Living in Riga


I've been offered a job in Riga. The job seems interesting and I would like to move to Riga, however, I'm not sure the salary would be enough. They'll pay me 560 LVL a month. Do you know how much I would have to pay in taxes? I'm moving to Riga on my own, so I'm willing to share an apartment with others. I don't know if I need to pay for a medical insurance, too? Since I'm from Denmark and we don't have to pay for that here. I've been told an average salary in Latvia in only a third of what my salary is going to be, is that true?
I just don't want to move there and then figure out I can't afford it.
Thank you so much for you help :)

Hi Moebjerg,

you're going to pay a 24% flat tax on your income. To give you more of an an idea of income taxation in Latvia, check

Thank you so much!
Do you know if 560 LVL is going to be enough for me? Like I said they told me an average salary is only a third of what my salary is going to be, but maybe that isn't true?

There is a type of organisation called "Micro organisation" - the maximum they can pay eployees is 720 Euros (about 500 Lats) - and it's considered enough to live on. I know people renting and living on that in the centre.

Most public sector wages are closer to 500 Euros a month (after tax) - so yes - 500 Lats (720 Euros) is pretty decent by Latvian standards.

(Moderated: no free ad for your blog please)

I am from the USA, and have a small dacha outside of Riga (Ogre) and find that Riga has a very high cost of living....the salary is "fair" and I know that if you wish to stay on the socialized medicine that they have to offer, you might have to wait up to 3-4 weeks to get an appointment, can pay up-front and then usually see someone within 48 hours. over-all it is a very nice and interesting city...go for it !!!! just make sure you have an exit plan...and always have a "plan B"  good luck...

I notice my blog got moderated out - despite the fact that we had written a pretty useful and informative post - ridiculous in fact - almost as if they don't want us to help you out - still. The blog is called "Life In Riga" and it's a dot com address, so I'm sure you'll find it if you search :)

Assuming you would be working as an employee of a company, you would need to pay 24% tax. I think the company has to pay the social tax of 11%, it is worth you checking with the company. See link to deloitte tax card from 2013, that details all the tax categories in Latvia. … e-2013.pdf

It could be worth asking the company offering the job to provide a breakdown of what your take-home pay would be, to make sure you don't have a surprise waiting. If you like the number, and are excited about the opportunity to live in Latvia for a time, take the job. If you are concerned about the tax, ask them what solution they propose to help (e.g. offset expenses from receipts you give them, or some other solution).

Leanest way to operate would be to operate as a Microenterprise, get paid gross and pay your own tax, no need to pay social taxes, deduct your own expenses, but you need to have the stomach for accounting and find a local agent or bookeeper to assist you (it is not difficult, but the duties you have to do online would be in the Latvian language).

As other people have said, Riga is as expensive as other European cities, but there are opportunities if you have modest needs to live very cheaply (e.g. small apartment in block house or shared accommodation, shopping at  markets where the locals go for inexpensive local food).

Kind regards,

Thank you all so much!
The company is going to pay for my hotel the first month, afterwards they're going to help me find an apartment.
They're also going to pay for my medical insurance which is great. I've found more webpages that tells you about taxes and salaries, and also about living cost in Riga.. So I decided to take the job and hopefully I'll figure it all out.
Im definitely gonna check out your blog :)