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Taxes: German VAT for a US based translator
Thread poster: Nicholas Pain

Nicholas Pain  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:40
Russian to English
+ ...
Apr 16, 2006

Hi all,

I am about to receive my first payment from my first German client. I notice on the PO that they have added MWSt (VAT) to the total due. As I am based in the US, do they have to add this? If they do, what do I have to do with it?
Any help would be greatly appreciated - my financial skills are at the check book balancing and keeping receipts level, so tax law is just a tad beyond me...


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Andy Lemminger  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:40
Member (2002)
English to German
No German VAT for you Apr 16, 2006

Hi Nick,

When you send your invoice you just don't add the VAT and tell them that you don't have to charge any because you are not located in Germany.

Best regards


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Local time: 09:40
English to French
+ ...
No VAT in the US Apr 16, 2006

we don't charge VAT for translation or interpretation services. What they need to do on their end is their headache.

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Matt Baird
Local time: 18:40
German to English
Client should remove it Apr 16, 2006

Hi Nick,

I agree with the others. Most of my clients are German and they always leave the VAT off their POs. You should remind them that it is not necessary because you are based in the US and ask them to exclude it from future orders to avoid confusion.



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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:40
German to English
+ ...
No VAT Apr 17, 2006

You might tell them to doublecheck this with their tax consultant or local IHK (Chamber of Commerce). They might need a VAT ID number to avoid problems in Germany, but I don't think so.

We need the ID number for invoices within the EU, but outside of one's own country of residence, for example, if I submit an invoice to Austria and I live in Germany, I don't add the VAT, but have to include both the client's and my VAT ID numbers on the invoice, to keep the income tax people in both countries happy, but I don't think they are applicable outside of the EU.

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Taxes: German VAT for a US based translator

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