiar with them.

Not sure if I'm reading this correctly, but it would appear that if I make under 100k usd (which I highly doubt ill have a salary over 370k zl in poland) I may be able to exclude this income earned in Poland from my us taxes:

irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/foreign-earned-income-exclusion

If I'm reading this correctly if I've lived in Poland and paid income taxes there then I could claim the exclusion below after a year. That first years income id have to pay to both poland and us but then after living there a year id qualify for the exclusion and wouldn't be taxed unless I made over 100k usd income in Poland

irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/foreign-earned-income-exclusion-can-i-claim-the-exclusion-or-deduction

Sorry this is all like Greek to me...

Ugh looks like ill need an accountant that's familiar with expat tax liabilities.
Lyzko 20 | 6,181    
24 Jun 2017  #4
After all this time on PF, Dirk, might we then be permitted to inquire as to from which Anglophone country you hail?
Lyzko 20 | 6,181    
24 Jun 2017  #6
I see. A fellow Yank. Hope you eventually learn to master Polish then:-) An uphill battle sometimes, yet well worth the fight!
Powodzenia, dude.
OP Dirk diggler 9 | 4,090    
24 Jun 2017  #7
After visiting Poland and the rest of Europe many times I've come to the conclusion that money isn't everything and I would be more than willing to trade a far smaller income and a humble existence for life in Europe. The us is great don't get me wrong. While the income potential and opportunities here are vast, the quality of life overall doesn't even compare to Europe. We actually rank in the some teenth place on the happiness/quality of life index with countries like norway, iceland, denmark, finland, sweden, Germany consistently ranking at the top and ahead of us by a long shot.

I miss my home continent. There's no cobblestone ryneks here, every food and drink is basically modified corn, there's enormous income inequality and many other societal problems, and everyone only seems to have working and politics on their mind. Its like no one stops to smell the roses every once in awhile. Plus all my family is scattered throughout europe literally from one end to the other - England to Poland. I supposedly have some family outside Minsk and possibly even Kazakhstan but never met them. This was during the late Stalin and early Brezhnev years where people were being forced to migrate and some of the family from my dads side ended up scattered around the ussr.

But ya I'm gradually getting my ducks in order to move out in the next few years. I plan to save up enough money to buy a small condo, maybe open a small business like a currency exchange or pawn shop, learn some of the more technical business/law/etc polish terminology (could use a few hours of tutoring if someone's good with business polish) and perhaps brush up on my Spanish and Russian so in the worst case I can find employment at some company. While just like every other human on the planet I want to have a decent existence but if having a big house and working 24/7 just to pay the mortgage means never seeing my family and never being able to take a stroll in a cobblestone rynek meeting people of all walks of life, ill take a simpler existence and be happy. Even in the us itd be kind of weird to order only coffee with a friend and sit there chatting for 2 hours yet that's totally normal in Europe.

Like Travolta said in pulp fiction when discussing Europe (specifically holland) 'they got the same $hit as they do over here, its just a little bit different '
Lyzko 20 | 6,181    
24 Jun 2017  #8
I could potentially offer my availability regarding any cultural or language issues, i.e challenges, should you wish to stay in touch: tarsape@gmail

Although not a native Pole, I spent a bit of time there, have also had considerable contact with Poles while visiting the continent, especially in Germany:-)

My insights could be useful, but only should the need arise!
OP Dirk diggler 9 | 4,090    
24 Jun 2017  #9
@Lyzko

I'm pretty fluent in polish as I was born there and all (actually during prl times ) but most of my day to day communication is in english nonetheless. I can certainly get around in poland that's not a problem but I sometimes mess up (kalecze as they call it) the endings of some words and don't know some of the more technical terms used in business, biology, law, etc. Every time I go to Poland though its the best practice. I'm not too concerned about fully mastering the language as itd take me a year at most living there since that forces you to learn. Plus I could supplement it with a few tutoring lessons in business polish. Like I didn't know what a sp zoo stood for until fairly recently.
Lyzko 20 | 6,181    
24 Jun 2017  #10
Sounds as though you're all set.


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