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Tax for freelancers in France
Thread poster: smiles

smiles  Identity Verified
Vietnam
Local time: 18:08
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
Apr 29, 2008

Hi,
I am going to France and I am planning to continue my freelance translation job there. Can anyone tell me whether I have to pay tax for this kind of job in France. If yes then can you please give me some more detail information?
Thanks.

[Edited at 2008-04-29 03:35]


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:08
French to English
+ ...
Visiting or residing? Apr 29, 2008

Hello,

Your post does not make clear whether you are coming to France for a short while (maintaining your fiscal residence in Japan and respecting whatever regulations apply to freelancers there) or whether you are planning to reside in France.

If the latter, you need to establish yourself in order to have a legal and social status (most of the time, for freelancers, this means registering at l'URSSAF as a "profession libérale"). The issue is not just paying taxes on your income, but social charges as well. In the absence of such a legal and social status, you'd be working off the books and totally illegally.

Patricia


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smiles  Identity Verified
Vietnam
Local time: 18:08
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Student residence Apr 29, 2008

Hi,
I am going to France to study there in 3 years. Ofcourse I will register for my social status.
But my question is whether I have to pay tax if I register myself as a student and do my freelance translation job?
regards,
Tien


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
+ ...
Visa regulations? Apr 29, 2008

I am only speculating but another problem might be that a student visa might include restrictions about (self-)employment during your study. So the question may also be: Is it legal for you - not being an EU citizen - to set up a freelance business in France.

Theoretically, it is of course possible to keep your Japanese operation going, but I might be suggesting a fiscal crime in this case, so no recommendations here.


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smiles  Identity Verified
Vietnam
Local time: 18:08
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Working permission Apr 29, 2008

As far as I know, my student visa will allow me to work several hours per week. Correct me if I am wrong but I don't understand why I cannot do my freelance translation job there? I know other students who work in restaurants and they don't have to pay the tax. I have a scholarship and I had to pay tax based on it already.
regards,
Tien

[Edited at 2008-04-29 10:30]


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:08
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
France has strict regulation Apr 29, 2008

France has strict regulation regarding students, freelance work, taxes and social contribution.

You cannot work if you are not a registered freelancer (translators have to register with the Urssaf) or an employee (meaning you have a employement contract with a company).

When you work you have to pay social contribution - ALWAYS
If you are a fiscal resident in France you pay income tax depending on your income.

Social contribution is taken directly from the salary by the employer when you work in a restaurant for instance, if you are a freelancer you have to pay it from your income.

There is no such thing as "just freelancing a few hours and not registering" if you stay on the legal side.
Agencies in France have to check wether you are registered with URSSAF before giving you any job. You cannot invoice without a valid registration number (SIRET).


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smiles  Identity Verified
Vietnam
Local time: 18:08
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I see Apr 29, 2008

Thanks for your info, I have a better picture about this issue.

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Elisabetta M.  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:08
Member
English to French
+ ...
another suggestion Apr 29, 2008

There is another status you can consider, which is called portage salarial. In a few words you enter into a contract with a "portage" company who will invoice your clients and you will receive wages from the portage company after deduction of social charges. I used it when I started. I just received a leaflet from a company apparently specialized for translators I can e-mail you their website if you wish.

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Oleg Rudavin  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 14:08
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
The situation is more subtle Apr 30, 2008

...even if I have no idea of the French legislation on taxing freelancers.

Student residence doesn't probably change the person's citizenship nor tax jurisdiction (if the person is legally registered and operating in another country). So may there be a possibility to continue operation? In my case, I stayed for longish periods in other countries and continued working from there retaining my status of a freelancer based in Ukraine.

Anyway the best advice would most likely come not from translators but accounting specialists or lawyers specializing in taxation issues.

Cheers,
Oleg


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 13:08
French to Dutch
+ ...
Agree with Patricia and Nordiste Apr 30, 2008

Social contributions (Urssaf) are not depending of your income, but a fixed amount. For three years, it seems complicated. In your case I would certainly consider the "portage" (umbrella company) option.

By the way, in France income taxes are not withheld by the employer but you'll have to file a deposition (with a check) in April of the year following your work. If you don't, this is called tax evasion.

Globally, your turnover should be about the double of your "desired income" (50% is going to social contributions and taxes).


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Alex Eames
Local time: 12:08
English to Polish
+ ...
In practical terms I think Oleg is right May 15, 2008

Student residence doesn't probably change the person's citizenship nor tax jurisdiction (if the person is legally registered and operating in another country). So may there be a possibility to continue operation? In my case, I stayed for longish periods in other countries and continued working from there retaining my status of a freelancer based in Ukraine.

Anyway the best advice would most likely come not from translators but accounting specialists or lawyers specializing in taxation issues.


...if you are extremely careful to make sure all the money went through your Japanese "operation" and was taxed over there you might "legally" be able to get away with it. (But professional advice should be sought).

Where do the clients come from? If the clients are based outside of France and the money never enters France, I don't think it's a matter for the French authorities.

Now whether it is morally OK to do that is another matter entirely and not for us to judge. It's a kind of grey area.

Hope this helps


Alex Eames
http://www.translatortips.com/
helping translators do better business


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