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invoices in different languages
Thread poster: OlafK
OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:23
English to German
+ ...
Dec 20, 2002

Maybe this is a silly question. But today I was contacted by a French agency and the girl on the other end of the line spoke French with me and ordered a translation from English to German, so far, so good. Now, I have invoice templates in German and English but none in French. Would it be necessary to send a French invoice to make sure there are no problems? It is a translation agency after all and someone there must understand English but maybe not in the accounts department.

And in the \"bon de commande\" it says that they need my VAT number. Do French agencies know that in Britain I don\'t need to register for VAT in Britain if I earn less than £50.000?


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Elvira Stoianov  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Local time: 00:23
German to Romanian
+ ...
I always send English invoices Dec 20, 2002

I have worked for agencies in Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc. and I have always sent English invoices. That was never a problem. I suggest you send them your English invoice, and if that doesn\'t suit them I am sure they will tell you. However, if all commnication is English, I don\'t see why you should send your invoice in another language.

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xxxampuria
English to Spanish
+ ...
you must send the invoice in french and the vat number Dec 20, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-12-20 04:27, OlafK wrote:

Maybe this is a silly question. But today I was contacted by a French agency and the girl on the other end of the line spoke French with me and ordered a translation from English to German, so far, so good. Now, I have invoice templates in German and English but none in French. Would it be necessary to send a French invoice to make sure there are no problems? It is a translation agency after all and someone there must understand English but maybe not in the accounts department.

And in the \"bon de commande\" it says that they need my VAT number. Do French agencies know that in Britain I don\'t need to register for VAT in Britain if I earn less than £50.000?



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Hans G. Liepert  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 00:23
English to German
+ ...
French law? Dec 20, 2002

Quote:


I have always sent English invoices. That was never a problem. ... I don\'t see why you should send your invoice in another language.





Maybe French law requires French language (they also have a law against foreign words in public use)

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Hans G. Liepert  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 00:23
English to German
+ ...
VAT number Dec 20, 2002

Quote:


Do French agencies know that in Britain I don\'t need to register for VAT in Britain if I earn less than £50.000?





French law and EU-law don\'t care really much about UK rules. If French authorities require to have a VAT-No. and you don\'t have any, that may have implications on the French agency (VAT payable by the agency, but not deductible etc.) Don\'t underestimate bureaucracy in Euroland.

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Steffen Pollex  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:23
English to German
+ ...
Well, Ampuria,... Dec 20, 2002

maybe, you would go a little more into detail and explain this to Olaf?! It seems to be pretty different from what he (and myself here in Germany, too) is familiar with. He DOES NOT HAVE A TAX NUMBER for he is not obliged to have one due to UK legislation I guess. Hardly would I expeect him to violate the law.



So, why MUST he send a tax number, according to what French Act or whatever. I can\'t explain for I did never have to deal with France (only with Belgium which was hard enough to handle for they simply refused to communicate in English, although they understood everything).



Salem

Steffen


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xxxpkb

Local time: 23:23
French to English
English is OK Dec 20, 2002

Olaf,



Most of my work is for French companies and they all get invoices in English. And they all pay !!



I even have one new client who wants a doc file of the invoice sent to him by e-mail.



It seems that the old adage: \"Fax us your invoice and we will fax you our cheque\" is dead.



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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:23
German to English
+ ...
Language of your country? Dec 20, 2002

I am in the US and I always send English invoices simply because it seems like it would be less hassle if I were ever audited and had to produce my invoices. The IRS doesn\'t speak German...

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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:23
German to English
+ ...
Forgot to add... Dec 20, 2002

when preparing quotes I often do these in both languages on the same page (i.e. \"File/Datei\") - maybe that would solve the problem.

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Jane Lamb-Ruiz  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
You can add this note Dec 21, 2002

La TVA ne s\'applique pas aux factures dont les montants sont inférieurs à [lb]50.



PUT it in big letters in the middle of the invoice and that should solve the problem.



Cheers


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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:23
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everybody Dec 21, 2002

Just some explanations: All my communcations with the agency were in French, phone calls and emails, and their PO was in French as well, so I thought that maybe there might be a problem if I send an English invoice. (The job was EN-DE though)Writing a French invoice is not a huge problem, it\'s just extra work. And in the PO they say that I should state my VAT number. I read in another thread that someone living in the UK had problems with Spanish agencies because they insisted he provide a VAT number and didn\'t understand that he didn\'t need one. Maybe I am just worrying too much. But the same agency offered me another job today and they have a good Blueboard rating, so I am keen on working with them and would like a smooth collaboration.

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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 00:23
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Politeness is always appreciated! Dec 21, 2002

Leaving all the above comments aside I have some personal experience to share.



I have been trading and still trade in 5 languages (swe, eng, deu, fra, esl) and I have always written my crossborder invoices in TWO languages:



1. The language of the country in which I issue my invoices and do my tax declaration, now Swedish (1982-95: German)

2. The language of the recipient of the invoice, i.e in Spanish when my client e.g. is a Spanish company.



This is appreciated in both countries and sometimes led to MY invoice being paid. I also know it be a fact that a WRITTEN invoice is paid earlier than one of those computer-produced monster invoices that you get from your electricity supplier, your insurance company etc.



So: Personality and \'bilinguality\' might help you too.



Best regards



Mats J C Wiman

Übersetzer/Translator/Traducteur/Traductor > swe

http://www.MatsWiman.com

http://www.Deutsch-Schwedisch.com

http://www.proz.com/translator/1749 Deu>swe Proz.com moderator

eMail: MatsWiman@swipnet.se

Träsk 201

SE-872 97 Skog

Tel : +46-612-54112

Fax : +46-612-54181

Mobile: +46-70-5769797



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Patricia Posadas  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:23
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
VAT in France Dec 21, 2002

There can\'t be a law in France that forces you to state your VAT number, since they also have a regulation by which freelances with income under a certain amount do not declare VAT. It is true that they use another tax-relaetd number (Siret). Give your tax-number and that should be enough. Anyway for services provided across EU countries VAT is not collected.I am in Spain, I put my VAT number, declare all invoices in my VAT declaration, but no VAT transaction is carried out for invoices to French, German, or British agencies.



As for the language of your invoice, in Spain you need to have the invoice in Spanish so that tax inspectors are able to look into them. So I write them in Spanish and French (for France) or Spanish and English for all other countries.



HTH


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:23
Member (2004)
German to English
Replace the VAT number with your ta reference Dec 21, 2002

This question has also come up several times in my work. As we don\'t need to register for VAT I just give them my self-employment tax reference number, which proves that I am registered for tax purposes in the UK. This gives them a reference number for the appropriate space in their accounting software.

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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:23
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for all the advice Dec 22, 2002

So I give them my tax reference. That should keep them happy.



But that\'s another confusing thing. A British client once asked me for my tax reference and on letters from the inland revenue my social security number is stated as tax reference. But in fact it is another number that is written above my address, I think. Do they do this on purpose to confuse us?


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