Spanish translators: is it suspicious to be asked for passport number for international translation?
Thread poster: Jillian Droste

Jillian Droste  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:01
Spanish to English
May 27, 2015

To anyone who has translated for a client based in Spain:

Have you ever been asked to share your passport number for tax purposes? My prospective client explained that it is necessary to have my passport number, address, and name for their business tax purposes, and I'm not sure whether this is common practice or perhaps a scam. The business is seeking translators for a health blog and is based in Salamanca, Spain.

Thank you very much for your help!


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:01
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
I wouldn't give my passport number May 28, 2015

I don't see how a passport number could possibly say anything about a person's tax status, as it remains the same regardless in which country you live.

I wouldn't send a passport copy to an agency. Banks may need it, not agencies.

They may need something else to prove you're domiciled in the US for tax purposes.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:01
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Not necessarily suspicious May 28, 2015

Very often it's that clients simply don't understand the rules. Those of us who live in Spain always joke about having to have every last bit of information handy for the administrations - grandmother's hair colour etc. But they really don't need, and shouldn't have, your passport details. Some people advise us to send a scan but blank out the passport number, i.e. they can see that someone with your name has been issued a passport from your country, but that seems to me to make little sense. For example, mine would show me to be a British citizen, but that would be highly misleading as I'm taxable in Spain rather than in the UK.

Just tell them you're a self-employed translator trading under your own name in accordance with US tax laws. In other words you are NOT a private individual, and they WON'T be done for money laundering, which is what the fuss is all about.


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Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
Spain May 28, 2015

Unlike those from other countries, my Spanish agency clients have all asked me for my passport or social security number. I think that there's a blank somewhere that they feel they must fill. I usually give them my driver's license number, which seems to work.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:01
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Nice one May 28, 2015

Jessica Noyes wrote:
Unlike those from other countries, my Spanish agency clients have all asked me for my passport or social security number. I think that there's a blank somewhere that they feel they must fill. I usually give them my driver's license number, which seems to work.

I can well believe it! We have to give our NIE (foreigners' ID no) every few minutes, even to have a parcel delivered. I doubt anyone ever checks it.


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 00:01
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Blank spaces May 29, 2015

[quote]Sheila Wilson wrote:

Jessica Noyes wrote:
Unlike those from other countries, my Spanish agency clients have all asked me for my passport or social security number. I think that there's a blank somewhere that they feel they must fill. I usually give them my driver's license number, which seems to work.


Hi Jillian,

As Jessica says, Spanish bureaucracy abhors a blank space.

By law, all Spaniards (over age 14, if I remember rightly) must have an ID card and number. Thereafter, life is nigh on impossible without one.

For business purposes (invoices, etc...), you must always include your Tax ID number (which is actually just your normal ID number plus a letter)
And, without this number, your address and full name, no invoice you issue is valid.

I don't see anything sinister here; rather, they just don't want problems with the tax office.

I'm sure there must be previous threads that cover US-based translators invoicing Spanish clients.



[Edited at 2015-05-29 02:35 GMT]


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Spanish translators: is it suspicious to be asked for passport number for international translation?

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