Freelance status when relocating?
Thread poster: Florence Gagne
Florence Gagne  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:40
English to French
+ ...
Jan 25, 2008

Hello,

My name is Florence and im thinking of establishing myself as a freelance translator in Spain, where i currently live. The problem is: in the end of march, my boyfriend and me will have to relocate to Lithuania for a year or year and a half, for my b-friend´s work, and i was wondering if i could continue my freelance job from lithuania ( how would it work with the Spanish VAT, and Social Security), or if id better start everything there ( i mention that neither me nor my boyfriend speaks lithuanian, and i dont know anything about the laws and the freelance status there).

Has somebody been in this situation before, or knows what i should do?

Thank you very much!

Flo


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xxxLatin_Hellas
United States
Local time: 07:40
Italian to English
+ ...
Tax laws both countries, EU tax laws Jan 25, 2008

I am not too sure how many people are expert on both Spanish and Lithuanian tax law, and in the context of the EU.

First thing is to find out whether Spain taxes, or at least requires reporting by, its citizens and permanent residents on their worldwide income, even while living abroad, or just while actually residing in the country. You may or may not have to report to Spain, and my guess is, even if you report, you will not be subject to regular Spanish income tax.

Next, you should contact the Lithuanian embassy in Madrid, and maybe someone there could help find information in Spanish or English on its residency and tax laws. Alternatively, most of the big international accounting firms publish reports in English, often free on the internet, entitled "Doing Business In ...." which may contain such information.

As for social security, both Spain and Lithuania are part of the EU, so you must find out the rules on how social security is handled in this context. My guess is that you have the right to continue making contributions to Spanish social security.

As for VAT, from what I understand, you certainly won't be subject to Spanish VAT, maybe to Lithuanian VAT but only if you have local customers.

Hope this helps.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
As if you were in Spain Jan 25, 2008

Florence Gagne wrote:

for a year or year and a half

Flo


I went to Ireland for a year, and I simply carried on as if I was in Spain.

Practically everything can be done online or by post etc.

EG I billed my clients as normal, using my normal address, and they paid me as normal, using my normal bank account.

As for bills that had to be printed and posted, there's still no problem, and the client isn't even likely to notice.

With my accountant I sent stuff by post or email.

I was away for exactly a year, I think I may have come back once or twice, maybe to sort things, like an accumulation of post etc.

Everything went swimmingly:-)

I should mention that maybe I was bending the rules about residence, but for a short timeframe, what difference if you are temporarily outside Spain and running a business from Spain? I know one person who has been officially resident in a richer country for years, but who physically lives in Spain. That's more than bending the rules...:-)

If you want to check out the number of days that define "residence abroad", what you could do is come back to Spain before this period expires, so as to keep on the right side of the law.



[Edited at 2008-01-25 14:38]


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
medical cover Jan 25, 2008

Latin_Hellas wrote:


As for social security, both Spain and Lithuania are part of the EU, so you must find out the rules on how social security is handled in this context. My guess is that you have the right to continue making contributions to Spanish social security.



Hope this helps.


This is probably important -- to ensure that you have medical cover.


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Florence Gagne  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:40
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
VAT? Jan 25, 2008

Hello Lia,

Thanks for your comment! I was wondering, during your stay in Ireland, did you charge your clients with the "IVA" and made the trimestrial declarations as usual? and did you maintain you social security status as "autonoma" while abroad?

Thanks for the precious help!

Florence


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:40
Flemish to English
+ ...
On the other hand Jan 25, 2008

It should not be so difficult to get registered as a self-employed in Lithuania and get a VAT-number (if you need one-check the treshold). Spain is not a low-taxed country. I might be mistaken, but I have a hunch that in Lithuania taxes are lower.

[Edited at 2008-01-25 17:52]


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
+ ...
Exactly! Jan 25, 2008

24% top income tax rate since 01-01-2008. Can Spain compete with that?

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xxxBrandis
Local time: 07:40
English to German
+ ...
Quo Vadis... Jan 25, 2008

Germans have the best hit. almost 18% fat VAT and then the income tax. Brandis

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chord0
United States
English to Spanish
+ ...
re: freelance status when relocating Jan 26, 2008

hello
I reside in USA where there is federal and state taxes, so I do not know in Spain or Lithuania or other countries, my best advice find out about tax laws there as soon as you get there, some employers like here will give you forms before you sign for the job if not you will have to settle with the government at the end of the year or whatever the tax law is in that country.

You could still work and be a freelancer, if you have internet connection and an email, you might want to see getafreelancer.com or guru.com for more employers or opportunities. Some of them might be in Europe if you are thinking of only getting paid in Euros. the basic service of those two named is free. Or if you want a totally free service see scriptlance.com. For all of this is a good idea to have samples of your work you can send thru email or upload on these sites, because they will probably ask you for them.

good luck
georgina


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Florence Gagne  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:40
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Jan 27, 2008

Thank you very much to all of you

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