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How to bill a customer in Belgium
Thread poster: Basak Balkan

Basak Balkan  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 12:28
Member (2008)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Jan 28, 2008

Hello!

I have landed my first simultaneous interpretation job in Brussels. I am currently working full-time, but I aim, slowly but surely, to become a full-time independent translator/interpreter.

My question iso I need a VAT number to be able to bill my customer? She said she will fax me the contract and that all I need to send in exchange is my bank account and BIC numbers together with their own VAT number.

Will I have to pay any taxes out of the money I will receive? I suppose so, otherwise it will be an undeclared job, and I doubt that an established translation agency such as this one would get involved in such a thing...? But then I have to have a VAT number, no?

How does this work?

Thanks for your help!

A very ignorant new-comer...


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Capesha  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:28
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Let me put the facts together... Jan 28, 2008

You are living in Belgium.
You are not self-employed.
You did a one-time job in Brussels.

You don't need a VAT number for this job.
At the end of the year, if you do your tax declaration, you just have to fill in the column, where they are asking for additional income.

If you plan to repeat those jobs and you are still working as an employee in a company, you hav to call your local tax office and tell them about it. They will provide further instructions.


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Basak Balkan  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 12:28
Member (2008)
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
what's included in the price? Jan 28, 2008

Thanks for your reply, Capesha.
Is social security, VAT etc included in the price we negotiated? Yes, this sounds terribly stupid, I should have negotiated all of this from the beginning, but I am such a novice... They asked me how much I charged for a full day of interpretation, I told them 600, we negotiated to 500. Will I get 500 nett? I suppose I should settle all of this when they send me my contract. Is that possible?
I haven't done the job yet, it's on Feb 13th.
Gosh, I sound stupid!!!!!!


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:28
Flemish to English
+ ...
Prestationt occasionelle.... Jan 28, 2008

You need to put on the invoice, "Prestation occasionnelle", exempte de TVA, art....
The article of the tax-code escapes my mind.
Good luck with taking a bath without training.....I hope that it is not a T.G.V. (high-speed) rattling customer.
Normally, you have to mention this prestation on your tax-declaration, but if you forget to mention a small amount, nobody will bother.... especially the tax-man's agencies in Brussels and Antwerp are overburdened and understaffed.

[Edited at 2008-01-28 14:32]


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Capesha  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:28
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
nothing sounds stupid Jan 28, 2008

Everyone is starting one time and it is just natural that there are many questions.

You don't have to pay social insurance for this job.
They already deduct the social insurance from your "other job".

Regarding the VAT there are different solutions for different countries.

For example in Germany I may earn up to 17.500 Euro a year without paying and invoicing any VAT. On the other side I am not allowed for input tax reduction. This is a little disadvantage.

In Belgium, this amount is considerably smaller, I think, it is somewhere between 3500 and 5000 Euro.

You will just add this additional income to your tax declaration, and then the tax authorities will check and will let you know, if you have to pay additional taxes or if all taxes are covered with the deductions from your fulltime job.

This all depends on a lot of details, e.g. if you are married or not, if you wife is working, too etc.
It is a difficult subject, so please don't feel silly, if you need more input.

Nevertheless: I always like to ask directly at the source. So if I have any questions regarding taxes, I call my tax office and ask them. Remember: I am paying those people with my tax-payments


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Basak Balkan  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 12:28
Member (2008)
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Jan 28, 2008

I love this website and the people who use it! You're all so fast!
My husband has an accountant, I'll call her up and ask her.
This question will (hopefully) gain in importance as time goes by and I get more and more settled as a full-time translator.
Ok -- wish me luck for the 13th & my TGV (I'll just tell them to shut up once in a while, hah hah)!


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Capesha  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:28
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
LOL Jan 28, 2008

Williamson wrote:


Normally, you have to mention this prestation on your tax-declaration, but if you forget to mention a small amount, nobody will bother.... especially the tax-man's agencies in Brussels and Antwerp are overburdened and understaffed.

[Edited at 2008-01-28 14:32]


William, William...... you made my day!


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Els De Smedt
Local time: 12:28
English to Flemish
+ ...
typical for Belgium :) Jan 28, 2008

Basak Balkan wrote:

Hello!

I have landed my first simultaneous interpretation job in Brussels. I am currently working full-time, but I aim, slowly but surely, to become a full-time independent translator/interpreter.

My question iso I need a VAT number to be able to bill my customer? She said she will fax me the contract and that all I need to send in exchange is my bank account and BIC numbers together with their own VAT number.

Will I have to pay any taxes out of the money I will receive? I suppose so, otherwise it will be an undeclared job, and I doubt that an established translation agency such as this one would get involved in such a thing...? But then I have to have a VAT number, no?

How does this work?

Thanks for your help!

A very ignorant new-comer...


Hi Basak,

In Belgium, you don't need a VAT reg for interpretation jobs. In case you also do translations, you should register at your local registrar (addresses can be found on the internet).
As far as taxes go, you would pay income tax on this, but no VAT.

When agreeing on a price, make sure you have all your expenses covered (e.g. train/bus/car fares, meals, any other expenses you make, ...).

I don't do any interpeting, so I don't know what the going rate is.

I hope this information could help you!

Regards

Els De Smedt
Freelance translator DE, EN, FR > NL


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:28
Flemish to English
+ ...
Just like Belgium.... Jan 28, 2008

In Belgium you need to register for VAT if your turnover is more than €5000 regardless of whether your derive this from translation or interpreting.
In the U.K., you have to register if your turnover is about 91.000 euros.

With regard to languages and possibilities to practise languages, Belgium is a paradise. With regard to taxes, it is not exactly tax heaven. On the 150th place of the best countries to start a business (tax-burden, administration). Ireland is on the first place. Might be a consideration when you set up shop.
The going rate is €500 per day if you work through a middle man (agency), no pennypinching and no late payments.

[Edited at 2008-01-28 23:08]


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