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Request for advice on V.A.T. & taxes
Thread poster: Ema80

Local time: 13:08
English to Italian
+ ...
Feb 4, 2009

Hello everybody,

I am a new freelance translator and I would need some info on how to proceed into this "unknown world".

My main doubts and questions at the moment are about the V.A.T and taxes.

I have asked friends and colleagues and also the tax authorities in my homeland, but there seems to be lot of confusion about this and nobody could give me clear and sure information.

I will try to explain my situation briefly:

This is my first serious & long-term job as a freelance translator, and I have no VAT number.

Since the beginning of this year I am working as a freelance translator abroad (in Germany) for 6 months (this is the contract I have been offered at the moment).

I will be working at the offices of a company in Germany, translating.

However, my client is a localisation agency from England, and my fiscal residence is in Italy.

I have checked in the internet for the threshold above which you must register for VAT in Germany, and according to my figures I should remain under the threshold for Germany for this year.

Given all this, do you think I have to/need to register for V.A.T.?
If yes, in which of the 3 countries? Germany, Italy or England?

Also, in which country do you think I will have to pay taxes? And how much will I have to pay? What percentage?

Is there any "fiscal benefit" for translator younger than 30?

I know these are a lot of questions, but I hope that some of you can give me some advice!
Any help is very much appreciated!!!

Thank you in advance,


Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:08
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I think I can answer a couple of points Feb 4, 2009

Hi Emanuele,

Firstly, it is pretty normal to be VAT-registered in Germany, because the threshold is quite low. In England it is quite unusual to be VAT-registered, because the threshold is high. I do not know anything about Italy. If you are VAT-registered, you have the benefit of being able to get the VAT back that you pay on business purchases.

If you work in Germany, I think you will have to pay your taxes in Germany. However, I understand that there are reciprocal arrangements between countries in the EU, especially if you are temporarily in a different country, so you will need to look into that.

From a German perspective, you are not a freelancer if you work for only one company, as well as on their premises. Therefore the things that apply to freelancers, such as the possibility of VAT registration, will probably not apply to you. As far as I understand, you will not be a proper employee either, but simply a longer-term contract worker.

The rate of tax you will have to pay in Germany depends on how much you earn, but our taxes are believed to be on the high side.

As far as I am aware, there are no special tax benefits for young people.



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