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VAT/MwSt - should I add?
Thread poster: James Harris

James Harris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:11
German to English
Jul 25, 2008

Hi translators,

My name is James Harris and I'm a 25 year old British citizen currently resident in Freiburg, South-West Germany. I've been translating for a year and a half now, just the odd job here and there. Most of the time I've been studying and teaching English.

However, one of my clients threw me a little last week when they asked me to add VAT/MwSt to my bill for a translation.

I haven't been doing this until now, but I've also been doing most of my work through agencies, and some work for a translation bureau in Belgium.

As far as I'm aware, I don't have to add VAT to my bill if my translation earnings do not exceed a certain amount. I'm a skint (soon to be former) student, so I don't imagine I'd be in the upper brackets of earnings. However, I am intending to do much more translation over the next few months, which might bump my earnings up for the year.

I'm sure that it's best to go and speak to the Finanzamt about this... but could anyone give me a few tips in the meantime?

Best wishes and thanks in advance to everyone,

Greetings from the Black Forest,

James


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:11
English to German
+ ...
Kleinunternehmerregelung Jul 25, 2008

Hi James,
Search the forums for "Kleinunternehmer" or "Kleinunternehmerregelung"; you should find quite a few hints.

Best, Ralf


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 07:11
15000 Euro per year Jul 25, 2008

If you earn less than 15000 Euro per year, you don't have to charge/pay VAT in Germany.

But you still can charge VAT, even if you don't have to.

Cheers
Bin



[Edited at 2008-07-25 19:41]


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xxxsavaria
Hungary
Local time: 12:11
English to Hungarian
+ ...
VAT Jul 26, 2008

I always charge VAT,and from this rule I only make an exception with my regular,so to say, customers,of whom I have quite many.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:11
English to German
+ ...
The threshold in Germany is EUR 17,500 Jul 26, 2008

Correction, if I may...
Bin Tiede wrote:

If you earn less than 15000 Euro per year, you don't have to charge/pay VAT in Germany.

Pursuant to section 19 of the German VAT Act, German businesses whose revenues (including VAT) did not exceed EUR 17,500 in the preceding calendar year, and are not expected to exceed EUR 50,000 during the current calendar year.

But you still can charge VAT, even if you don't have to.

True, but you should be aware that this 'opt-in' needs to be declared to the tax authorities, and is binding for five calendar years (section 19 (2)).

Essentially, the decision whether or not to 'opt in' boils down to whether you expect to make significant business purchases (if you don't charge VAT, you cannot deduct input tax on business expenses).

As with all tax issues, I strongly advise to consult a tax advisor.

Best, Ralf


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:11
English to German
+ ...
VAT optional in Hungary? Jul 26, 2008

Gábor Széles wrote:

I always charge VAT,and from this rule I only make an exception with my regular,so to say, customers,of whom I have quite many.

Hi Gábor,
Does that mean VAT is optional in Hungary?
Interesting...

Best regards,
Ralf


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:11
English to Russian
+ ...
what the client wants Jul 28, 2008

The idea of your customer is to recover VAT, which is supposed to be included in your bill amounts, thus trying to reduce the total cost of translation.

What you can do - is to add an equivalent of VAT amount into your bills on top of the total amount. In any case your customer will not be able to recover VAT as you are not registered as VAT-payable entity/individual.

Just inform your customer about your situation with VAT and there will be no such request from your client.


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