Hungarian agency telling me I need to be a registered company..
Thread poster: Kimmy
Kimmy
Local time: 13:14
Italian to English
+ ...
Mar 3, 2004

in order to be paid!
I have just receive a very comforting (not!) e-mail from an agency for which a I carried out a rather large job.
I sent off my invoice as I have always done for Italian and Overseas work, only to receive this response this evening:

"(...) in order to be able to pay you, I need invoices issued by a registered company or sole trader showing the address of the company, the tax number of the company, and with the invoice signed and stamped. Without these, I cannot account for the liability. The account shown on the invoice must be the company's account, i.e. not a private account, and I need the IBAN of the company account.
Our finance department have just told me that electronic bills are not yet accepted in Hungary,(...) First I've heard of this! (...) so you will have to post the invoice to the mailing address I specified in my previous invoice. Obviously, I don't need to tell you that a statement of work done on an otherwise blank piece of paper with no company details is not acceptable. So please send proper, legal invoices to our firm so that we can pay you."

My invoices ARE legal! I do not have a tax file number (VAT) and even if I did it would be in my personal name (as a freelancer) and definitely NOT in a registered company name!

What do you advise I do? I have written back to ask for clarifications and for the Hungarian law that specifies this invoiceing Praxis!
Other than that I have a gut feeling that this money has just been kissed goodbye prior to seeing it!

Kim


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:14
English to German
+ ...
Read again... Mar 4, 2004

Hi Kim,
May I suggest to re-read your customer's e-mail?

"(...) in order to be able to pay you, I need invoices issued by a registered company or sole trader showing the address of the company, the tax number of the company, and with the invoice signed and stamped.

If you're not incorporated, aren't you a sole trader?

Without these, I cannot account for the liability. The account shown on the invoice must be the company's account, i.e. not a private account, and I need the IBAN of the company account.

As a sole trader, your business account is in your name, obviously - check with your bank for the IBAN if you don't have that yet.

Our finance department have just told me that electronic bills are not yet accepted in Hungary,(...) First I've heard of this! (...)

Well, strictly speaking, that's exactly the situation in Germany, too - unless you have a certified electronic signature, electronic invoices are not eligible for tax purposes in Germany either.

My invoices ARE legal! I do not have a tax file number (VAT) and even if I did it would be in my personal name (as a freelancer) and definitely NOT in a registered company name!

But even if you're not VAT-registered, you need to have a tax registration number for your business - note that under recent EU rules, stating your tax number is mandatory.

What do you advise I do?

Issue a written invoice, stating your business details, IBAN/BIC and tax number.

HTH, Ralf


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Sonia Hill
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:14
Italian to English
Tax number Mar 10, 2004

I see that you work in Italy, so I imagine what they mean by your tax number is your "codice fiscale", which you must have in order to be able to work and pay tax in Italy

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