2 Questions regarding rates (tax and agency)
Thread poster: Joseph Nowell

Joseph Nowell
Belgium
Local time: 14:32
Italian to English
+ ...
Jul 26

Hi all, I've been translating as a freelancer (it>en and en>it) for 3 years and am looking to increase my work, mostly through agencies etc. These forums are very helpful but I couldn't find much help for these questions:

1) Do the rates listed here (https://search.proz.com/employers/rates) take taxing into account? Are they before or after tax?
2) (Related to question 1) An agency has told me that they charge their clients from 0.07 EUR/word up, so they could never pay me 0.08 EUR/word (which is what I asked). Taking into account the way I would get paid (where 20% would be taken off by taxes), what kind of fee would you ask and how would you approach them?

I should add, for context, that I am perfectly bilingual and consider my translations to be of a medium/high quality. But I guess that doesn't mean much considering I'm still kind of starting out.

Thank you and happy translating.
Joe


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:32
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Find your level - there are clients there Jul 27

Joseph Nowell wrote:
1) Do the rates listed here (https://search.proz.com/employers/rates) take taxing into account? Are they before or after tax?

Before tax. Everyone's tax bill is different.
2) (Related to question 1) An agency has told me that they charge their clients from 0.07 EUR/word up, so they could never pay me 0.08 EUR/word (which is what I asked). Taking into account the way I would get paid (where 20% would be taken off by taxes), what kind of fee would you ask and how would you approach them?

Oh well, there are those that feed off the crap at the bottom, and ...


Joseph Nowell
Germaine
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:32
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Not true Jul 28

Joseph Nowell wrote:

...An agency has told me that they charge their clients from 0.07 EUR/word up...


Either they're lying, or they have very bad translators working for them day and night at 0,035 or less, trying to make a living.

Stay away from them

PS and yes, the rate that you offer is your final rate (except for VAT if applicable). You pay your own taxes and business expenses out of that rate. So plan accordingly.

[Edited at 2018-07-28 15:43 GMT]


Joseph Nowell
Angie Garbarino
Germaine
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:32
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Joseph Jul 29

Joseph Nowell wrote:
1) Do the rates listed here (https://search.proz.com/employers/rates) take taxing into account? Are they before or after tax?


Some do, some don't. These figures are aggregates of rates quoted by several translators, and there is no specification at ProZ.com that one's quoted rate must be "before tax" or "after tax". Whatever translators quote, are used to calculate these average rates.

2) An agency has told me that they charge their clients from 0.07 EUR/word up, so they could never pay me 0.08 EUR/word (which is what I asked).
...
Taking into account the way I would get paid (where 20% would be taken off by taxes), what kind of fee would you ask...?


I don't understand what those two pieces of information have to do with each other.

a.) If an agency says to you "we charge X to our clients", then that is their way of trying to get you to agree to a lower rate. If your rate is too high for them, they won't use you.

b.) If you try to calculate your rate using the "calculate my expenses" method, assume that you'll pay 50% in taxes.

c.) You mention "20%" but where do you get that from? VAT in Belgium is 21% but that only applies to certain types of clients, and income tax in Belgium is 30-40% (discounts not taken into account).

I'm not 100% sure about Belgium, but as far as I know, you'll have to add 21% VAT to the invoice if your client is from Belgium. If your client is Belgian but it is a business, then it may be that the client assumes that you're quoting him "without VAT" even though VAT is added to the invoice -- it's important to make sure from the start that the client knows what he will have to pay in the end, to avoid confusion.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:32
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Proz.com's rate calculator Jul 30

Under Tools on this site there is in fact a rate calculator:

https://www.proz.com/translator-rates-calculator/

If you fill in realistic figures, it will give you an idea of what rates you need to charge to achieve the income you hope for. It is a very simple model, and does not give any help with how to persuade clients to pay the rates you ask for!

Seriously, however, you should ask for a professional rate from the start. In freelancing there are are no annual pay reviews and pay rises. You begin as you mean to go on: your work has the same value for the client as work by a seasoned veteran. DO NOT give beginner discounts - unless the client has clearly agreed to pay more for future jobs. Even then, you cannot be sure there will actually be future jobs. Clients like that can always find another hopeful beginner and ask them for a discount instead.

OK, beginners may have to turn down the more demanding jobs - which justify higher rates - until they have gained more experience. There are ways of increasing your income as time goes by, but it is easier to find new clients who pay better than to raise your rates with clients you already work for.

The important thing is to compete on the quality the client is looking for - your knowledge of your specialist area, and whatever other selling points you can offer, not just the lowest rate. Low-paid work may be better than none at all, but never take on so much that you have to turn down better offers for lack of time!


 


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2 Questions regarding rates (tax and agency)

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