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Poll: What percentage of your income do you invest in your business (CPD, memberships, office, etc.)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 01:22
SITE STAFF
Jun 24, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What percentage of your income do you invest in your business (CPD, memberships, office, etc.)?".

This poll was originally submitted by Ana Vozone. View the poll results »



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Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:22
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
I clicked 'Other' Jun 24, 2015

because I honestly don't know, it varies from 5%-75% from month to month and I have never calculated an average

.maybe I should at the end of the year.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jun 24, 2015

Some people might have time to spare to work out information like this. Some might even enjoy it, or keep a note of that kind of thing as a matter of course. However, I don't.

[Edited at 2015-06-24 09:36 GMT]


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xxxvonflauschig
Germany
Local time: 10:22
English to German
+ ...
I think it happens automatically? Jun 24, 2015

neilmac wrote:

Some people might have time to spare to work out information like this. Some might even enjoy it, or keep a note of that kind of thing as a matter of course. However, I don't.

[Edited at 2015-06-24 09:36 GMT]


Doesn't it happen automatically at the end of the tax year? (I am sorry, I don't mean to be rude, I don't know how it works in Spain).

Here in Germany it does somehow happen automatically, as a freelancer I used to collect all the invoices for the tax reasons, and I still do. I am creating a small translation office and it is of utmost importance for me to know how much I spend.

As a freelancer I used to spend very little on my business - internet and a landline, sometimes a toner for the printer. Now the sum has increased and it fluctuates between 2 and 5% of my monthly income (so still not very much but I assume it will still rise). Of course, I am talking only about things which I need for the office, not about the payments for the translators I work with.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:22
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other = as needed Jun 24, 2015

Since I am the sole owner as well as the entire "corporation", I am accountable to myself alone. Therefore I assess the need and the cost/benefit ratio of every opportunity, and do it if I consider it a viable opportunity!

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 09:22
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jun 24, 2015

I honestly don’t know, but I would risk saying that it’s extremely variable, depending on my needs and opportunities in any given moment. Anyway, it’s for sure much lower than 30 years ago when I started.

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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:22
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Not much Jun 24, 2015

Once you are established and don't need or want further growth... Used to be much more, yes.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:22
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jun 24, 2015

Since I stopped collecting dictionaries, it's not much unless I have to buy a computer, which happens about every two or three years.

That said, my accountant is able to find a ton of tax-deductible expenses for my business--examples:

% of utilities (which is fair, since I work at night)
% of any repair to the house
Gasoline mileage and wear and tear on my car for trips to the bank or to Office Depot to get supplies
etc.

He can get very creative.


[Edited at 2015-06-25 07:55 GMT]


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Serena Basili  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 10:22
English to Italian
+ ...
Other (and a bit OT) Jun 24, 2015

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:


He can get very creative.


I bet you "truly madly deeply" love your accountant (I would)

I'm taking my very first steps in this profession as a freelancer (currently working for a private company) and I don't spend that much obviously (not yet!), but I was thinking to try CafeTran, I heard that it can read files from many types of CAT tools such as Trados, MemoQ...is that true? Is it a good CAT tool?


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:22
Member
English to French
Hidden costs Jun 24, 2015

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:
...That said, my accountant is able to find a ton of tax-deductible expenses for my business--examples:

% of utilities (which is fair, since I work at night)
% of any repair to the house
Gasoline mileage and ware and tear on my car for trips to the bank or to Office Depot to get supplies
etc.

He can get very creative.

Good accountants are expected to make you pay less tax. The "big five" certainly have outstanding ones.
I ticked the 11-20% bracket, but I haven't got a clue. My accountant would tick >20%.

If I got rid of everything I need for work, I'd certainly save quite a bit of money:
In the region of 3-4k€ every 5 years for software upgrades and computer and IT hardware
€50/month for Internet
€20/month for phone
€30/month for powering computer and ancillaries
We're already at €150/month, and we're not even started.

From the poll results and taking these basic expenses as a minimum, I am glad to see that more 50% of respondents earn more than €3k/month.

Philippe


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Billh
Local time: 09:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
30% Jun 24, 2015

if "investments" includes current expenses (another badly worded question),

which all goes to my secretary who deals with clients (I never talk to them), does the bills and types all my translations which I dictate. I rarely see her though as she lives 1000 miles away (God bless the internet) but she has been with me for well over 20 years.....


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Horses for courses Jun 24, 2015

vonflauschig wrote:

neilmac wrote:

Some people might have time to spare to work out information like this. Some might even enjoy it, or keep a note of that kind of thing as a matter of course. However, I don't.

[Edited at 2015-06-24 09:36 GMT]


Doesn't it happen automatically at the end of the tax year? (I am sorry, I don't mean to be rude, I don't know how it works in Spain).



Happen automatically? Chance would be a fine thing. Yes, the bureaucracy seems to be less confusing in Germany, from what I've heard. From my point of view, the way things work if you are a freelancer in Spain is that the hassle of asking for invoices for everything, then filing them and trying to claim back tax on them is not worthwhile, especially if you are as lax as I am with paperwork and administration tasks.
Up until two years ago, I had no problem with the tax authorities, but then they asked me to produce invoices for everything I had claimed back for the previous three years and I could hardly find any, having changed address twice in that period, in addition to being notoriously scatty. As a result, I had to pay them almost €4000, which included a fine for not being able to justify the small amounts I had claimed back over the three-year period. In consequence, I no longer bother trying to claw back anything from my VAT payments - I simply pay the whole VAT sum due to the tax office each quarter, which saves me the irksome task of collecting and keeping track of invoices for everything, or, for example, finding out/remembering which things are deductible and which aren't.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:22
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Depends whether I attend a conference Jun 24, 2015

The investment then is pretty high. Flights, accommodation, food and drink, the conference itself... Mind you, it radically reduces the tax bill for the year.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 10:22
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
As and when required - it varies a lot Jun 24, 2015

I honestly don't know.

It also depends what you count - there are some regular expenses like the CAT, insurance, subscriptions to various online dictionaries, professional associations, this site and so on.

A computer when required, and last year I had to buy a printer as well.

The annual Danish powwow and other translator events vary too. Haven't bought a lot of books recently, and the tax authorities have a flat rate for general IT expenses like the Internet connection, telephone bills and so on, which in their view may be shared by others in the household.

My income swings too...


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Billh
Local time: 09:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Good idea. Do they have conferences in warm lovely holiday destinations.... you are giving me ideas. Jun 24, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:

The investment then is pretty high. Flights, accommodation, food and drink, the conference itself... Mind you, it radically reduces the tax bill for the year.


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