Tax/Fiscal ID in EU states?
Thread poster: Fred Lessing

Fred Lessing
English to Portuguese
May 23, 2006

Hi, I live and work in Portugal, where all invoices have to bear the issuer's Fiscal ID, called "número de contribuinte". Unlike the VAT number, this is a number EVERY Portuguese citizen and company is issued by the government. Now my accountant says that all invoices that I receive from translators abroad must have a Fiscal ID to be valid. Does anything like this even exist in other EU states?

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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 15:39
Turkish to English
+ ...
not in Cyprus May 23, 2006

I have never heard of such a thing in Cyprus. Tax numbers, VAT numbers and social security numbers - yes, these exist, but there is no global fiscal ID number that is automatically issued to everyone.

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Eva Middleton  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:39
German to English
in the UK it's called a 'National Insurance Number' May 23, 2006

I'm sure other EU countries will have the same.

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Fred Lessing
English to Portuguese
TOPIC STARTER
Tax/Fiscal ID in EU states? May 23, 2006

Eva, and if you issue an invoice, do you have to quote that number? In Portugal, no invoice is valid without that fiscal ID number (i.e., if one wants to issue an in Portugal, it is not enough to state simply one's name and address, regardless of whether you're a company or an individual)

Fred


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Jennifer Baker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:39
Member (2004)
Italian to English
"Codice fiscale" in Italy May 23, 2006

That's what it's called here, though I never use it on my invoices-
Jennifer


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:39
German to English
+ ...
Tax/Fiscal ID in EU states? May 23, 2006

Fred Lessing wrote:

Now my accountant says that all invoices that I receive from translators abroad must have a Fiscal ID to be valid. Does anything like this even exist in other EU states?


I think your accountant is making this up.

Marc


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:39
English to German
+ ...
VAT ID May 23, 2006

Of course my local tax authority provided me with a national tax ID no. that I have to use at the end of the year on my tax return.

This national tax ID is IMHO of little use to authorities in Portugal or elsewhere, since they cannot even check whether I made it up or not.

IMHO, the EU-wide VAT ID has been introduced to facilitate tax issues across EU borders. If your tax authorities (or your accountant) really insist on a tax no. on each invoice, the VAT ID should be there, nothing else. At least, they can check whether it's a valid one or not.

Sonja


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:39
German to English
Time for a new accountant May 23, 2006

MarcPrior wrote:
I think your accountant is making this up.
Marc


Quite agree, this is utter nonsense. It's amazing how ignorant (tax) accountants are of anything to do with cross-border business - it doesn't seem to matter which country they are in.

Fred: I really do think you ought to find an accountant who knows a little bit more about cross-border EU practices.

Robin


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Fred Lessing
English to Portuguese
TOPIC STARTER
Possible Conclusion May 23, 2006

So on the whole you would say that invoices issued across EU countries only need to specify the issuer's name and address, right?

I looked a bit more into the VAT Number issue, but it's not really relevant either as - from what I gather - services provided across EU countries are not liable to VAT, so the VAT number isn't necessary either.

Accountants in Portugal ARE a nuisance, but as I have a small registered company, I am obliged by law to have an internal or outsourced registered accountant. I was lucky to find one who charges only 170 euros a month, even though a lot of the research is up to me.


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:39
Dutch to English
+ ...
Portugal and taxes May 23, 2006

Portugal does have special stipulations. I have one customer in Portugal and I have had to ask the UK tax authorities to fill in a special form to say that I am indeed self-employed.
The form I sent to them is the following
IR - 034 / 2003
MOD. 12 - RFI
COPY FOR THE PORTUGUESE TAX AUTHORITIES
EXEMPLAR DESTINADO À ADMINISTRAÇÃO TRIBUTÁRIA PORTUGUESA
REPÚBLICA PORTUGUESA
MINISTÉRIO DAS FINANÇAS
DIRECÇÃO-GERAL DOS IMPOSTOS - D G C I
PEDIDO DE APLICAÇÃO DA CONVENÇÃO PARA EVITAR A DUPLA TRIBUTAÇÃO CELEBRADA ENTRE PORTUGAL E:
CLAIM FOR THE APPLICATION OF THE CONVENTION FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBLE TAXATION CELEBRATED
BETWEEN PORTUGAL AND:
(Conforme art. 90.º do Código do IRC ou art. 18.º do D.L. n.º 42/91, de 22 de Janeiro)
etc.

This was sent by my customer and the UK tax authorities knew all about it and told me just to send it to them and that it would take 6 weeks to return (!).

Maybe you need to do this?


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Fred Lessing
English to Portuguese
TOPIC STARTER
Portugal and taxes May 23, 2006

Yes, that sounds like it! Thanks for this super info!!!!

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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:39
English to Polish
+ ...
Exactly May 23, 2006

Sonja Tomaskovic wrote:

Of course my local tax authority provided me with a national tax ID no. that I have to use at the end of the year on my tax return.
This national tax ID is IMHO of little use to authorities in Portugal or elsewhere, since they cannot even check whether I made it up or not.
IMHO, the EU-wide VAT ID has been introduced to facilitate tax issues across EU borders. If your tax authorities (or your accountant) really insist on a tax no. on each invoice, the VAT ID should be there, nothing else. At least, they can check whether it's a valid one or not.

In Poland we also have a national ID number, but it identifies you as a person and does not say anything about your business activity. For that matter, you can be unemployed and still have the ID number, used by all insurance/health/tax/police/whatever authorities for personal identification only.


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:39
English to Hungarian
+ ...
No, it is NOT called a 'National Insurance Number' in the UK... May 27, 2006

Eva Middleton wrote:

In the UK it's called a 'National Insurance Number'
I'm sure other EU countries will have the same.


"What is a National Insurance number?
A National Insurance (NI) number is a personal number used:

to record a person's NI contributions and credited contributions
as a reference number for the whole social security system.
A NI number should only be given to one person and must only be used by that person.

You do not have a legal right to an NI number, but there are circumstances when you are legally obliged to apply for a NI number and register for NI purposes."
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/lifeevent/benefits/ni_number.asp

"Who uses your NI number?
The only people you should ever give your NI number to are:

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
your employer
Jobcentre Plus, if you claim Jobseeker's Allowance
your local council, if you claim Housing Benefit"
http://www.direct.gov.uk/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/Taxes/BeginnersGuideToTax/BeginnersGuideToTaxArticles/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4015904&chk=izW7Qe


...and nobody has to quote it on their invoice.


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N.M. Eklund  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:39
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
SIRET number in France May 28, 2006

Hi , just to let you know, that in France any translator who has declared his/her activity to the government is given a company "fiscal" number called the SIRET.

This is different from the VAT number, since not all translators earn enough to start charging VAT. I always include my number on each invoice. This shows that the work was done by a professsional (even in another country) and my existence is easily verified by the authorities in case of audit.

Your accountant probably advises this as extra proof that all invoices are valid.
hope this helps


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