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UN and invoicing?
Thread poster: Anne R

Anne R
Italy
Local time: 07:37
English to French
+ ...
Nov 23, 2012

A question I am wondering about.

For most translation work done in Europe, UN agencies pay in US$ (no option to ask for payment in Euros), and then the bank applies the currency rate so that the total may appear on your account in euros. This means that you cannot never be completely sure as to how the final amount might be in your own currency.
Invoices have to be made following UN templates as well.

Just wondering how translators deal with that when in their own countries the rules are very strict as to how invoices should look like in terms or currency allowed, wording, total sums invoiced nd breakdowns of sums etc, as is the case in Italy, and the fact that they cannot invoice in their own currency, and in terms of tax declaration (if the final payment is different from the invoice, due to currency fluctuations or the fact that the currency used for invoicving is not that of the final payment).

Any insight welcome!
Thank you
Anne


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:37
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Nov 23, 2012



[Edited at 2012-11-23 15:29 GMT]


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Anne R
Italy
Local time: 07:37
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
your answer is empty Nov 23, 2012

Tom in London wrote:



[Edited at 2012-11-23 15:29 GMT]


Tom, there is nothing in your answer


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:37
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
It depends entirely on where you are Nov 23, 2012

I've invoiced from both France and Spain, so I know that there isn't one rule for all countries. Here in Spain, my accountant has told me that I have to use a certain invoice numbering system and I have to quote my tax number - that's all. As far as the amount goes, I can use whatever currency I like/need. There are official tables of exchange rates to be applied, which may not match your bank's rate on the day of receipt.

I currently have two clients whose own systems I have to use: one allows me to add my own invoice number and a text field; the other doesn't allow me to change/add anything, but is quite happy for me to send them an invoice, linking to their PO number, which they then duly ignore. I hope that one will work all right.

I really think you'd do best to speak with your client and with your accountant.


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Anne R
Italy
Local time: 07:37
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
yes but Nov 23, 2012

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I really think you'd do best to speak with your client and with your accountant.


Thank you Sheila, it is more that I would like to have experience from translators who work for the United Nations agencies, to have an idea, and I am not clear whether this is your case. I don't think one can 'impose' them an invoice 'made in Italy' for instance, where the total invoicing amoint has to be broken down in so many specific subtotal, when they actually impose their own template.
Thank you in any case, I'll seel what others think/say.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:37
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Apologies Nov 23, 2012

Anne R wrote:

Tom in London wrote:



[Edited at 2012-11-23 15:29 GMT]


Tom, there is nothing in your answer


1. Your invoices should be issued in the language, and in accordance with the tax rules of, the country in which you are registered as a taxpayer but....

2. In the currency in which your client wishes to pay you.

3. You should receive payment into a bank based in the country in which you are taxpayer.

4. Your bank will convert the payment into the currency of your country, at its exchange rate on that day, and may also deduct a transaction charge.

5. The amount actually credited to your account, in the country in which you are registered as a taxpayer, is your taxable income.

6. Your bank, if it's doing its work properly, should provide you with a letter describing each transaction. This should be filed in your accounts along with the invoice.

[Edited at 2012-11-23 16:42 GMT]


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Anne R
Italy
Local time: 07:37
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
rules Nov 23, 2012

[quote]Tom in London wrote:
...but.... 2. In the currency in which your client wishes to pay you. ....5. that, I did not know, always charged in Euro, even to know EU clients.. 6. Your bank, if it's doing its work properly, should provide you with a letter describing each transaction. This should be filed in your accounts along with the invoice.[Edited at 2012-11-23 16:42 GMT]
Thank you Tom, that is of great help! I guess I need to ask that potential UN client whether I can actually use my obligatory invoice form and breadowns, regardless of their template. I just wonder how to make it clear to the accountant/the state, how the final total - and consequently all subtotals required by Italian law would have to be recalculated **- might differ from the invoice but I will have to inquire about this in more details with the accountant I guess.

