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Proz has a German VAT number-why am I being charged at Belgian VAT rate?
Thread poster: writeaway

writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 15:35
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Jun 26, 2005

I am on the verge of renewing my Plat membership -and with 4000 Browniz, I have discovered that total comes to over 123 US$, a far cry from the initial 80.00. OK, it's 96 dollars because I have to pay in Euros. But why is 21% Belgian VAT being charged? If Proz has a German VAT number, then shouldn't German VAT be charged? The Visa fee being over 6$, the grand total seems to be 50% more than the cost for those allowed to pay dollar for dollar. I am really surprised.
And fwiw: when I buy a tennis racket online from a US company, I pay in dollars. Why can't Proz do the same?


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 09:35
SITE FOUNDER
Those are the laws Jun 26, 2005

Hi writeaway,

Thanks for your support with the platinum membership.

As a company selling a digital service consumed within the EU, ProZ.com is obliged to collect VAT at the rates applicable in each EU member's home country. We have to keep track of VAT amounts collected, by country, and submit the amount, with a report of sales, once a quarter. In order to simplify matters, the EU allows us to submit the total amount due to a country of our choosing--we chose Germany--which in turn passes along the respective amounts due to each of the other countries.

It is possible to avoid the whole problem, though. If you obtain a VAT number and supply it to us during the payment process, we can verify the validity of the number using the EU's online servers, and then by law we do not have to collect VAT. You can avoid the payment fee, too, by paying by wire to an account we maintain in Germany just so you can save on fees. If you have a VAT number and do that, you pay exactly 80 euros (which is, by the way, marked down from 120).

Even if you do not have a VAT number, you are entitled to the writeoff/refund at the end of the tax year. I know the amount seems to climb, but in every case, in the end what ProZ.com gets is just the 80 euros. I hope you understand and we do appreciate your support!


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 15:35
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Henry Jun 26, 2005

I just renewed with my credit card. After reading your very helpful reply, I planned to pay via bankwire (didn't realize it was possible via online banking-thought it was a Western Union type of transaction), but wasn't sure what to do because the name of the account holder was there, but no address for the account holder. So I paid by credit card this time to avoid problems. What address are we supposed to use for the account holder?
Thanks again.
Relieved and renewed,
Writeaway


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:35
English to German
+ ...
No address required if you use IBAN&BIC Jun 26, 2005

Hi,
Allow me to answer, as I'm managing the account on behalf of ProZ.com.

I just renewed with my credit card. After reading your very helpful reply, I planned to pay via bankwire (didn't realize it was possible via online banking-thought it was a Western Union type of transaction), but wasn't sure what to do because the name of the account holder was there, but no address for the account holder. So I paid by credit card this time to avoid problems. What address are we supposed to use for the account holder?

None at all - if you use IBAN&BIC, you don't need the address (in fact, one of the reasons why it's not there is to prevent people from using transfers other than standard euro cross-border payments).

Submit a Support Request (Billing & Payments) should your bank insist on an address.

Best regards,
Ralf


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 15:35
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Ralf-that clears it up for the future Jun 26, 2005

Ralf Lemster wrote:

Hi,
Allow me to answer, as I'm managing the account on behalf of ProZ.com.

I just renewed with my credit card. After reading your very helpful reply, I planned to pay via bankwire (didn't realize it was possible via online banking-thought it was a Western Union type of transaction), but wasn't sure what to do because the name of the account holder was there, but no address for the account holder. So I paid by credit card this time to avoid problems. What address are we supposed to use for the account holder?

None at all - if you use IBAN&BIC, you don't need the address (in fact, one of the reasons why it's not there is to prevent people from using transfers other than standard euro cross-border payments).

Submit a Support Request (Billing & Payments) should your bank insist on an address.

Best regards,
Ralf


I did realise the account holder was your firm, but since today is Sunday, I didn't expect you to be 'around', so I decided to take the easy route and just pay via credit card. I've had trouble with receiving Euro cross-border transfers in the past because the foreign bank wanted to have the exact name and address of my bank, despite the IBAN and BIC codes. That's what made me hesitate to attempt making a payment without giving the account holder's address.
Thanks for clearing that up.
P


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swisstell
Italy
Local time: 15:35
German to English
+ ...
count your blessings! Jun 26, 2005

At a basic rate of $80, not counting whatever taxes European countries charge, a couple of years ago you would have paid around 100 Euro, whereas today the same $80 cost you only
Euro 60 or less, due to the rise in the Euro or the fall in the dollar, whatever you look at. - The VAT is an entirely different matter and if Belgium charges those high rates, there is little Proz or anyone else can do about it. I suppose it has its price to play host to the European bureaucracy or to be able to enjoy Moules et Frites and Café Liègeois. However, as an American tourist today, I pay at least 50% more than what I paid for that platter 3 years ago during my last visit to Brussels.


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 15:35
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
in Europe, we pay 80 euros not 80 dollars Jun 26, 2005

SwissTell wrote:

At a basic rate of $80, not counting whatever taxes European countries charge, a couple of years ago you would have paid around 100 Euro, whereas today the same $80 cost you only
Euro 60 or less, due to the rise in the Euro or the fall in the dollar, whatever you look at. - The VAT is an entirely different matter and if Belgium charges those high rates, there is little Proz or anyone else can do about it. I suppose it has its price to play host to the European bureaucracy or to be able to enjoy Moules et Frites and Café Liègeois. However, as an American tourist today, I pay at least 50% more than what I paid for that platter 3 years ago during my last visit to Brussels.


I'm not raising this as an issue, since it's been discussed in the past. But just to make things clear, Euro zone members pay 96 US$ for a year of Platinum (including 4000 Browniz that amount to a 20$/€ reduction).The dollar and Euro amounts are treated as equal so in dollar terms, we are paying 20% more than people who are able to pay in US$$. That's just the way the cookie crumbles into the Café Liègeois


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