VAT/Bank details for an agency in France
Thread poster: liz askew
liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:47
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Feb 19, 2010

Hello there!

This may be a simple query, but I have just received an email from a French agency asking me for my RIB = un relevé d'identité bancaire, as I am not VAT-registered.

Does this mean I just send them a copy of a recent bank statement?

Thank you for any advice.

Liz Askew

p.s. I thought I should add that I have worked for this agency before.....and they owe me money from last month. Apparently there is a new Law (January 2010) so they have to ask for this:)

[Edited at 2010-02-19 17:04 GMT]


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:47
French to English
+ ...
Just account number/basic details Feb 19, 2010

liz askew wrote:
This may be a simple query, but I have just received an email from a French agency asking me for my RIB = un relevé d'identité bancaire, as I am not VAT-registered.

Does this mean I just send them a copy of a recent bank statement?


Nononono why would you ever send a third party a copy of your private bank statement?

They need the basic details for making an international transfer within Europe:
- Name and address attached to your account
- Your BIC (Bank Identifier Code)-- sometimes called a "SWIFT code"
- Your IBAN (International bank account number)

If you're lucky, this information will be printed on your statement. Otherwise you may need to ask your bank.

[Edited at 2010-02-19 16:54 GMT]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:47
Member (2006)
French to English
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I received this demand too Feb 19, 2010

I received the same (rather peremptory) demand today from a French agency for which I've never worked. I'm not registered for VAT and have no intention of applying at present, and I'm not going to send them my bank ID at least until they offer me some work, which is what I (rather peremptorily) told them ...
Regards,
Jenny


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:47
Member (2007)
French to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Hello Neil Feb 19, 2010

I take your points.

Well, each time I have invoiced this agency I have provided the details you outline, but I think they want these on an "official" document.

Liz


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Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:47
French to English
strange Feb 19, 2010

Liz - there is indeed a new law about inter-EU VAT regulations, there have been several threads on this subject. However, I fail to see how the agency has linked those changes to your bank details?? A RIB is just a document from your bank that sets out your account number (name of holder, IBAN, BIC, agency address ....) and has nothing whatsoever to do with compliance with any kind of VAT regulations. Perhaps if you just want to make your client happy, you could ask your bank to provide you with such a document, but seems strange to me.

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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:47
French to English
+ ...
RIB Feb 19, 2010

If you have a French bank account, you are issued with RIBs which are a quick way of giving people your bank details.

Thinking laterally, here's what I'd do in your place: I'd tactfully explain to the contact, who seems a little ignorant, that we don't have RIBs as such in the UK, and I'd photocopy the relevant parts of my bank statement (leaving out any details of my actual finances, but including the bank's header, my name and address and all account numbers which are included on my statement). They should then have all the relevant details, plus an official-looking bank header, which might make them happy.

Are they having particular problems paying you, or are they just amusing themselves on a Friday afternoon?

Another thought: recently, my UK bank changed my international banking codes without telling me, which caused problems for some of my French clients for a while. I now have an IBAN number, a BIC code *AND* a SWIFT Intermediary Bank code (the BIC and SWIFT codes are different), and French clients need all three in order to pay me. I think this is because I have my account with a building society which is not itself a clearing bank.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:47
Member (2007)
English
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Definitely a mix-up Feb 21, 2010

Lori Cirefice wrote:
Liz - there is indeed a new law about inter-EU VAT regulations, there have been several threads on this subject. However, I fail to see how the agency has linked those changes to your bank details??


As Lori says, this new legislation changes nothing as far as payments are concerned - if they already have a means of paying you, that doesn't change.

What does need saying though, is that you DO need a VAT number now. That does NOT mean you will be registered for VAT, have to charge it, etc. You simply need to apply for a number and then quote it on all invoices sent within the EU, with the exception of your own country of residence. Then there's a monthly customs form to be filled in by us all around Europe giving your own and your client's VAT numbers and the amount, so the customs can check that your client has done the correct thing with their end of the transaction. So, you now need to get your client's VAT No if you don't already know it.

I repeat: as from 1st Jan 2010 only those of who never send an invoice to another EU country do not need a VAT number.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:47
Member (2006)
French to English
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Do you mean in the UK too? Feb 21, 2010

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Lori Cirefice wrote:
Liz - there is indeed a new law about inter-EU VAT regulations, there have been several threads on this subject. However, I fail to see how the agency has linked those changes to your bank details??


As Lori says, this new legislation changes nothing as far as payments are concerned - if they already have a means of paying you, that doesn't change.

What does need saying though, is that you DO need a VAT number now. That does NOT mean you will be registered for VAT, have to charge it, etc. You simply need to apply for a number and then quote it on all invoices sent within the EU, with the exception of your own country of residence. Then there's a monthly customs form to be filled in by us all around Europe giving your own and your client's VAT numbers and the amount, so the customs can check that your client has done the correct thing with their end of the transaction. So, you now need to get your client's VAT No if you don't already know it.

I repeat: as from 1st Jan 2010 only those of who never send an invoice to another EU country do not need a VAT number.

Liz, do you mean that even if you are permanently resident and working in the UK and a UK citizen you still need to apply for a VAT number (in the UK, presumably), but do not have to register for VAT in the UK, but that you quote that VAT number only on invoices to EU countries other than the UK?
That seems extraordinary (but the extraordinary is not, of course, impossible). Surely if you apply for a VAT number in the UK, that means that you are at the same time registering for VAT?
Please could you clarify?
Kind regards,
Jenny




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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:47
French to English
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Where are these rules officially stated? Feb 21, 2010

Sheila Wilson wrote:
What does need saying though, is that you DO need a VAT number now. That does NOT mean you will be registered for VAT, have to charge it, etc. You simply need to apply for a number and then quote it on all invoices sent within the EU, with the exception of your own country of residence.


Sheila, I know you've brought this up before in other threads, but from the UK side I can't find anything either stating this need or giving an opportunity to obtain such a number.


Then there's a monthly customs form to be filled in by us all around Europe giving your own and your client's VAT numbers and the amount, so the customs can check that your client has done the correct thing with their end of the transaction. So, you now need to get your client's VAT No if you don't already know it.


Again, from the UK side (e.g. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/VAT/cross-border-changes-2010.htm), the information clearly states that the EC Sales List needs to be produced by "UK VAT-registered businesses that supply services to EU businesses". There's no suggestion that if you're *not* VAT-registered you suddenly need to be, or need to produce this list.


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:47
Member (2007)
French to English
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TOPIC STARTER
VAT number Feb 21, 2010

Hello everybody

Thanks for all your comments here.

Well, the VAT number business is interesting...The agency in France told me that if I did not have a VAT number I just needed to provide the RIB....

I also work for an agency in Spain, and they just want my tax return info.

So, for the moment I won't be getting a VAT number. Seems odd you could get one in any case, without earning enough to qualify for one!

Should any other clients insist upon the need for a VAT number, I will pursue this further.

Liz


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liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:47
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
BTW Feb 21, 2010

Angela,

I have done as you suggested...i.e. photocopied a page of my bank statement, with minimal information about my personal finances, but with all the other stuff, IBAN, Acc. no. etc...etc.

Seems the most hassle-free thing to do:)

Thanks!
Liz


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