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Is it illegal to pay somebody who does not (yet) have a VAT-number
Thread poster: 3 in 1

3 in 1
Local time: 03:28
French to German
+ ...
Mar 15, 2002

I have just received a mail from a client in Spain telling me:



\"We clarified the issues with invoices with our financial tax advisors and

you should have a VAT number in your invoices otherwise we cannot pay you (it is not legal).\"



Is she right or doesn\'t she want to pay?



I\'m in France.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-03-15 14:14 ]


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Lydia Molea  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:28
English to German
+ ...
Not ... Mar 15, 2002

... in Germany. I don\'t know how it is in Austria, but in Germany freelance translators only require a VAT no. if their yearly turnover exceeds a certain amount (I believe it is something like 16,000 Euro or close to that).

Lydia


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Evi Zierlein
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:28
English to German
+ ...
Similar situation in Italy Mar 15, 2002

Unfortunately I don\'t know enough about Spanish tax issues but there is a similar problem in Italy where they get around it by applying a tax at source (ritenuta d\'acconto) or at least that\'s how I always managed to solve it. Perhaps that would be possible in Spain, too?

Luckily I don\'t need a VAT no. here in the Uk(or unluckily as I don\'t earn enough to need it).



And by the way, schöne Grüße nach Osttirol von einer Südtirolerin.


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:28
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
May be a fiscal id number is enough? Mar 15, 2002

I think you have to give some sort of identification number. May be a SoFi or something like it...?

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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:28
Member (2004)
German to English
No - not in the UK Mar 15, 2002

Hi! I don\'t know where you are but in the UK you don\'t have to register for VAT until you earn over £50,000 a year. So as I have not reached that and can\'t imagine doing so next financial year - unless something miraculous happens - I don\'t have to register for VAT and therefore do not have a VAT number. I have been paid by a company in Spain without one. So you need to be sure you\'re following the VATrules for the country in which you are based and then educate the agency a little!

Gillian Noameshie


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Elena Miguel  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
Maybe this link can help you Mar 15, 2002

I don\'t know how the relationships between a Spanish firm and a foreigner translator are regulated but you might find some useful information in the web page of the Spanish Treasury:

http://www.aeat.es/



Good luck!!


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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:28
English to German
+ ...
Same in Germany Mar 15, 2002

In Germany, as far as I am aware, you also do not need a tax ID unless you have revenues more than a certain amount during three years in a row or so. I am not aware of the exact figures, neither am I aware whether there is common EC regulations on this issue and certain of the EC member countries would have their own, more detailed regulations on this. Although I suppose, EC Law (if there is such) should predominate over national regulation.



I think they are keen on having a tax ID for to be able to deduct VAT paid to you as expenses which is impossible if you don\'t have a tax ID for you are not allowed to disclose VAT in your bills then. Am I right? But in no way they should, IMO, tell you that it\'s illegal. This does not make sense.


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C Greene  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:28
Partial member
English to French
+ ...
Quote your Siret N° Mar 15, 2002

If your annual income is below 27,000 Euros you are not obliged to have a \'TVA\' number - all you do is quote your Siret N° and the following phrase:



\"TVA non-applicable, Loi 293B du CGI\"



Bonne chance


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Byron Flores
English to Spanish
+ ...
VAT NUMBER Mar 15, 2002

It is not ilegal, but want they need is a Tax ID number sothey can claim the tax deduction at the end of the year, usually if you live in the United States, and you are a freelancer, the Tax Id number or VAT is the Social Security Number that identifies you, so when you claim your taxes, it is recorded that you made busines and that youreceived payment from somebody so the Government can get paid para of that. You must have something like that in France, if you are a US Citizaen just provide them with your Social Security Number, or your Company Tax ID.



I hope that helps, they will not pay you until you give them that.


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Bilingualduo  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:28
English to Italian
+ ...
Agree with Ambrosia Mar 15, 2002

as far as I know French laws are similar to Italian ones, about VAT, I mean.

When you issue invoices to foreign (that is not French) companies, no VAT is required.

In Italy you don\'t even have to quote any law, for once! .

HTH

Cristina

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-03-15 18:28 ]


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
See discussion on IVA in Spanish postings Mar 15, 2002

I do not see why a Spanish company has to insist on your having a tax number. If you are resident in France your tax obligations are to the French government and not to the Spanish goovernment, hence they should pay you and it\'s your responsibility to keep your records straight within your country of residence.



I really don\'t understand why \'financial advisors\' are so poorly informed in Spain. I have had every sort of objection put to me about tax and VAT in the years I have been here, and my only conclusion is that there is such a big underground economy and so much semi-legality combined with bureaucracy that noone knows what\'s what!



I will check out soem info and if I find anything will let you know.



