Invoicing AFTER payment?
Thread poster: clairemcn
clairemcn
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:48
Member (2013)
French to English
+ ...
Apr 24, 2013

Just a quick question...if an agency pays immediately upon completion of a job, do you normally just send the invoice at the end of the month anyway, with a note acknowledging that it has already been paid?

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Germaine  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:48
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
Just to make sure... Apr 24, 2013

there's no "bug" of any sort later on, date your invoice the date of payment and yes, stamp it "PAID". Since your client is such a good payer, it would be nice to send the invoice the same day too or at least, to ask if he/she doesn't mind receiving it at the end of the month.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:48
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
What's wrong with JOB > INVOICE > PAYMENT? Apr 24, 2013

Germaine wrote:
date your invoice the date of payment and yes, stamp it "PAID". Since your client is such a good payer, it would be nice to send the invoice the same day too or at least, to ask if he/she doesn't mind receiving it at the end of the month.

I would do the same with the current invoice, and I'd send all future translations with their invoice, just to make sure the correct procedure is followed. Sending an invoice after payment has been received is bad practice to my mind and, although I love prompt payers, I hate the few I've had that have paid before invoicing. On more than one occasion the client has paid the wrong amount, then said "Oh, never mind, we'll settle it next time". Well, I DO mind! I have books to keep and tax authorities breathing down my neck to see if I'm declaring every cent correctly.


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 17:48
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes, you have to Apr 24, 2013

We are used to sending invoices as bills - that is, requests for payment, but speaking from the legal viewpoint, the principal purpose of the invoice is to itemise the services being rendered (or, in other fields, the goods being supplied) for accounting purposes. If you fail to send the invoice, the client who was already paid you may run into problems with the fiscal authorities. Theoretically, if may happen to you as well. So, please do everyone a favour and send out an invoice as follows:

Translations .............. XXX.XX

Payment received..... -XXX.XX

Total due........................ 0.00

[Edited at 2013-04-24 18:44 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
Spain is different Apr 24, 2013

I don't know where you are based, but if a Spanish client paid me without receiving an invoice first, I'd assume they were operating "en negro" and not declaring it.

I usually bill my clients with IRPF (income tax) included and IVA (VAT) as well, and then I declare them in my quarterly and annual tax returns, so they have to pay them or face the consequences, but the method you described seems... at least unorthodox.


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clairemcn
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:48
Member (2013)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Spanish clients Apr 24, 2013

neilmac wrote:

I don't know where you are based, but if a Spanish client paid me without receiving an invoice first, I'd assume they were operating "en negro" and not declaring it.

I usually bill my clients with IRPF (income tax) included and IVA (VAT) as well, and then I declare them in my quarterly and annual tax returns, so they have to pay them or face the consequences, but the method you described seems... at least unorthodox.


And if they are operating en negro? Does that affect me? I didn't think it was particularly unusual. Obviously I didn't expect to be paid immediately, but as it was an urgent job and a small amount, no red flag went up.

I think I'll do as Anton suggested and put that it's been paid and indicate that no further money is due.


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xxxTimWindhof  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:48
English to German
Awesome customer Apr 24, 2013

I would also agree with Anton's input.

Plus: you have an awesome topic for your next blog entry:

"What to do if your customer pays you faster than you can invoice them":)


[Edited at 2013-04-24 19:30 GMT]


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Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:48
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
invoicing and paying in negro Apr 25, 2013

First of all, if a client pays in negro, they don't do it by bank transfer, they pay in cash. 'Negro' should be untraceable which payments into a bank aren't. Equally I've rarely heard of a Spanish client paying before being almost harangued into doing so but when I had a business in Spain, I would only issue invoices to Spanish clients AFTER I'd been paid because of the weird Spanish tax authority practice of charging you for the IVA (VAT) on invoices issues - whether they'd been paid or not. That was quite normal practice in those days, (I don't know if things have changed since) you would send a pro forma invoice and only send the firm invoice after payment was received.
I learned that the hard way after a client didn't pay me a load of invoices and went into 'concurso de acreedores' (administration) and I was left having to pay a massive bill of IVA "back" that I hadn't even received on top of not being paid for my work.

