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VAT for a foreign client? Interpreting services to be delivered in Germany.
Thread poster: Radica Schenck

Radica Schenck  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:55
English to Macedonian
+ ...
Oct 9, 2006

Dear colleagues,

a European client (in a non EU country) has asked me for interpreting service. The place of delivery is Germany. (And I have a USt.Nr.)

I assume the invoice goes upon delivery to his company registered in the European NON EU country. Should I include VAT on the invoice?


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Birgit Richter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:55
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
VAT for foreign (non-EU) client Oct 9, 2006

You might find the following publication useful:

'Umsatzsteuer von selbständigen Übersetzerin und Dolmetschern - insbesondere bei Leistungen für ausländische Kunden'

You can find it on the ADÜ-Nord website (www.adue-nord.de > Archiv). It is by Per N. Döhler, Triacom, and I think it covers your question (nichtsteuerbare Umsätze?).

Birgit Richter


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Martina Höppner  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:55
English to German
+ ...
VAT has to be included Oct 9, 2006

I agree that you should read the article if you speak German but in short: Yes, VAT has to be included. It is always included in the country the service has taken place (i.e. the translation was made or the interpreting took place), no matter where the customer comes from. If you do not include it, you will probably still have to pay it to the tax office from what you earned.

Martina Höppner


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Sherefedin MUSTAFA
Netherlands
Local time: 22:55
Member
English to Macedonian
+ ...
That's the main rule Oct 10, 2006

Martina Höppner wrote:

I agree that you should read the article if you speak German but in short: Yes, VAT has to be included. It is always included in the country the service has taken place (i.e. the translation was made or the interpreting took place), no matter where the customer comes from. If you do not include it, you will probably still have to pay it to the tax office from what you earned.

Martina Höppner


Absoulutely agree with Martina. VAT has to be charged as the service has taken place in Germany. The situation gets different if you make a translation for a non EU-member country client. In that case you don't have to charge VAT because you "export" an intellectual property and the fiscal authorities "presume" that the work has been done in the involved country.


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:55
German to English
No VAT Oct 10, 2006

Radica,

Please read carefully the document referred to by Birgit, as it really does explain the German rules from the EStG very clearly.

The specific rule here is that if your client is a business (i.e. not a private individual) located outside Germany (irrelevant if EU or non-EU), you do not charge VAT on the face of the invoice because of the presumption in the EStG that the service (translation or interpreting) is rendered at the client's domicile, and not where the service is actually rendered

Despite what others may claim....

Robin


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Michaela Sommer  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:55
Member
English to German
VAT only to customers/agencies in Germany Oct 10, 2006

RobinB wrote:

Radica,

Please read carefully the document referred to by Birgit, as it really does explain the German rules from the EStG very clearly.

The specific rule here is that if your client is a business (i.e. not a private individual) located outside Germany (irrelevant if EU or non-EU), you do not charge VAT on the face of the invoice because of the presumption in the EStG that the service (translation or interpreting) is rendered at the client's domicile, and not where the service is actually rendered

Despite what others may claim....

Robin


I agree with Robin, and it's also how my accountant has explained it to me. I only charge VAT to customers in Germany.

Michaela


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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:55
Member (2003)
German to English
But the bottom line here, as always with these questions, is... Oct 12, 2006

go talk with an accountant. That's the only way to be sure you're getting COMPLETE qualified advice.

(What isn't meant in any way to denigrate the answers here, RobinB's advice is the same as my Steuerberaterin gave me. Just reemphasizing that it's best to have a professional look at the situation.)


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