VIES registration for UK freelancer
Thread poster: Georgia Gray
Georgia Gray
United Kingdom
Spanish to English
Jun 1

Hello everyone,

I am a UK-based freelance translator working exclusively with agencies in Spain. One client is complaining that they can no longer pay me if I am not registered with VIES (I have worked with them for nearly 2 years and this has not been an issue). They told me that the system in Spain is changing and that it will be impossible for them to make the payments, although none of my other clients has mentioned this. Apparently they will not be able to pay me the money they owe me (around 7,000 euros) because of this. I told them that I do not need to pay VAT in the UK and therefore I am not VAT-registered, but they said this did not matter, although my point of contact later admitted that their accountant has no idea how the system works in the UK and that I should get an accountant myself in order to resolve this. However since I am not being paid I would rather avoid this extra expense if not necessary.

My questions are the following:
- Is it true that they will not be able to pay me, or are they playing safe to avoid potential problems?
- If I register with VIES, what happens? Will I end up paying VAT that I wouldn't otherwise be paying?

Thanks in advance!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:51
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
They have to pay you for work you've done Jun 2

Georgia Gray wrote:
My questions are the following:
- Is it true that they will not be able to pay me, or are they playing safe to avoid potential problems?

It's the latter. They don't fully understand the procedures involved, so they want to make life easy for themselves. As I live in the Canaries, which are not in the fiscal EU and not within the scope of VAT, I may have missed news of changes to VAT, but I think they would be announced to all of Spain. At the very worst, they could deduct 21% and pay the rest, but don't give in just to make them feel comfortable.

- If I register with VIES, what happens? Will I end up paying VAT that I wouldn't otherwise be paying?

Nobody except consumers really pays VAT. You would just have some extra paperwork declaring it. And you would be able to claim back the VAT that you DO pay at the moment on everything from a pen to a computer.

Hopefully someone in your situation will respond with more detailed information. But maybe it would be a good idea to follow the agency's advice and ask an accountant. But choose one who is really familiar with EU matters.


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Myriam Garcia Bernabe  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:51
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
This old chestnut again Jun 2

Dear Georgia,
Please allow me to sum up:-

a) Not true that the agency/company in Spain will not be able to pay you.
b) Completely true that they hardly ever have a clue and/or are able to conceive that there is a lawful tax framework that does not follow continental rules.
c) You really must put your foot down with them and try to get your money.

As a Spaniard based in England myself, this attitude really angers me. They ought to be able to check the following facts through their 'gestoría'. This is what you have to explain to them:

En cuanto a la cuestión del IVA, reitero que yo no estoy obligada a estar dada de alta. Vamos a ver, el IVA en la UE se rige por la directiva europea en cuestión y es algo unificado a escala intracomunitaria, cierto. Sin embargo, la misma directiva contempla que cada país aplique las excepciones que considere necesarias. En este caso, el Reino Unido lo hace.

Aquellos autónomos (que no entidad comercial) que no lleguen a las 83.000 GBP anuales (umbral de este ejercicio fiscal) no están obligados a darse de alta de IVA, ni a cobrarlo, se entiende.

Por este motivo, yo no lo estoy, y no os podría repercutir el IVA como sujeto pasivo dado que no tengo número de IVA ni tengo obligación de tenerlo hasta que no sobrepase ese umbral. Y darse de alta con el VIES no es obligatorio hasta la fecha.

De ser ilícita la cuestión que les explico, imagino que Bruselas ya habría llevado al gobierno del Reino Unido ante los tribunales competentes hace tiempo.

Hope this helps,
Myriam


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:51
French to English
VIES Jun 4

Correct me if I am wrong, but no-one "registers" with the VIES.

Contact your tax office to obtain an intra-community VAT number. I am in France, am not registerd for VAT, but my tax office provided me with my EU VAT number. These numbers are based on your business activity registration number in the member state where you are based, then a country code is added with a couple of numbers/letters, followed by your business registation number.

The number cannot be invented, although there are no suprises. Mine starts with: "FR" then "figure" then "letter" then "business registration number".

It costs nothing. Get that from the tax ooffice ASAP and your clients will have no further excuses. (Their excuse is not valid to start with, but this will "nail their beak shut" as the French say!).


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 08:51
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
You're quite right, Nikki! Jun 4

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

Correct me if I am wrong, but no-one "registers" with the VIES.

Contact your tax office to obtain an intra-community VAT number. I am in France, am not registerd for VAT, but my tax office provided me with my EU VAT number. These numbers are based on your business activity registration number in the member state where you are based, then a country code is added with a couple of numbers/letters, followed by your business registation number.

The number cannot be invented, although there are no suprises. Mine starts with: "FR" then "figure" then "letter" then "business registration number".

It costs nothing. Get that from the tax ooffice ASAP and your clients will have no further excuses. (Their excuse is not valid to start with, but this will "nail their beak shut" as the French say!).


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