VAT from France to Netherlands
Thread poster: Francisca van der Veen

Francisca van der Veen
Local time: 06:59
English to Dutch
+ ...
Jun 23, 2003

Dear fellow translators,
I have just finished a job for a french client. Now that I've asked their VAT number to state on my invoice in order to avoid having to charge VAT, they let me know they don't have a VAT-number. So now I have to charge VAT, but they want me to invoice them the agreed word price as VAT included, stating I should have informed them in advance that I was going to charge VAT. It never came to my mind, because I didn't know one could not have a VAT number. Apparently rules are different in France. Does anyone one whether there is a way around this?
Thanks! Francisca


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:59
English to German
+ ...
No way around this... Jun 23, 2003

Unless you have the customer's EU VAT ID, you must charge VAT. Therefore, if you treat the agreed price as "VAT included", you will be liable for the VAT portion of the price charged.

If your customer is a company/agency, they could try and get their VAT ID (getting one is free of charge); however, you would have to hold back your invoice until they have the number.

I realise this doesn't help you much now, but it's always vital to clearly state whether or not prices include VAT.

Best regards, Ralf


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DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:59
Member (2003)
Georgian to English
+ ...
Some EU businesses may legitimately not have VAT numbers Jun 23, 2003

Francisca van der Veen wrote:

Dear fellow translators,
I have just finished a job for a french client. Now that I've asked their VAT number to state on my invoice in order to avoid having to charge VAT, they let me know they don't have a VAT-number. So now I have to charge VAT, but they want me to invoice them the agreed word price as VAT included, stating I should have informed them in advance that I was going to charge VAT. It never came to my mind, because I didn't know one could not have a VAT number. Apparently rules are different in France. Does anyone one whether there is a way around this?
Thanks! Francisca


Dear Francisca,

I don't know the exact rules for businesses in France, but under UK rules for collecting VAT, businesses with gross turnover of less than (something like) GBP 50,000 don't need to register to collect VAT, unless they choose to, and so usually don't have VAT numbers, although it might, perhaps, be possible for them to get "substitute" VAT numbers from the authorities (to be used for some purposes). There may be comparable rules in some other EU countries, although such rules vary from country to country. If a small business is not registered to collect VAT, or can't prove it is, it can't benefit from rules set up for businesses which are registered to collect VAT (if I understand it rightly).

Giuli

[Edited at 2003-06-24 13:59]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:59
German to English
+ ...
VAT from France to Netherlands Jun 24, 2003

There are three separate issues involved here.

1) Is the customer a business or a private individual? A private individual, in any country, might reasonably expect to be quoted the final, tax-inclusive price. If your customer is a private individual and not a business, I think you have little choice but to recalculate your price so that the end price is VAT-inclusive.

2) Is your customer actually registered in the Netherlands for VAT? Whether they have a VAT number is, quite frankly, irrelevant. If they are registered for VAT, they must provide you with the VAT number or accept the consequences. Being registered for VAT but refusing to provide a VAT number in order to avoid paying it is fraud, in my opinion.

3) Is it normal for Dutch businesses to quote prices net to each other? Here in Germany, that is standard practice. If the customer is a business but is not registered for VAT, that is their problem. A private individual may be forgiven for thinking that the quoted price is the end price, but businesses, whether themselves registered for VAT or not, are expected in Germany to know that VAT is payable. If the situation is the same in the Netherlands, I would have no sympathy for your customer. Ask our colleagues in the Dutch forum!

Marc


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Lionel Kempf  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:59
English to French
+ ...
VAT in France Jul 24, 2003

It seems to me that all companies in France are obliged to register with the URSSAF, which gives them a VAT number.(even translators better do).
You might be able to get their VAT number from the URSAFF (www.urssaf.fr), if not try their local Chamber of Commerce, that is the one from the departement in which they are based (in France a vast majority of companies are registered with their chambers of commerce, full list here http://www.acfci.cci.fr/annuaire/index.asp).

It seems that they just took advantage of the fact you never stated the price did not include VAT, in order to pay less.


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Agroo
Local time: 06:59
English to French
+ ...
French companies all have a VAT nr! Nov 14, 2003

Dear Franciska,

In France, all companies have a VAT number! If they don't they are not a company or the equivalent of what can be called a 'sole trader' (statut de micoentrepreneur in French)earning less than 27000 euros a year.
If they are not a company, they are tax-liable as far as I know and should buy from you with the VAT (and sell to others with VAT)as they are not allowed to deduct VAT from their income.
Regards,
Pauline


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:59
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
VAT free lancers in different countries Nov 26, 2003

In France, all companies have a VAT number! If they don't they are not a company or the equivalent of what can be called a 'sole trader' (statut de micoentrepreneur in French)earning less than 27000 euros a year.

So that means most free-lance translators in France are micro entrepreneurs. Which would then explain them to expect your price to be inclusive of VAT.
In Spain even a micromicro-autónomo (like me) has a VAT number(=same as income tax number).

And I was thinking of relocating to France- which could be difficult, having to charge VAT...


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Agroo
Local time: 06:59
English to French
+ ...
vat in spain Dec 4, 2003

That's good to know, because I recently had a Spanish translator not providing us with any number...and according to French law, we would be in trouble! I still have not worked out quite how it works because Agrooh only recently started working with translators outside France. In France when a translator does not have a VAT or Urssaf number either is compulsory (otherwise illegal) we send them to a 'société de portage' which allows them to invoice properly.

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VAT from France to Netherlands

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