Canaries or UK address: which one to put on invoice?
Thread poster: Bubo Coromandus

Bubo Coromandus

Spanish to English
May 5, 2006

Hello colleagues, I have a home in both Canaries and UK and have started getting freelance work from agencies in the Spanish mainland.

I am asking these agencies to transfer their payments to my Canaries bank account which is a non-resident account and my domicile for tax purposes is the UK address.

When I invoice these agencies, is it possible for me to sidestep the issues of IRPF, IVA/IGIC and Seguridad Social completely by giving my UK address (and not the Canaries address)?

Can anyone foresee these agencies having problems processing my invoices if they don't mention IRPF etc.?

Any advice gratefully received. Thanks



Sara Freitas
Local time: 01:01
French to English
Accountant May 5, 2006

Hi Deborah,

This is really a "non-answer" to your question, but it sounds like talking to an accountant familiar with offshore issues would be a good idea.




Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:01
Flemish to English
+ ...
Email. May 5, 2006

Have a look at your email. You will find a possible solution there.


Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:01
Dutch to English
+ ...
Domiciled in the UK May 5, 2006

If you are domiciled in the UK and pay tax there, then I believe you can use your UK details since you cannot pay tax twice (double taxation) within the EU. The same applies to VAT. You would, in theory, charge VAT from the UK. It just happens that you do not need to register for VAT in the UK until you earn £ 60,000 (I'm assuming you don't).

Most of my customers are not in the UK. I have bank accounts in the Netherlands, the UK and Spain. My Spanish customers pay into my Spanish bank account but I use my UK details and my UK VAT number (I am registered for VAT). My Dutch customers pay into my Dutch bank account, etc. I am domiciled for tax purposes in the UK (and I pay taxes here). I just happen to live here too but I could have a second home somewhere else.


Bubo Coromandus

Spanish to English
Most helpful Marijke, thank you so much May 5, 2006

You are wonderful Marijke, I feel as though I'm making a little headway at last.

I'm not registered for VAT in the UK (below the compulsory registration threshold).

Please could you advise me if an invoice in the format below will be acceptable to a Spanish agency?

Invoice number: 123
Date: 5th May, 2006
From: Deborah Lockett ... Caernarfon, Gwynedd, Wales

To: Santander Translation Agency, Santander

Description: Translating file CV.doc

Breakdown of price: 1,000 words at 5.5 cents per word

Total price: 55 Euros

Bank: Caja Rural de Tenerife
Account number .....
Account holder: Deborah Lockett

I was wondering whether to explain/justify my method of invoicing by putting "Domicilio fiscal" (residence for tax purposes) in front of my Welsh address, and putting "Cuenta de no residente" (non-resident account) in front of my bank account number (the kind bank opened a non-resident account for me as they said it would save me tax). What do you think about this, as against leaving the invoice as it is above?

Also, should I give my passport number and NIE on the invoice? I had to get a NIE when I first came here in order to be able to buy a car. I'm so used to being asked for these all the time in Tenerife.

Thank you so much for your help, and I really hope this topic will be useful for other translators as well as myself.

Bless you



Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:01
Dutch to English
+ ...
Keep it simple May 11, 2006

Hi Deborah,

Keep it simple.

Add the details of the job, the bank details and your own details FOR TAX PURPOSES. Why you are currently in Tenerife is your own personal business. I could go and live in a hotel in Australia for 6 months with my laptop and send my invoices from there but I would still use my UK details (for my address) and whatever banking details are the cheapest. Do not confuse your customericon_smile.gif.

I get interest on my Spanish bank account (very low rate) and tax gets automatically deducted. I don't even bother chasing it since the amount is so small. I view it as an additional charge for the benefits of having a Spanish bank account.

If you want an example of an invoice please e-mail me privately (

Take care,


Bubo Coromandus

Spanish to English
Extremely helpful thank you again Marijke :-) May 12, 2006

Thanks again Marijke, all is clear now.

I appreciate your advice to keep it simple and actually I haven't included my passport number or NIE in the invoices I've issued with my Welsh address -- I reasoned that a freelance in the UK doesn't necessarily have either a passport or a Spanish NIE, so they can't necessarily give those numbers. Only a couple of agencies came back to me and asked for these details, which of course I gave them, but I'm not including them on invoices as standard.

I wasn't sure how reliable my Spanish clients would be at paying, so I'm offering a 10% discount if they pay within 2 weeks of invoice. I thought, if the client isn't going to pay, then a bell will ring to warn me of that possibility after the 2 weeks, and I shan't accept any more work from them till they settle up with me.

In accounting terms a discount like this is lunatic (it's much cheaper to ask for the full price, wait 2 months to be paid and just borrow money and pay interest to survive). But really the best thing about it is that it leaves the client with a smile on their face and every reason to come back to me rather than go to someone else for their next job.

Well, you've been a real help and I hope others searching for information will make use of your advice too.

icon_smile.gif Deborah


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