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Invoice to a US agency from Germany
Thread poster: Jonathan MacKerron

Jonathan MacKerron  Identity Verified
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Dec 7, 2010

Hi all,
I'm sorry if this question has been asked before, but here goes;
I have just finished my first job for a US-based agency and must now send an invoice made out in USD - here two related questions:
1. what information needs to be on the invoice about reversed VAT or such like - is a disclaimer of this kind required?
2. PayPal will charge approx. 3.5% for a money transfer. Would an electronic transfer between a US bank and a German bank be less expensive?
Thanks in advance for your help,
Jonathan

[Edited at 2010-12-07 21:21 GMT]


 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
From what I understand Dec 7, 2010

HI Jonathan,

Are you referring in your first question to "VAT" (you typed "TVA")? I can tell you from experience that whenever billing to a US agency, I have never made any mention of any tax issues, and no one ever questioned this. There won't be any VAT billed between you and them (as long as they've actually engaged your services from a US location), so it shouldn't really be an issue.

As for the charges for receiving your money, that may well depend on the amount to be sent.

Unfortunately, you may be out of luck if this wasn't already set out in writing in your PO or previous correspondence (most companies have a particular way they like to pay invoices, and sometimes it's their way or the highway). Did they say the method would be your choice and that you could let them know with your invoice?

I haven't used PayPal in a while so I can't really remember the charges, is the 3.5% you're citing just a "transfer fee", or does it include the currency conversion? Also keep in mind that if the company uses a credit card to fund their PayPal transaction (and if you don't have a business account with PayPal), that will incur a separate charge on your end as well.

As for bank charges, there will most likely be an intermediary fee that you may or may not be able to determine (something along the lines of $10 in the States, I think), but you can probably find out easily enough from your bank what they would charge on their end to receive the money (in the States and here in Australia, it was always around $30-ish).

Good luck!


 

Ivan Vatovic  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 10:04
Member (2009)
English to Serbian
+ ...
My experience Dec 7, 2010

Hi Jonathan,

Here is my experience, I hope it will help you.

First, I signed W8-BEN form reimbursing the US agency from paying US tax because the service was provided outside of the US. I never charged any tax to an agency, we always agree my fee and payment options and that's it.

Like Janet already mentioned, agency should have already provided you with the payment details.

Bank transfers to and from US are very expensive, especially for small amounts. I would suggest paypal but read carefully it's policy to know your rights and obligations (and any fees you might encounter).

I hope this helps,

Regards,
Ivan


 

AndersonT  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2010)
German to English
Agree Dec 7, 2010

The two posts above pretty much nail it. Your invoice itself won't have to contain a tax number or anything like that as one is used to from Germany (VAT UstID blablabla). Address and phone suffice.

They may or may not ask you to send them a W8-BEN form, which is really just a signature form containing your contact information and some other information about your whereabouts and taxation status.

In case you want to be prepared the form can be found here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8ben.pdf

So if they ask that of you, that's perfectly fine and legit.


As for bank wire transfers, US to DE is usually AT LEAST $35 and can go up to $50 depending on bank, so the question is, is your outsourcer ready to pocket that. I'm kinda hopping back and forth between the US and Germany, and my rule of thumb is up to $400 PayPal is okay but above that I'd rather get a wire, but that is really just me personally.

PayPal has frozen my account a couple of times and for no good reason (e.g. receiving a payment from a client that has had too many transactions in a short time or sent money to what they deem high-risk countries).

The process of unfreezing a PayPal account, is long, annoying, cumbersome and frustrating, so I really try to keep the amounts in there small.

Hope this helped


 

Jonathan MacKerron  Identity Verified
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks for the all the thoughful input Dec 8, 2010

will get back as soon as I have carefully read through your contributions

 

CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:04
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Paypal eCheck Dec 8, 2010

I just want to add that Paypal has an eCheck option (not much publicized, I guess), which I discovered recently. No matter the amount you receive, the fee will be USD 5.00, if I well remember. Only, you'll have to wait more time for it to clear (some 7-9 days, I think).