** whoops, might not be the case if I charge in US$..

[Edited at 2012-11-23 16:52 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:37
Member (2008)
Italian to English
you HAVE to ! Nov 23, 2012

Anne R wrote:

I guess I need to ask that potential UN client whether I can actually use my obligatory invoice form and breadowns, regardless of their template.


You HAVE to ! You're answerable to the tax law of your country -not theirs.


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Anne R
Italy
Local time: 07:37
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I am VERY CLEAR Nov 23, 2012

Tom in London wrote:

You HAVE to ! You're answerable to the tax law of your country -not theirs.


about this, thank you Tom.

[Edited at 2012-11-23 21:26 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:37
Member (2008)
Italian to English
? Nov 23, 2012

Anne R wrote:

Tom in London wrote:

You HAVE to ! You're answerable to the tax law of your country -not theirs.


about this, this you Tom.


? me no understand.

[Edited at 2012-11-23 20:31 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:37
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I don't agree on some of those points, Tom Nov 23, 2012

Tom in London wrote:
1. Your invoices should be issued in the language, and in accordance with the tax rules of, the country in which you are registered as a taxpayer

But it pays to prepare a bilingual invoice so that the client can understand it, too. In fact, as a FR>EN translator living in Spain, my invoices are now trilingual. I believe the descriptive part, where you specify the actual work done, can be in just one language, but the tax man must be able to understand what the dates and amounts relate to.

3. You should receive payment into a bank based in the country in which you are taxpayer.

Why? I receive money into my accounts in France, the UK and Spain, and into 2 PayPal accounts - the tax man couldn't care less as long as I can account for everything.


5. The amount actually credited to your account, in the country in which you are registered as a taxpayer, is your taxable income.

As far as I know, that isn't actually true. In fact, I'm taxed on my INVOICE date and amount - it's converted using official rates into EUR.

Interesting. I wonder where the real situation lies? Does anyone know? I'm certainly no expert: I wonder if my Spanish accountant is.


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Anne R
Italy
Local time: 07:37
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Bilingual invoice Nov 23, 2012

Sheila Wilson wrote:
Tom in London wrote: 1. Your invoices should be issued in the language, and in accordance with the tax rules of, the country in which you are registered as a taxpayer
But it pays to prepare a bilingual invoice so that the client can understand it, too.


Yes, Sheila, thank you, of course I too use bilingual invoice, not all my clients understand Italian. Funny to think you're even making them trilingual


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Susana González Tuya
Spain
Local time: 07:37
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Depends on accounting rules in Italy Nov 23, 2012

But usually you make an invoice in which ever currency, for example dollars, and record it in Euros in your account at the exchange rate of that day. Then when it comes to pay taxes, you pay taxes for the amount you have actually received so if the exchage rate is lower, you record it as lost and if it is higher as a gain.

Check with your accountant, he should be able to explain you how to do it.


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Anne R
Italy
Local time: 07:37
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Nov 24, 2012

Susana González Tuya wrote:

But usually you make an invoice in which ever currency, for example dollars, and record it in Euros in your account at the exchange rate of that day. Then when it comes to pay taxes, you pay taxes for the amount you have actually received so if the exchage rate is lower, you record it as lost and if it is higher as a gain.

Check with your accountant, he should be able to explain you how to do it.


Susanna, this is very useful, thank you, I did not know what can do this!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:37
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Exchange rates can be tricky Nov 24, 2012

Anne R wrote:
I too use bilingual invoice, not all my clients understand Italian. Funny to think you're even making them trilingual

Well, I think they are trilingual - I don't actually speak much Spanish yet myself and I'm afraid I was too mean to pay for a couple of dozen words, so the Spanish may be far from correct.

Susana's advice to check with your accountant is wise: here in Spain, it isn't the rate on the invoice date that counts but the monthly rate that's published somewhere.


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