Should I quote my translation prices with or without VAT?
Thread poster: Fredrik Pettersson

Fredrik Pettersson  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Member (2009)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Jul 4, 2009

I live in China in China since 10 months (country of origin is Sweden), and have no registered
company. When quoting my translation prices, should I include or exclude VAT? Customers
are both Chinese companies and European companies. I plan to later register an offshore company,
when I have accumulated some translation jobs.


KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:59
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
go to those who know Jul 4, 2009

Try asking the tax authorities in the country where you are registered and will pay taxes.


Vesna Likar
Macedonia (FYROM)
Local time: 19:59
English to Macedonian
+ ...
ask those whose job is to know Jul 4, 2009

I agree with my German colleague; I've done the same. Consult a lawyer specialized in taxation or a tax officer, or simply check with the local office of the state administrative body in charge of taxation; this will also help you avoid later possible problems with paying your income tax - after all, it depends on the tax system of the country.
Good luck!


Ulf Samuelsson  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:59
Member (2007)
English to Swedish
+ ...
No VAT for external clients Jul 4, 2009

VAT is a tax that only is added for local businesses. If you live in China, then you only add VAT for your clients in China.



Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:59
Flemish to English
+ ...
VAT Jul 4, 2009

Does China has a VAT-system. Or is it sales-tax?
VAT is typical EU and is going to be introduced in the UAE.
Anyway, if you are legally in China, you are considered an expat by Sweden and you export a service to the E.U.
If however, you set up on offshore in Cyprus, the offshore will be a EU-based company which falls under the normal EU-rules: if the end-customer if not based in Cyprus and has no VAT-number, your representative in Cyprus (the secretary of the company or your legal representative there or whoever writes invoices) will have to charge VAT. If not, you have to refer to the article of Cyprus law according to which you do not have to pay VAT to Cyprus. Mind you , in the end somebody always pays VAT (end-customer).
But if you set up an off-shore in HKG, you don't have to charge VAT at all.
Don't know whether the importing customer has to pay VAT.
Your construction is rather difficult, so it would be better to consult:
a) The Swedish taxman (a tax-specialist)
b) The Lawyer who helps you set up an offshore in Cyprus.
c) The Chinese authorities. After all, you are there because they allowed you to stay on their territory with a business visa? Didn't know know that there was a special kind of visa which allows foreigners to work in China? Why create an offshore??? If you are allowed to stay and work in China, you can easily invoice from there.

A link :

[Bijgewerkt op 2009-07-04 14:20 GMT]

[Bijgewerkt op 2009-07-04 14:23 GMT]


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Should I quote my translation prices with or without VAT?

Advanced search

WordFinder Unlimited
For clarity and excellence

WordFinder is the leading dictionary service that gives you the words you want anywhere, anytime. Access 260+ dictionaries from the world's leading dictionary publishers in virtually any device. Find the right word anywhere, anytime - online or offline.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2019 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2019 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2019 transforms how new users get up and running, helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features, ensures new

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search