Slow paying client making me jump through hoops
Thread poster: Dijana Evans

Dijana Evans
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:05
Member (2009)
English to Croatian
+ ...
May 29, 2014

We have a client, yes it's a Proz member, who owes us for two invoices - one of which was delivered 98 days ago.

They offered us another small job earlier this month (May) and I accepted on the proviso that we were paid for both invoices by the end of the month.

Then on the 27th with only 3 working days remaining I get an email from said client insisting that I send them a certificate of tax residency from my company, or they will take 20% off our invoice!

I have told them we will not have anything taken off our invoice, because they mentioned nothing about any certificates of tax residency when they first offered us the work.

They replied that this certificate stipulation is mentioned on their PO.

I went back and checked my emails, and there were no POs sent by them when we accepted the work. If they had mentioned this when they first offered the job I would certainly have turned down the work, because it would be more hassle than it's worth to get the certificate.

There now exists an awkward stand-off between us. They are insisting on receiving the tax certificate (which will take weeks for me to acquire via my accountant back home in the UK), and I am insisting that they pay the full amount.

They claim that this certificate stipulation is an "international law" and part of some convention between Greece and the UK. However they offer no external evidence of this "convention" and I have at least one other Greek client who NEVER asks me for anything of the kind (and believe me, he is the kind of client who would if he could get away with it!).

I've been on my client's blueboard page which is mostly positive, but I've noticed there are a few complaints over payments, and whenever such a complaint is made they ALWAYS blame poor work quality, even if it is a long-standing outsourcer, which seems very vindictive and underhanded.

Thoughts? Suggestions?


 

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:05
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
A few Spanish agencies ask for this... May 29, 2014

Hi James,

Sorry you're having trouble with this. It's something I've encountered a few times with Spanish agencies. It's actually quite easy to get hold of the certificate you need, and you can ask for it from HMRC via an online form (https://online.hmrc.gov.uk/shortforms/form/PT_CertOfRes?dept-name=&sub-dept-name=&location=43&origin=http://www.hmrc.gov.uk)

Hopefully that helps. I'd give the client the benefit of the doubt at this point, although they should have mentioned this earlier.

Also note that you're not the only one. See for example:

http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/126647-company_in_spain_asking_a_fiscal_residence_certificate_from_ltd_company.html
http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/169085-tax_residency_certificate.html

Best wishes,

Becky.


 

Dijana Evans
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:05
Member (2009)
English to Croatian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! May 29, 2014

Awesome advice, thanks Rebecca! I'll try that out.

 

jotranslator  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 08:05
Russian to English
+ ...
No PO = No job May 30, 2014

James Evans wrote:

I went back and checked my emails, and there were no POs sent by them when we accepted the work. If they had mentioned this when they first offered the job I would certainly have turned down the work, because it would be more hassle than it's worth to get the certificate.



The client sounds at best disorganized.

As a rule it's best not to accept a job without a PO that should state the terms and conditions of payment, so you can agree or disagree before you start work. The tax requirement should have been clearly stated on the PO and since this is a special requirement that they insist on, they should have informed you about it in correspondence before you accepted the job.


 

Dijana Evans
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:05
Member (2009)
English to Croatian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Happily ever after Jun 5, 2014

You will be pleased to know this payment issue was eventually resolved through sheer bullish persistence.

I asked the client to show me evidence that their country (Greece) required this certificate from their overseas outsourcers, given the fact that I have another regular Greek client who never requests tax certification from me.

I also made it perfectly clear that I was poised to make a blue-board post about the issue if payment wasn't promptly made.

Sure enough, I got an email telling me my invoice had been paid.

The moral of the story is that sometimes clients ARE just unnecessarily difficult and evasive when it comes to paying you for your hard work, so it pays to stand your ground.



[Edited at 2014-06-05 12:17 GMT]


 

Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:05
English to Russian
+ ...
the question is... Jun 5, 2014

and there were no POs sent by them when we accepted the work. ...


why?

the client is right in this situation...
he or she may claim EVEN that they did not order any translation at all.


 


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Slow paying client making me jump through hoops

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