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Thread poster: Yolande Haneder
Find the VAT number from the name
Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:16
German to French
+ ...
Aug 21, 2004

My question may a bit silly but I had a client within the EU who didn't give me a VAT number so I had to invoice with the a VAT. Without the VAT number I had to delare the VAT as if it were an order from within the country. I and my client argued quite a lot about the invoice and about the VAT amount (because it is higher than in his country). Now I am getting (late but still) the amount of the invoive WITHOUT the VAT amount, which I had to declare and refund. Now my question is, is there a way to find out whether this person had a VAT number and didn't want to declare it (for any reason) and what should I do to recover it if not; can a call for recovery for such an amount (€ 60,--). I must say, I get very upset every time I am in contact with this client, so the less I have to do with him the better.

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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 15:16
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
I guess Aug 21, 2004

you should look at the Company Register or Inland Revenue in the specific country.
At least in Latvia there are some 3 online resources where you can get a VAT No from a name. The problem is that usually these resources are in a language of a respective country.
I have not heard about such resource, uniting all EU.

Uldis


Yolande Haneder wrote:
Now my question is, is there a way to find out whether this person had a VAT number


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:16
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not a problem of language Aug 21, 2004


Uldis Liepkalns wrote:

you should look at the Company Register or Inland Revenue in the specific country.
At least in Latvia there are some 3 online resources where you can get a VAT No from a name. The problem is that usually these resources are in a language of a respective country.
I have not heard about such resource, uniting all EU.

Uldis



The language ist the least of my problem, the client is in france and it is my mother tongue. I want to check before making a fool of myself by sending a collection agency and the person tool a VAT number beetween the invoicing date and the payment date and he won't tell me because we are not on good terms.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:16
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Not a matter of courtesy Aug 21, 2004

Salut Yolande,
Providing a VAT ID is not a matter of "being on good terms". If your customer failed to prove that he/she runs a business (the VAT ID is the common way to evidence this), he/she must accept that VAT is being charged. Was the price agreed including or excluding VAT? What was specified in your offer, and in the customer's purchase order?

Best regards,
Ralf


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:16
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No specifications Aug 21, 2004


Ralf Lemster wrote:

Salut Yolande,
Providing a VAT ID is not a matter of "being on good terms". If your customer failed to prove that he/she runs a business (the VAT ID is the common way to evidence this), he/she must accept that VAT is being charged. Was the price agreed including or excluding VAT? What was specified in your offer, and in the customer's purchase order?

Best regards,
Ralf


It was just specified I would do as many words as I could of the list on that day to a particular rate. I was helping a fellow translator, so we didn't talk much about it. The client knew I was not in France because he called me. He is not arguing about the rate but about the VAT amount.


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Olivier Vera
Local time: 14:16
English to French
+ ...
Why charge VAT? Aug 22, 2004

Bonjour Yolande,

I work quite often with clients from within the EU (UK, Spain, Italy, Belgium) and I never charge VAT.
Well, it doesn't solve your problem of finding your client's VAT, but my question is: are you obliged to charge VAT?
Actually, in France we only charge VAT for clients established in France, not for clients abroad, either within or outside the EU.
Hope this helps.
Regards,
OV
PS : I may be able to find your client's VAT # if you wish. I can try at least, being in France myself.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:16
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
VAT exemption generally applies only between businesses Aug 22, 2004

Hi Olivier,


I work quite often with clients from within the EU (UK, Spain, Italy, Belgium) and I never charge VAT.

Are all your clients businesses?
If yes, how can you tell?


Well, it doesn't solve your problem of finding your client's VAT, but my question is: are you obliged to charge VAT?
Actually, in France we only charge VAT for clients established in France, not for clients abroad, either within or outside the EU.

This has been discussed a few times already: the VAT exemption for cross-border services generally applies to services rendered to VAT-registered businesses only. The commonly-accepted evidence for this is a VAT ID.

In any case of doubt, it's always best to consult your tax advisor.

