How do you handle VAT issue when working for EU based agencies
Thread poster: Viola Schöpf

Viola Schöpf  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:03
Member (2014)
English to German
May 10, 2015

Hi All,

I am based in Germany, am VAT-registered and so far am handling the
VAT issue as stated by my local tax office, my tax advisor and the chamber of
commerce:

Invoices to EU agencies/company clients issued at net price only if EU VAT No. of client is present.
Invoices to Non-EU clients issued at net price if some proof of business is present.
Invoices to private clients or if the above Tax No. or proof of business are not present, are
issued including 19% German VAT.

So, now I have a new Italien Agency-client who promised to send VAT No. included in PO,
which was received after start of translation.
He only has an Italian registration no. and has behaved very agitated when I stated that
EU VAT No. was required.

How do you deal with VAT issues?

Kind Regards,
Viola


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:03
Italian to English
If in doubt, check May 10, 2015

The Italian agency's VAT registration is likely valid but if you're not sure, you can check it on this website.

HTH


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:03
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
VAT May 10, 2015

VAT must have been discussed many times.

The following is what I have done for many years, and what my German accountant has confirmed:

"Invoices to company clients issued at net price only if EU VAT No. of client is present."
Correct, except for companies based in Germany, where VAT must be charged.

"Invoices to Non-EU clients issued at net price if some proof of business is present."
No proof of business is required. VAT is not due for any client outside the EU's VAT area, business or private. Note, the VAT area is not exactly the same as the EU itself; parts of the EU are outside the VAT area.

"Invoices to private clients or if the above Tax No. or proof of business are not present, are
issued including 19% German VAT."
Only private clients living in the EU's VAT area pay German VAT.

If an EU-based business cannot present a VAT number you can verify on http://evatr.bff-online.de/eVatR/ (you must keep proof of that verification), then you must add German VAT. Such a business buying from other Member States than their own should have requested a VAT number for such purposes from their local tax authorities even if they are VAT exempt.


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Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:03
French to German
+ ...
No European VAT number = German VAT May 10, 2015

If your customer in Italy has no European VAT number he has to pay the tax. If you can not find his European VAT number on the net, tell him that if he can not present it, you'll have to ask for 19 % of German VAT.

[Modifié le 2015-05-10 15:15 GMT]


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Tomas Mosler, DipTrans IoLET MCIL MITI  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 08:03
Member (2008)
English to Czech
by the way May 10, 2015

"Invoices to private clients or if the above Tax No. or proof of business are not present, are
issued including 19% German VAT."

- To my knowledge, this applies only to private clients within EU (including those from the same country as the supplier).

For private clients in "third countries" (i.e. outside EU), there is some kind of exception in EU legislative and no VAT should be applied.

Maybe German laws are different, but I'd be a bit surprised if they are in conflict with EU norms in such a matter as regulations on "international" VAT.

[Edited at 2015-05-10 15:29 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:03
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
How nice to see someone write that May 10, 2015

Thomas T. Frost wrote:
Note, the VAT area is not exactly the same as the EU itself; parts of the EU are outside the VAT area.

As someone who lives in the eurozone, with a Spanish address, I'm constantly battling to get others to accept that the Canary Islands are not within the scope of VAT. You've made my day, Thomas.


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Viola Schöpf  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:03
Member (2014)
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
How do you handle VAT issue when working for EU based agencies May 10, 2015

Thanks a lot to all of you for the valuable input.

Kind Regards,
Viola


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Patricia Ferreira Larrieux  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:03
Member
English to Italian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Inclusion in "VIES" is not automatic for Italian VAT numbers May 11, 2015

Hello Viola,

I want to share with you my own experience, which could be of help to your Italian client.

When I restarted working as a freelance translator back in 2013, I decided to outsource all the "financial" part of my business to a professional fiscal expert. He carried out my VAT registration and I was confident that he had done everything correctly.

After a few months, when trying to purchase a software from a Polish company, I discovered that my fiscal expert had not requested inclusion of my VAT number in the European VIES database at the time of my original VAT registration. As I mentioned in the title of this post, inclusion of a new Italian VAT number in VIES is not automatic. As a consequence, the software supplier couldn't find my VAT number in VIES and had to charge me VAT.

Fortunately, inclusion in VIES can be requested at any time. In my case, I asked my fiscal expert to "fix" the mistake and immediately request inclusion. Any VAT-registered individual or company can also request inclusion online. However, it takes about 30 days after the application is filed to be actually included in the database.

Here are the links from the Italian Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate) in Italian:

http://www.agenziaentrate.gov.it/wps/content/Nsilib/Nsi/Home/CosaDeviFare/Richiedere/Inclusione%20archivio%20Vies/
http://www.agenziaentrate.gov.it/wps/content/Nsilib/Nsi/Home/CosaDeviFare/Richiedere/Inclusione%20archivio%20Vies/Compilazione%20e%20invio%20via%20web%20Vies/

I hope this information can be useful to you and your client!


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Viola Schöpf  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:03
Member (2014)
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Patricia May 11, 2015

Hi Patricia,

thanks for telling me.

Unfortunately, it's not me who doesn't have a EU VAT No. but my client.

He agreed to provide the VAT No. during our negotiations and then sent
his PO after I had already started the translation.
On the PO I only found his national registration number and therefore asked
him to provide his EU VAT No.
Then he got very let's say aggravated and told me he wouldn't need that
and wasn't willing to get one just for me.
For an agency that's a very strange behaviour, wouldn't you agree?

This experience tells me once more not to start working before everything
is in proper order.

Thanks again for taking the time and letting me know about the
possible VIES issue.

Best Regards,
Viola


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:03
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
Please leave a Blue Board entry May 12, 2015

It doesn't sound like an agency I would want to work for. These VAT laws have existed for decades. There is simply no excuse for an agency not to get these things in order. It sounds very unprofessional.

Please do us all a favour and leave a Blue Board entry for this agency. You can create a Blue Board for the agency if none exists.

[Edited at 2015-05-12 13:00 GMT]


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Viola Schöpf  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:03
Member (2014)
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Thomas May 12, 2015

Hi Thomas,

that's exactly my take on this.

He is in the blue board and, what I can hardly believe, he has only 5star entries so far.

I will definitely make an entry.

Best Regards,
Viola


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:03
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
Five stars May 12, 2015

I think we need to take even full five-star ratings with a grain of salt. I have experienced, after giving a "3" for late payment and discussion about late payment that included bad excuses and false claims, a flood of verbal aggression insisting that I remove my comments, something I plainly refused. It's apparently really hard for some people to understand that the way to get good evaluations is to respect agreements, not to bully others.

Such behaviour is a violation of the Blue Board rules, but I guess some translators would cave in to bullying.


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