Hope this helps,

Cristina


 

Jonathan MacKerron  Identity Verified
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sounds like an interesting option Dec 8, 2010

CristinaPereira wrote:

I just want to add that Paypal has an eCheck option (not much publicized, I guess), which I discovered recently. No matter the amount you receive, the fee will be USD 5.00, if I well remember. Only, you'll have to wait more time for it to clear (some 7-9 days, I think).

Hope this helps,

Cristina


Cristina,
Have you ever actually received money from the US via an eCheck?
Thanks,
Jonathan

[Edited at 2010-12-08 10:15 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-12-08 10:15 GMT]


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:04
English to German
+ ...
eChecks Dec 8, 2010

This is not recommendable between the US and Europe. In fact, it doesn't work. The reason is that the ID-requirements between the two continents are too different. I can send and receive domestic eChecks only.

 

CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:04
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I did receive eChecks Dec 8, 2010

I work basically with two US agencies. When I asked them to start paying by eCheck, one of them did that with without any problem. The other couldn't find the eCheck option on their Paypal account, but agreed to pay the fees on their side. That's a good option too, if your clients agree toicon_smile.gif

But I agree Paypal is rather confusing and doesn't seem to have any logic at all.

Cristina


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:04
English to German
+ ...
Didn't mean PayPal Dec 8, 2010

CristinaPereira wrote:

I work basically with two US agencies. When I asked them to start paying by eCheck, one of them did that with without any problem. The other couldn't find the eCheck option on their Paypal account, but agreed to pay the fees on their side. That's a good option too, if your clients agree toicon_smile.gif

But I agree Paypal is rather confusing and doesn't seem to have any logic at all.

Cristina



Glad to hear that it works with PayPal. My provider for secure credit card processing doesn't offer this international option, and I touch PayPal only as the very last and expensive "service". icon_smile.gif


 

Jonathan MacKerron  Identity Verified
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
extra fees Dec 8, 2010

CristinaPereira wrote:

I work basically with two US agencies. When I asked them to start paying by eCheck, one of them did that with without any problem.

Cristina


Christina,
Do you know if extra fees accrue to the person sending the money? This would be good to know before I approach the agency about using this option.
Again, thanks to everyone for all your input!
Jonathan


 

CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:04
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
You pay for it Dec 8, 2010

Hi Jonathan,

I'm not sure if I understood. In case of a regular payment, the person who receives the payment bears the fees (4% in my case). In case of an eCheck payment, I think there are no extra fees. At least I had no complaints.

Cristina


 

Jonathan MacKerron  Identity Verified
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
meant to say Dec 8, 2010

CristinaPereira wrote:

Hi Jonathan,

I'm not sure if I understood. In case of a regular payment, the person who receives the payment bears the fees (4% in my case). In case of an eCheck payment, I think there are no extra fees. At least I had no complaints.

Cristina


I understand that the recipient usually pays the PayPal fees, was just wondering if this rule also applies for eChecks, which logically it should.

[Edited at 2010-12-08 11:30 GMT]


 

CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:04
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, but you pay less Dec 8, 2010

Ah, yes, the same rule, but in the eCheck case, you only pay USD 5.00 whatever the amount of the payment. I just confirmed in my Paypal account the fee is only USD 5.00. Of course if you receive small payments, like 20.00 or so, you'd better not to choose the eCheck option.

Cristina


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:04
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
info on eCheck fees Dec 8, 2010

CristinaPereira wrote:

in the eCheck case, you only pay USD 5.00 whatever the amount of the payment.


I hadn't heard about the eCheck option either, so it's a great discovery. I've found this info about eCheck:
https://www.paypal.com/helpcenter/main.jsp;jsessionid=JQ4HRyYhQK6DmCbBpfqj2rLdKpfyDKv2pPZVbdLTR7NPdGv2pDZk!-7839025?t=solutionTab&ft=homeTab&ps=&solutionId=12233&locale=en_US&_dyncharset=UTF-8&countrycode=US&cmd=_help-ext&serverInstance=9004

But I can't find the details on the fee that is charged for using eCheck.
Can anyone point me to a link on this?


 
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Invoice to a US agency from Germany

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