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No invoices by e-mail accepted in Spain?
Thread poster: ICTAC

ICTAC
Canada
Local time: 21:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Apr 21, 2008

A Spanish client who has been late in paying my invoice has now come up with a new idea of further delaying payment: he says "as you certainly know, in Spain invoices must be sent by mail. By Spanish law e-mailed invoices are not acceptable."

Is this true?


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Pure rubbish Apr 21, 2008

The title says it all. I send invoices by email to all my clients here.

Good luck!


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:12
Flemish to English
+ ...
FedEx, DHL, UPS.... Apr 21, 2008

Send them overnight by FedEx, DHL, UPS or any other Xpresspost. Your customer will be "happy" to receive your invoice so fast and will not be able to say that the invoice gets lost in the mail because the customer has to sign for delivery. If I am not mistaken such shipments are tax-deductible as business-expenses. The "Invoice on Time".

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Hilde Granlund  Identity Verified
Norway
Local time: 06:12
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Rubbish indeed Apr 21, 2008

I have also translated for several companies located in Spain. None of them had any objections to emailed invoices.

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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:12
English to Dutch
+ ...
Maybe, but.... Apr 21, 2008

I do believe there is some official legislation about this (EU policy), but they should have told you so as soon as they received your e-mailed invoice. By not saying it wasn't valid, they have accepted it.
At least, that's how it's dealt with in the Netherlands, AFAIK. Formally, I need to use an 'electronic' signature, approved by the Tax Office, if I want my invoices to be legally valid. But I've never bothered. And we're in the EU as well as Spain.

And yes, 99% of all my invoices are sent by e-mail, to quite a number of EU-countries, including Spain, and so far they have all been paid.


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Johanna von der Vring  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:12
Member (2006)
Italian to German
+ ...
My clients accept invoices by e-mail Apr 21, 2008

I send my invoices by e-mail and my clients do accept them.

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Alan R King
Local time: 06:12
Basque to English
+ ...
It's bullshit Apr 21, 2008

I live and work as a freelance translator in Spain. I have sent to a variety of Spanish customers (and been paid) well over one hundred invoices in the past three years, ALL BY EMAIL.

Alan


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 06:12
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Poor excuse Apr 21, 2008

They'll have to come up with something better than that - I can't remember the last time I physically "mailed" an invoice to a client.

Cheers,
Andy


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ICTAC
Canada
Local time: 21:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Apr 21, 2008

for all replies!

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Idoia Echenique  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:12
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Nonsense... Apr 21, 2008

I email all my invoices to Spanish clients, both direct clients and translation agencies, and never had a problem.

Idoia


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:12
English to German
+ ...
Legitimate request Apr 21, 2008

Hi all,
Slightly OT as we don't work with any freelancers based in Spain, nor do we have any Spanish clients.

I must admit that I'm somewhat concerned by some of the reactions - I would not classify a client's legitimate request to submit an invoice in hardcopy as "rubbish" or "BS". In this context, may I remind everyone that this is a public forum that is searchable.

What you should distinguish is that requirement from an excuse to delay payment, of course: my business generally requires hardcopy invoices, but executing payment on the basis of a PDF e-mailed in advance is no problem whatsoever.

Best regards,
Ralf


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ICTAC
Canada
Local time: 21:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
legitimate request, but... Apr 21, 2008

Ralf Lemster wrote:

Hi all,
Slightly OT as we don't work with any freelancers based in Spain, nor do we have any Spanish clients.

I must admit that I'm somewhat concerned by some of the reactions - I would not classify a client's legitimate request to submit an invoice in hardcopy as "rubbish" or "BS". In this context, may I remind everyone that this is a public forum that is searchable.

What you should distinguish is that requirement from an excuse to delay payment, of course: my business generally requires hardcopy invoices, but executing payment on the basis of a PDF e-mailed in advance is no problem whatsoever.

Best regards,
Ralf


Hi Ralf,

Thank you for your input. As you say, it is certainly ligitimate to request a hardcopy of the invoice. I guess it is just a matter of how and when and the circumstances. If a client never mentions this topic, accepts your invoices without a word and then then finally requires a hardcopy when you discuss his failure to pay, it is probably a different story.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 05:12
Dutch to English
+ ...
Legitimate request vs legal requirement Apr 21, 2008

I think you'll find that the BS and rubbish comments weren't directed at this not being a legitimate request, as such, but rather at it being a legal requirement.

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Ana Cuesta  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:12
Member
English to Spanish
Not quite that rubbish, I'm afraid Apr 21, 2008

Electronic invoices are legal in Spain since recently but you need a specially registered electronic signature so they are valid, plus the client must be informed and accept such procedure in replacement of the traditional hard copy one. Just e-mailed invoices are 'copies' as opposed to 'originals' and as such not legally valid I believe (disclaimer: I am no lawyer or expert), although some clients may well accept them (my only Spanish client insists on us Spanish translators sending invoices on paper while they accept e-mailed ones from abroad-based translators, don't ask me on what basis).

For those who can read Spanish, it is all explained here: http://www.aeat.es/wps/portal/Faq?channel=1f5829d8c2423110VgnVCM1000004ef01e0a____&ver=L&site=56d8237c0bc1ff00VgnVCM100000d7005a80____&idioma=es_ES&menu=0&img=0

A different thing is why your client hasn't brought up the issue before and if they are using that as an excuse to delay paying you or not...


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:12
English to German
+ ...
Circumstances Apr 21, 2008

Hi ICTAC,


Thank you for your input. As you say, it is certainly ligitimate to request a hardcopy of the invoice. I guess it is just a matter of how and when and the circumstances. If a client never mentions this topic, accepts your invoices without a word and then then finally requires a hardcopy when you discuss his failure to pay, it is probably a different story.

Very much so - the MO you're describing is pretty obvious.

...and in response to Deborah's comment:

I think you'll find that the BS and rubbish comments weren't directed at this not being a legitimate request, as such, but rather at it being a legal requirement.

Agreed - I just find the choice of words to be somewhat risqué, particularly without being too specific.

Cheers, Ralf


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