Best regards, Ralf


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xxxchance
French to Chinese
+ ...
Non. Ni la dénomination ni la raison sociale d’une entreprise ne permettent de trouver son numéroTVA Aug 22, 2004

Salut Yolande,

I found this by Google :

http://www.eic.ccip.fr/tva/tva2.htm#france

"Puis-je trouver le numéro de TVA intracommunautaire d’une entreprise, lorsque je connais sa dénomination ou sa raison sociale ?
Non. Ni la dénomination ni la raison sociale d’une entreprise ne permettent de trouver son numéro de TVA intracommunautaire. Il faut demander ce numéro à votre partenaire commercial. Vous avez ensuite la possibilité de vérifier la validité de ce numéro sur le site officiel de la Commission européenne (système automatisé d’échange d’informations sur la TVA :http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/vies/fr/vieshome.htm)"


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Mónica Machado Horrocks
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:16
English to Portuguese
+ ...
VAT number is a MUST Aug 22, 2004

Hello Yolande,

I just don't understand why didn't your client provide you with a VAT number. Not having one and being working in the EU could be an evidence of bad tax practices, at least if your client is a company...

You should ask your client to provide you with a VAT number and say it is an ABSOLUTE MUST:-)

If you don't state your client's VAT number on your invoice your client has to pay VAT and you have to return it to your TAX authorities.

I also agree with Ralf.

Cheers
Mónica Machado


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 14:16
French to Dutch
+ ...
Olivier is right Aug 22, 2004


Ralf Lemster wrote:

Hi Olivier,


I work quite often with clients from within the EU (UK, Spain, Italy, Belgium) and I never charge VAT.

Are all your clients businesses?
If yes, how can you tell?


Well, it doesn't solve your problem of finding your client's VAT, but my question is: are you obliged to charge VAT?
Actually, in France we only charge VAT for clients established in France, not for clients abroad, either within or outside the EU.

This has been discussed a few times already: the VAT exemption for cross-border services generally applies to services rendered to VAT-registered businesses only. The commonly-accepted evidence for this is a VAT ID.

In any case of doubt, it's always best to consult your tax advisor.

Best regards, Ralf


Olivier is right, in France we never charge VAT on exportations (businesses or private persons, that doesn't matter). Wut we have of course to mention the VAT number now, if the client has one.


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:16
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I am not going to ask anything anymore to this client Aug 22, 2004


mmachado wrote:

Hello Yolande,

I just don\'t understand why didn\'t your client provide you with a VAT number. Not having one and being working in the EU could be an evidence of bad tax practices, at least if your client is a company...

You should ask your client to provide you with a VAT number and say it is an ABSOLUTE MUST:-)

If you don\'t state your client\'s VAT number on your invoice your client has to pay VAT and you have to return it to your TAX authorities.

I also agree with Ralf.

Cheers
Mónica Machado



Dear Mónica,

At the time of issuing the invoice the client didn\'t have a VAT and wanted me to apply the french VAT number. I refused and I said I can\'t neither choose the VAT rate nor send the invoice without the VAT because he didn\'t give me a VAT number.
I am confused because it was such a big order that the person would have a VAT because of the turnover limit for small agencies (except if it would be the only order of the year). I am so upset about his way of doing business that I could offer half of the amount to the person who could come to this person and have a go with him. Just for the pleasure that he won\'t think he could go over with it.


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:16
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
VAT matters in Austria Aug 23, 2004

[/quote]
Olivier is right, in France we never charge VAT on exportations (businesses or private persons, that doesn\'t matter). Wut we have of course to mention the VAT number now, if the client has one.