So depending on the country, it may even be normal to issue an invoice after payment has been received.

In answer to the asker's original question, I wouldn't wait until the end of the month but would issue the invoice straight away with the date of payment on the invoice.

I would also congratulate the client and put a lovely shiny message on the blue board telling everyone how fantastic they are.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
Discreet inquiry Apr 25, 2013

clairemcn wrote:

neilmac wrote:

I don't know where you are based, but if a Spanish client paid me without receiving an invoice first, I'd assume they were operating "en negro" and not declaring it.

I usually bill my clients with IRPF (income tax) included and IVA (VAT) as well, and then I declare them in my quarterly and annual tax returns, so they have to pay them or face the consequences, but the method you described seems... at least unorthodox.


And if they are operating en negro? Does that affect me? ...


I dont want to go into this here in detail, to avoid any argument or recriminations. However, if I were in your situation, I'd probably simply acknowledge the payment, normally by e-mail, and casually ask if they needed an invoice. If their answer was no, I wouldn't bother issuing one... I would also assume that since they didn't want an invoice, they were not intending to declare the payment or pay any tax it may or may not have included.

[Edited at 2013-04-25 10:24 GMT]


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Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:48
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I think you're confusing efficiency with tax evasion Apr 25, 2013

there is no reason to think that just because a client has paid quickly they don't need an invoice. There is also no reason to think that a client who has paid you (presumably by bank transfer) quickly is trying to avoid taxes. The two just don't go together. The client does not need an invoice to know how much needs to be paid because that has been agreed upon presumably prior to the job being done. Paying quickly is to be encouraged, not suspected. I certainly wouldn't consider it good practice to ask a company if they needed an invoice. Of course they need an invoice (if they're a company operating in this business professionally). Equally, we don't know what country they're in so perhaps there's no VAT to be applied anyway.
I think you've been living in Spain for too long Neil (joke

neilmac wrote:

clairemcn wrote:

neilmac wrote:

I don't know where you are based, but if a Spanish client paid me without receiving an invoice first, I'd assume they were operating "en negro" and not declaring it.

I usually bill my clients with IRPF (income tax) included and IVA (VAT) as well, and then I declare them in my quarterly and annual tax returns, so they have to pay them or face the consequences, but the method you described seems... at least unorthodox.


And if they are operating en negro? Does that affect me? ...


I dont want to go into this here in detail, to avoid any argument or recriminations. However, if I were in your situation, I'd probably simply acknowledge the payment, normally by e-mail, and casually ask if they needed an invoice. If their answer was no, I wouldn't bother issuing one... I would also assume that since they didn't want an invoice, they were not intending to declare the payment or pay any tax it may or may not have included.

[Edited at 2013-04-25 10:24 GMT]


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clairemcn
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:48
Member (2013)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Payment method Apr 25, 2013

Just to clarify, the payment was made via Paypal and the agency is indeed Spanish.

[Edited at 2013-04-25 13:11 GMT]


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Kirsten Bodart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:48
Dutch to English
+ ...
I thought Apr 25, 2013

no EU VAT was supposed to be charged to people abroad anymore, unless they were private individuals or firms without VAT number. This was to simplify the whole process of claiming VAT from abroad, which was a big mess.

But if they were trying to cheat, they would just chuck away the invoice anyway. If you are not at fault and you duly declare their existence or any VAT you charged them and pass it on to the appropriate authority, you don't have anything to fear. If they get into trouble, the authorities might ask you for info, that's about it.

I would just, like the rest here, backdate the invoice to the date of payment and state it has been paid in full. Problem fixed.


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Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:48
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Payments by paypal are the same as payments by bank transfer Apr 25, 2013

FYI. They're fully traceable so there's no reason to assume the client doesn't want an invoice. They're definitely keepers though!

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