VAT/MwSt for work carried out in UK for German client
Thread poster: willsp
willsp
Local time: 23:27
German to English
+ ...
Jun 21, 2010

Hi everyone

I've just finished my first job for a client based in Germany (I'm based in England and not VAT registered), however I'm unsure as to whether it's necessary to invoice MwSt to a German company.

Apologies if this has been asked before in the forums, but I was unable to find any examples of English translators billing German client, only vice-versa!


Thanks bzw. vielen Dank!

Will


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Wojciech Strzalkowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 00:27
English to Polish
+ ...
Hope that helps. Jun 21, 2010

I am not really sure how it works in the UK, however, here in Poland even when invoicing a company that's not based in Poland, you still have to invoice them on VAT basis adding a 0% VAT. Same happened to me when I got invoiced by SDL, VAT was 0% even though it still was a VAT invoice. And when I am doing any work outside of Poland, I send them VAT invoices with 0% VAT. I think it's regulated by the EU law.

[Edited at 2010-06-21 15:28 GMT]


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Sonia Hill
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:27
Italian to English
No VAT if not registered Jun 21, 2010

Hi Will,

I'm pretty sure that if you're not VAT registered then you shouldn't send anyone a VAT invoice.

I'm based in the UK and, like you, have no VAT number. Most of my clients are based in Europe (including Germany) and I just send them a standard invoice. Some clients ask me to add a note indicating that I am not subject to VAT under UK law.

Hope that helps.

Sonia


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:27
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Similar experience to Sonia Jun 21, 2010

I would only like to add that some German agencies like you to give your Social Security number in lieu of a VAT number, so I now put that on all my invoices.

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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 00:27
German to English
+ ...
You don't charge VAT Jun 21, 2010

but under EU law, the recipient of the service (if a business) is required to pay the VAT/MWSt in his country of residence. This just means an deduction on the VAT form, since it is offset against the VAT he charges his clients. I have been asked by my German clients, and advised by my tax adviser, to add to the bottom of the bill:
"Übergang der Steuerschuld auf den Leistungsempfänger gem. § 19 UStG in Verbindung mit § 3a Abs. 9 UStG" i.e. Tax debt transfers to the recipient of the service pursuant to specific Austrian legislation implementing the EU rules. You would probably need to add that to your bill - referring to the UK law. In addition, as far as I know, EU-wide you are also required to notify the revenue of services supplied to other EU member states once a month (new rule from January 2010). Check whether this applies to you as non-VAT registered.


[Edited at 2010-06-21 17:02 GMT]


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:27
Member (2004)
German to English
No Jun 22, 2010

David Wright wrote:

In addition, as far as I know, EU-wide you are also required to notify the revenue of services supplied to other EU member states once a month (new rule from January 2010). Check whether this applies to you as non-VAT registered.


[Edited at 2010-06-21 17:02 GMT]


If you are not VAT registered then you don't have to notify them of anything.
Gillian


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Laura Stamp  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:27
German to Romanian
+ ...
In Germany Jun 22, 2010

As far as I know, if I, as a VAT-registered freelancer working in Germany, would charge a client in the UK, I would have two options:

- if the client has a VAT-ID, I wouldn't charge VAT and specify on the invoice something like
Steuerfreie innergemeinschaftliche Lieferung i. S. des § 6a UStG durch
xxx
an
yyy
Die Erwerber sind für die Versteuerung in ihrem Heimatland zuständig.
In this case it would indeed be my responsibility to let the "Finanzamt" know that I have provided services to a state in the EU and have charged no VAT. I do this every three months, there is an "Elster" form for this.

- if the client doesn't have a VAT-ID (either because he didn't get one, although he is VAT-registered, or because he isn't VAT-registered), I'd have to charge the VAT.

I believe that the decisive argument to whether or not to charge VAT is whether or not the service provider is VAT-registered, not the client.

I'm not sure it's the same in the UK, though.


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willsp
Local time: 23:27
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks! Jun 22, 2010

Many thanks for all your replies, much appreciated! Cleared that up nicely

Will


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 00:27
German to English
+ ...
Recipient status matters Jun 22, 2010

[quote]Laura Bud wrote:


I believe that the decisive argument to whether or not to charge VAT is whether or not the service provider is VAT-registered, not the client.

Not quite so. If you are registered for VAT and your client is also, then you do not charge VAT; if you are registered and your client is not, you do charge VAT. If you are not registered for VAT, then you don't charge.


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Laura Stamp  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:27
German to Romanian
+ ...
Well... Jun 22, 2010

[quote]David Wright wrote:

Laura Bud wrote:


I believe that the decisive argument to whether or not to charge VAT is whether or not the service provider is VAT-registered, not the client.

Not quite so. If you are registered for VAT and your client is also, then you do not charge VAT; if you are registered and your client is not, you do charge VAT. If you are not registered for VAT, then you don't charge.


...that's pretty much what I was saying, too. I just wanted to point out that it depends on the service provider (rather than on the client) whether or not the former charges VAT in the first place. In other words, if a service provider is VAT-registered, he or she will HAVE to charge VAT, even if the customer is not VAT-registered.

Whether or not the customer is VAT-registered is relevant as well, and I've mentioned the two possible situations in that case.

I hope I've managed to make my point somewhat clearer.


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