How do Chinese freelance translators handle taxation when working for a foreign based agency?
Thread poster: Fredrik Pettersson

Fredrik Pettersson  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Member (2009)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Oct 20, 2010

How do Chinese freelance translators handle taxation when working for a foreign based agency?

Usually, in Western countries, the translation agencies prefer (or require) that you as a freelance translator have your own registered company. The reason is that you will then be able to handle paying taxes and other fees yourself which the agency otherwise would have to pay for you.

Is the situation the same in mainland China for Chinese freelance translators? For example, if a Chinese freelance translator completes a translation project for a Hong Kong registered translation agency, will the Hong Kong based agency require the Chinese translator to have his own registered company?


Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:25
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Freelance translator Oct 20, 2010

Some Chinese freelance translators did my editing jobs and I never demanded them to have a registered company (a category not fall as a freelance translator). Income tax and value added tax are based out of personal income, not corporate incoem.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


Tai Fu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:25
Chinese to English
depends Oct 20, 2010

It depends on countries, since they all have different laws regarding taxation. For example tax laws in the West tends to be stricter and you're often required to report ANY income and their tax department investigates any missing money. In that case most freelancers would register themselves as a company in order to be able to put most of the things they buy as "deductible".

Things may be different in Asia... for example in Taiwan you are only required to pay tax for incomes earned in Taiwan, not elsewhere. Employers are required to file an income statement which states how much they're paying you, which is used not only for tax purposes but also for things like employment or labor insurance. However freelancers who gets jobs overseas don't really get that so I am curious as to what kind of tax law that is under.


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How do Chinese freelance translators handle taxation when working for a foreign based agency?

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