Ailish



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xxxwilliamson
Local time: 03:28
Dutch to English
+ ...
Prestations occasionelles Mar 15, 2002

If you earn less than a certain amount the formula to put on the invoice is:

Prestations occasionnelles exonorées de T.V.A. Nobody can check if you make twenty prestations occasionnelles for twenty different companies in ten different countries. There is no such thing as a uniform E.U.-tax-law (expected to be a reality in 2009). Can anybody answer the question how a Finnish tax-official (suppose you are based in Finland) in say Ivalo can check if you have worked for a Greek translation-office say Patras if he does not know Greek.

It seems to me that you are all very eager to pay taxes and that paying taxes is considered to be one of the \"ethical duties\" of the translator.



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xxxwilliamson
Local time: 03:28
Dutch to English
+ ...
By the book. Mar 15, 2002

[quote]

On 2002-03-15 13:42, Osttirol wrote:

I have just received a mail from a client in Spain telling me:



\"We clarified the issues with invoices with our financial tax advisors and

you should have a VAT number in your invoices otherwise we cannot pay you (it is not legal).\"



Is she right or doesn\'t she want to pay?



If you \"play the game by the book\" she is 50% right. Normally, you export a service to a E.U.-Member-State and you do not have to charge the V.A.T to your customer if it is an agency. However, your customer(agency) has to charge it to its end-customer and pay the V.A.T. to the Spanish fiscal authorities. Normally, the agency does not need your V.A.T.-number to pay your bill, but if it has no V.A.T.-number it cannot deduce your invoice as costs.

However, if you deal with a direct client, then, yes, the company you are doing business with needs your V.A.T.number in order to be able to justify payment of V.A.T. to the Spanish tax-authorities.



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Bertha S. Deffenbaugh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:28
English to Spanish
+ ...
I live in the U.S.A and I don't need a tax number Mar 16, 2002

I was told that I would need a TAX ID only if I were INCORPORATED, that is if I had people working for me.



All I need in the USA is my Social Security Number and that\'s all.By the way I have already paid my taxes this year.



Good luck!



BSD


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bochkor
Local time: 21:28
English to German
+ ...
It's just an excuse from the Spanish company! Mar 16, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-03-15 22:54, williamson wrote:



If you \"play the game by the book\" she is 50% right. Normally, you export a service to a E.U.-Member-State and you do not have to charge the V.A.T to your customer if it is an agency. However, your customer(agency) has to charge it to its end-customer and pay the V.A.T. to the Spanish fiscal authorities. Normally, the agency does not need your V.A.T.-number to pay your bill, but if it has no V.A.T.-number it cannot deduce your invoice as costs.

However, if you deal with a direct client, then, yes, the company you are doing business with needs your V.A.T.number in order to be able to justify payment of V.A.T. to the Spanish tax-authorities.





Well, doesn\'t it all say one and the same thing? Namely that for them it\'s all about making or not making money on the VAT. Well, they should have considered that (and informed you about it!) BEFORE they gave you the job. If they didn\'t, then you say \"Sorry, there was no such arrangement about VAT and as a foreign resident you\'re not required to know Spanish laws. So you have to pay me.\"



But again, here comes the risk involved when working with foreign companies at all. How do you enforce payment, if you feel cheated? Do you have legal protection in Spain? Well, of course not! And that\'s why they\'re doing it to you, because they know it all too well that you don\'t (have any). That\'s why I\'m working only for companies/agencies in my country of residence.



Well, to give you at least some tips how to deal with crooks like these, you should at least threaten them:



1. to report them to Spanish and international credit reporting agencies (in order to ruin their credit, if they don\'t pay up)

2. to report them to the Department of Consumer Affairs in their city in Spain (you\'ll have to find out the name & address of such a gov\'t office in Spain where they get their business licenses from)

3. to report them to the Spanish tax authorities (again, do a search on the Internet to find out what they\'re called in Spanish and what their address is) for attempts of evasion of taxes (trust me, nobody wants to invite a tax auditor to their company, if they can avoid it)

4. even, if you\'re bluffing, but threaten to take them to a Spanish Small Claims Court in their city and tell them that you will be represented by a friend in their city who will be able to appear in court

5. to spread the word about them not paying their translators at international and Spanish translators\' associations and other forums (like ProZ.com and Aquarius.net for example), so they can just forget about finding another translator, if they don\'t pay you



Well, these are some of the things I would do and then I would scratch my head to come up with some more ideas, if the amount in dispute is high enough. I really wish you the best of luck and don\'t let these crooks go free! Let them know that you know what they\'re up to and that you won\'t let them get away with it, that you mean business! Nice words often don\'t work, so threatening might be your only chance to see money AND teach them a lesson, because you have to ask yourself also, how many other translators did they cheat beside me?



P.S.: Put their rating also in \"Agency Ratings\" under \"Extras\" (left column on ProZ.com website), also called the Blue Board! This will help other translators to learn from your mistake. But do it when the matter has been decided either way finally, even if you got paid, but let others know that this Spanish agency is \"reluctant to pay\"! Good luck!

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