Greek agency requiring tax documentation in order not to withhold 20% of invoice total
Thread poster: Paris2083
Paris2083  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 08:37
Member (2015)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Oct 18, 2016

Hi,

I just want to see if others have come across this.

I've done some work with a Greek agency who are claiming that unless I can produce documentation indicating the fact I'm a resident of the country in which I'm working and that I'm entitled to benefit from double taxation agreements (both of which need to be signed by the tax authorities), the agency, according to Greek taxation law, are required to withhold 20% of the invoice total.


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:37
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Steer clear!!! Oct 18, 2016

Paris2083 wrote:

Hi,

I just want to see if others have come across this.

I've done some work with a Greek agency who are claiming that unless I can produce documentation indicating the fact I'm a resident of the country in which I'm working and that I'm entitled to benefit from double taxation agreements (both of which need to be signed by the tax authorities), the agency, according to Greek taxation law, are required to withhold 20% of the invoice total.




Yes, I have worked for them in the past too and the amount of paperwork they require is ridiculous. I've worked for so many different translation agencies over the years that I've lost count, but not one of them required me to get a form from HMRC to prove that I am a tax resident here in the UK. Obtaining the form took several hours on the phone with HMRC and several months of waiting for it to be posted to me, and, you'd need to renew the form every year in order to work for this company. Steer clear, a complete waste of your time.

Michael

[Edited at 2016-10-18 12:43 GMT]


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Paris2083  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 08:37
Member (2015)
Turkish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Is it the case for all Greek agencies? Oct 18, 2016

We may or may not be talking about the same agency Michael (we can't name them on here)... What I'm trying to work out is whether the practise really is a legal requirement of the Greek system, or if the agency is pulling a fast one...

[Edited at 2016-10-18 12:54 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:37
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
It might be necessary Oct 18, 2016

Paris2083 wrote:
What I'm trying to work out is whether the practise really is a legal requirement of the Greek system, or if the agency is pulling a fast one...

I don't know about Greek companies but I did have the same request from a Romanian one. I eventually tracked down a PDF that I could understand (I don't speak Romanian) that made it clear that it was a legitimate request. I'm sure they didn't absolutely have to have it for just one small job but some agencies like to follow all the rules and you can't really blame them for that.

Normally in Spain you can just request an online "signed" form that certifies that you're both tax resident here and up to date with all payments. Hopefully it's that easy where you are.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:37
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Greek agencies Oct 18, 2016

Well, I've worked for a couple of agencies based in Athens for the last couple of years and they have never (yet?) asked me for any such documents. What is more, they pay extremely promptly and working for them is entirely pleasant.
Perhaps some new Greek (or more likely EU) legislation has recently been introduced on this matter? A mystery.


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Christian Schaller
Germany
Local time: 07:37
English to German
Same issue Oct 18, 2016

I have had the same issue with a Greek agency (maybe the same one you are referring to?). After lots of back and forth I have decided not to collaborate with them at all. In my eyes this requirement is complete nonsense.

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Roman Lutz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:37
English to German
+ ...
One of my best clients requires this Oct 18, 2016

One of my best clients (also Greece-based) requires this "tax residency certificate" each year. Once you know which form the financial authorities in your respective country use for it, it is no big deal. Just give them a quick call, request the form, fill it out, send it back to the authorities and receive the approved form shortly after having submitted it. Then send the form to your client by mail. At least that is how it works in Germany.

It may seem dodgy at first, but I have never had a problem with this client. I have always been paid in full and punctually, and this client isn't "new to the game". Also, I have been working for this client for 2 years and back then this was already a requirement, so this is not a "new EU legislation".

Hope this helps.

[Edited at 2016-10-18 17:29 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-10-18 17:29 GMT]


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Greek agency requiring tax documentation in order not to withhold 20% of invoice total

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