Freelancing for a company based in Switzerland
Thread poster: aureliejeanne

aureliejeanne  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:49
English to French
Mar 8, 2013

Hi all,

I am a French freelance translator living in the UK and have been freelancing in this country for about 3 years after working as an in-house translator in London for 9 years. Most of my clients are based in the UK or in a EU country but this week I received a request from a potential direct client based in Geneva, Switzerland, who would be very interested in using my services. The problem is that I have never worked for a client based outside of the EU and I do not know how this would work and if we are allowed to work outside of the EU. Has anyone based in the UK or a EU country already worked or is working for a company based in Switzerland?

I am particularly interested in knowing how to deal with the tax system. How much income tax will I have to pay? Will I have to pay a custom fee, since I would be exporting a service outside of the EU? Is there anything else that I need to take into account? Would you know of an official website explaining about the procedures to follow when exporting a service outside of the EU? I have done some research on the Internet but could not find the answers that I am looking for. Any clarifications, advice and help would be much appreciated! Many thanks in advance. Best regards.

Aurelie


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:49
Member
English to French
Your customer's country doesn't make any difference Mar 8, 2013

aureliejeanne wrote:
...I am particularly interested in knowing how to deal with the tax system. How much income tax will I have to pay? Will I have to pay a custom fee, since I would be exporting a service outside of the EU? Is there anything else that I need to take into account? Would you know of an official website explaining about the procedures to follow when exporting a service outside of the EU?

The only tax system that matters is that of your country of residence.
The income tax you pay depends on what you declare in your country of residence.
Exporting services in the EU or elsewhere is exempt of VAT, provided they are not "consumed"/resold in your country of residence.

If we had to know about taxes of every country we send translations to, everybody would stay on their domestic markets!

Philippe


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:49
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Don't worry about it Mar 8, 2013

I have never worked for a client based outside of the EU and I do not know how this would work and if we are allowed to work outside of the EU. Has anyone based in the UK or a EU country already worked or is working for a company based in Switzerland?[/quote]
I have had several Swiss clients, from when I worked in France and now here in Spain.

How much income tax will I have to pay?

You pay income tax to the UK authorities on all your world-wide income, because that's where you're registered. It doesn't matter where your client lives.

Will I have to pay a custom fee, since I would be exporting a service outside of the EU?

Certainly not!
Is there anything else that I need to take into account?

If you're quoting in Swiss Francs (or any other currency than GBP), there will be specific rules for declaring that money in your accounts: where to get the exchange rate to be used, whether to use the rate at the invoice date, collection date, month end... The tax people or an advisor will be able to tell you about that.

If you're registered for VAT, you don't add VAT to this invoice, even if it's for a private person.

Basically, there simply aren't any procedures - there are no differences! Of course, it can be slightly more difficult if the client doesn't pay, but Switzerland is not a "dodgy area" and hopefully all will go well.


 

Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:49
Dutch to English
+ ...
Spot on Mar 8, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I have never worked for a client based outside of the EU and I do not know how this would work and if we are allowed to work outside of the EU. Has anyone based in the UK or a EU country already worked or is working for a company based in Switzerland?

I have had several Swiss clients, from when I worked in France and now here in Spain.

How much income tax will I have to pay?

You pay income tax to the UK authorities on all your world-wide income, because that's where you're registered. It doesn't matter where your client lives.

Will I have to pay a custom fee, since I would be exporting a service outside of the EU?

Certainly not!
Is there anything else that I need to take into account?

If you're quoting in Swiss Francs (or any other currency than GBP), there will be specific rules for declaring that money in your accounts: where to get the exchange rate to be used, whether to use the rate at the invoice date, collection date, month end... The tax people or an advisor will be able to tell you about that.

If you're registered for VAT, you don't add VAT to this invoice, even if it's for a private person.

Basically, there simply aren't any procedures - there are no differences! Of course, it can be slightly more difficult if the client doesn't pay, but Switzerland is not a "dodgy area" and hopefully all will go well. [/quote]

I live in the UK and do business with customers in America, Japan, Switzerland and other countries outside the EU. Just include it on your tax return and do not charge VAT.

Enjoy the work!


 

aureliejeanne  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:49
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all for the good news Mar 10, 2013

Thank you for all your answers and help. It is very much appreciated. It is good news as I really thought that it would be more complicated.

Just one last question : would anyone be able to send me a link to an official website explaining what it involves both for the supplier and the client, in case the potential client is asking written confirmation (they have asked me to provide them with information as they have never worked with someone based outside of Switzerland).

Many thanks again!

Best wishes.


 


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