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Freelancing in the United States
Thread poster: Monica Castell

Monica Castell  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:09
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 20, 2004

Dear all,

I'm Spanish but I live in Belgium, where I'm a freelancer (I have a belgian TVA number, I pay my taxes and everything here). By the end of January my husband and I are moving to New York, with a visa allowing me to live and work in the United States. I have several questions...
- What are the steps to work as a freelancer in the United States?
- Should I continue to "pay in Belgium" and work in the States? or
-Should I stop my activity in Belgium and start it in the States? But how?

I hope my message is clear enough (my ideas about this are not very clear at the moment...).

I thank you all in advance.

All the best,


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Bosnian to English
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Freelancing in the US Dec 20, 2004

Hi Monica,

The first thing that I would recommend that you do is become a member of the ATA (American Translators Assoc.) by which you will be included in their online database of translators (and eventually the print version). Then look into becoming certified by them for your language pair. I cannot see any reason to stop your activities in Belgium, as you will not have to pay taxes on the money you make until you move to the US, it will take you some time to establish a clientele in the US, and many translators in the US have clients outside of the US. My advice is to keep your bank account in Belgium active, so that you can accept payments there and avoid fees associated with US transfers. As far as tax issues are concerned once you have moved, you should contact a tax professional familiar with the issues involved in moving to the US as a freelancer (believe me, many do not know how to handle non-US based people's tax issues). If you want to contact me, I have someone I can recommend who is based in NY. I am in the same boat now, and am looking for a tax professional in California after having moved back from Europe, so if anyone out there can recommend someone, I would appreciate it!


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 02:09
German to English
Join the local translators association Dec 20, 2004

In New York City, this is the New York Circle of Translators.
Here's there web page:

You might be able to make useful contacts.

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Horst2  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:09
English to German
+ ...
Moving and taxes Dec 20, 2004

Dear Mònica,
make a clear cut when you move. Adress in every declaration what is regarding this country; do not mix. When living in the US the whole year, take every income into your declaration, no matter from where it originated, and take up in your Belgium declaration only what you are forced to do by law ( in my case this was property income in Germany ). Do not try tax planning over two countries. You will not find anybody who is really helping you with that. I talk from experience.

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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:09
Wise words from Vera Dec 20, 2004

Hi Monica,
I went through your same experiene a couple of years ago (moved from Mexico to the US), and did exactly what Vera suggested (became member of, and obtained certification from ATA; hired an accountant to deal with income from two countries, and paying US tax). I also kept a bank account open in Canada (where most of my clients are) to facilitate their payments and avoid heavy fees, and my business took of slowly, but consistently.

My husband was transferred to Brazil a month ago, so I am staring again in a different setting; nevertheless I have clients that follow me wherever I go! Such is the advantage, and beauty of having a job that can travel with you (provided you have access to a computer, e-mail and the Internet). Good luck!

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