[/quote]

If it is the case for you in France, you are lucky. I have to declare my exports within the EU with the number. I have to also write the number on the invoices I am issuing without VAT to prove I know it is a business. without the number, I have problems with the declaration of my revenues because I can\'t decare it as export within the EU, so that I have to consider it as a domestic revenue and then pay the respective amount of VAT.
The austrian authorities are well making the difference between private person and business in that case. For exports outside the EU it is quite different, there ist no VAT at all for exportations.
Making a difference between private and business clients is also a case for France. If you look at google on that matter, you will also see that you have also in France to distinguish between both and without the number you have to apply the domestic rate. Maybe the only difference is that I have to declare such exports.


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:16
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Europe, VAT and exports Aug 23, 2004

Within Europe everybody pays VAT one way or the other- so even from France you should invoice your private client in Belgium TVA!
Within Europe the 0% rate only applies for "intra-community acquisitions" - (or supplies) business to business - so you will need to have a tax number and you will need to provide the other company's tax number. The 'reverse charge procedure' is applicable to these operations - the companies that acquire the goods or services then have to declare this acquisition to the tax office in hteir own country.
'Exports' are actually exports outside Europe, and then the 0% rate applies.
European Directives: 77/388/EEC and 2001/15/EC
(Tried to read the first Directive and ended up with a head ache, but there is enough info around about what it actually tries to say).

Whenever I quote my rates, I add "excl. IVA, if applicable" and the payment term.

Useful reading:
1)
http://europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/taxation/e_invoicing/e_invoicing_faq1_en.htm#1.0
Electronic invoicing (or e-invoicing) for Value Added Tax (VAT) is the subject of Council Directive (2001/115/EC) on VAT Invoicing, of 20 December 2001. This Directive amends Directive 77/388/EEC.

This is a list of frequently asked questions concerning VAT invoicing. The questions are divided into four categories:

the VAT invoicing rules (this applies to all invoices);

the new rules on electronic invoicing;

the new rules on storage of invoices;

the supplies to which the new rules apply; and

a glossary of terms.

The information is supplied on this Q & A Website to provide guidance only to traders on the new EU legislation. It should however be stressed that only the European Court of Justice can provide binding interpretations of Community rules.


2)
www.ey.com/global/download.nsf/International/ VAT_Challenges_in_the_Enlarged_EU/$file/VAT%20Challenge.pdf
"As noted earlier, exports and imports will be abolished for intra-Community trade. Instead, new terms apply to trade between taxable persons (that is, VAT-registered businesses). The term “intra-Community supply” replaces export and the term “intra-Community acquisition” replaces import. As a general rule, VAT will continue to be charged as now on cross-border supplies of goods made between businesses. VAT will not be chargeable in the Member State from where the goods are supplied, but will be chargeable in the Member State where the goods are delivered. An EU supplier need not charge VAT on an in intra-Community supply of goods if it can prove that the goods have been dispatched to another Member State and that the customer is a taxable person in another Member State. In the absence of customs export documents, commercial evidence is required to prove the dispatch. The supplier must also be able to quote a valid VAT number for the customer from another Member State, including the appropriate country code (as set out in the following table). Systems are needed to collect and retain suitable information and evidence of dispatch, to amend invoices and to produce additional reports required for statistics. An intra-Community acquisition is an acquisition of goods from another Member State by a taxable person. An intra-Community acquisition is taxable in the Member State of arrival of the goods, at the rate of VAT applicable in that country"


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Mónica Machado Horrocks
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:16
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No VAT Aug 29, 2004

Hi Yolande,

Not having a VAT number was probably a sign of the dark business going on:-(

If a client has no VAT number I simply say "Sorry, but at the moment I am quite busy and cannot work on this with you". That's all.

Also, I never do a first job for a new client without a PO and corresponding VAT number. Also, before agreeing on doing the job I also verify the VAT number at

http://europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/vies/en/vieshome.htm

These are simple tricks that help us to work only for the reputable clients out there.

Best regards,
Mónica


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:16
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all Aug 29, 2004

I called my home taxation office and they told me I acted right with charging the austrian VAT rate if I don't have a VAT number. It is up to me to sue this person or not for the small amount. Whatever I do i will lose a part of the money but now I am getting with the time wiser.

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