Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Poll: Translators resident in the EU: do you have a VAT number?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 23:43
SITE STAFF
Nov 23, 2005

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Translators resident in the EU: do you have a VAT number?".

This poll was originally submitted by Chiara Santoriello

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 02:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I don't need one according to Dutch rules Nov 23, 2005

Since I started working as a freelancer here in The Netherlands, I went to the Belastingdienst (the Tax Service) and asked about it. I told them that I worked from home, received eventual jobs and it was not clear how much I could earn in a month/year. They answered that if I didn't reach a certain limit of revenues per year, then I didn't need to pay taxes. It has always been my case, so I don't have a VAT number.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Chiara Santoriello  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:43
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
My reply Nov 23, 2005

Cristina Heraud-van Tol wrote:

Since I started working as a freelancer here in The Netherlands, I went to the Belastingdienst (the Tax Service) and asked about it. I told them that I worked from home, received eventual jobs and it was not clear how much I could earn in a month/year. They answered that if I didn't reach a certain limit of revenues per year, then I didn't need to pay taxes. It has always been my case, so I don't have a VAT number.



The poll was of course intended to people of those countries where a VAT number is required.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:43
Italian to English
+ ...
Poll: Translators resident in the EU: do you have a VAT number? Nov 23, 2005

Not likely (yet!) In the UK the VAT registration threshold is the equivalent of EUR 87,500.00 pa. You can register voluntarily, though.

[Edited at 2005-11-23 13:00]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:43
French to English
Mandatory countries Nov 23, 2005

Chiara Santoriello wrote:

The poll was of course intended to people of those countries where a VAT number is required.


Purely as a matter of interest, is it 100% mandatory anywhere in the EU? I don't mean mandatory above a certain level of income, I mean mandatory in that, if you are freelance, you have to register whatever your (projected) income level?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:43
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
In Denmark it's required, but it's an advantage Nov 23, 2005

It would be interesting to see this one broken down by countries - but you will find that practically everyone living in Denmark is registered.

I can't remember what the threshold is, but it is low. Anyone seriously working as opposed to earning a few bucks off a hobby is almost sure to come over it, and you can register voluntarily even below the threshold.

You do have to keep accounts etc. but then you can keep the Danish tax authorities at a safe distance, and that is an advantage in itself. They have run some horrifying cases, e.g. against a pensioner who caught more fish than he could eat and sold a few instead of giving them away or throwing them back in the sea.

Once registered, you can deduct VAT on all reasonable expenses, and at 25% on absolutely everything, that's money worth having. Dictionaries and resources are expensive because it's a small market, while paper, cartridges for your fax and printer, not to mention day courses, our friend Trados and the like... all mount up.

The only hitch is when I do jobs for people who are not VAT registered. I have to charge them 25% VAT on top of the relatively high Danish rates - we have to pay tax at minimum 50% and we can't deduct 25% VAT from our daily household bills or private expenses.

I'm not complaining. I make a reasonable living on my translations, but believe me, the tax man gets far more than I do!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Ford Prefect  Identity Verified
Burkina Faso
Local time: 07:43
German to English
+ ...
So 100% should answer yes in that case Nov 23, 2005

Chiara Santoriello wrote:
The poll was of course intended to people of those countries where a VAT number is required.


Well the question was actually directed to EU resident translators and not only to those in countries where it is mandatory. I am not aware of any countries where all service providers are required to have a VAT number, regardless of activity or income. In most places VAT registration is obligatory only once you reach a certain level of income. In Italy, my understanding is it is mandatory for all "libero professionistas" regardless of income. That is if you can jump through all the hoops required to be a "libero professionista" in the first place.

[Edited at 2005-11-23 14:34]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Chiara Santoriello  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:43
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
My reply Nov 23, 2005

Originally my question was aimed at translators resident in Italy because in this country it is mandatory. Proz. staff changed it in EU.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Maria Asis  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:43
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
In Spain your VAT number is your ID in the identity card Nov 23, 2005

so you don't have to get an additional VAT number.

You have it next to your picture in your ID card.

María José


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Timothy Barton
Local time: 09:43
French to English
+ ...
No threshold in Spain Nov 23, 2005

James Visanji DipTrans PhD wrote:

Chiara Santoriello wrote:
The poll was of course intended to people of those countries where a VAT number is required.


Well the question was actually directed to EU resident translators and not only to those in countries where it is mandatory. I am not aware of any countries where all service providers are required to have a VAT number, regardless of activity or income. In most places VAT registration is obligatory only once you reach a certain level of income. In Italy, my understanding is it is mandatory for all "libero professionistas" regardless of income. That is if you can jump through all the hoops required to be a "libero professionista" in the first place.

[Edited at 2005-11-23 14:34]


In Spain we all need to have one in order to invoice, but it's the same as our ID card (or ID "scrap of paper", as they now give to foreigners!).


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxBrandis
Local time: 08:43
English to German
+ ...
I have a VAT nr Nov 24, 2005

I am temporarily not in europe but still have a VAT and pay tax. Is that of any importance ? Brandis

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Catherine Brix
Local time: 08:43
Swedish to English
+ ...
This is interesting from another perspective Nov 24, 2005

To freelance in Sweden you most definitely have to have a VAT number - but this has to do with more than just taxes. In fact, it mostly has to do with employer contributions and the like.
If I do not have a VAT number, my customers must pay social fees for me based on the amount I bill as if I were an employee. My VAT number indicates to my customers that I handle all that myself - they 'only' pay an outrageous 25% VAT.
Now to why I find this interesting. Sweden collects all these "contributions", VATs, taxes, etc to finance its welfare system. But most EU countries have subsidised healthcare and medicine, most have subsidised schooling, all the way through university (!), generous parental leave conditions, 5 weeks vacation.....How is that financed if "everyone" isn't paying into the system, regardless of income? Just curious...


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Ford Prefect  Identity Verified
Burkina Faso
Local time: 07:43
German to English
+ ...
VAT registration and revenue Nov 24, 2005

Mary Brix wrote:
How is that financed if "everyone" isn't paying into the system, regardless of income? Just curious...


The fact is that having a VAT number as a translator is more likely to decrease the taxman's income than increase it. Assuming (as is likely) that most/all of your clients are VAT registered, if you are not, then you do not charge them VAT, but neither can you then claim a VAT rebate on your business expenses (dictionaries, courses, toner... all the stuff Christine mentioned) If you are VAT registered you change VAT to everyone - and 99% of your clients, being registered themselves, will not care if you are registered or not. The only people who will care, as Christine mentioned, are the minority of clients who are not registered.

Now, if you are VAT registered, you can claim VAT rebates on legitimate business expenses, and the government then only gets the difference. Ultimately, all the VAT the government actually gets is paid for by the end customer, so as long as the retailer (in this case agency) is VAT registered, the tax man is guaranteed to get their fair share - unless (and this is rather unlikely) the agency actually pays their hypothetically unregistered translator MORE than they charge the customer. Most VAT is just money that gets passed down the supply chain, and each link in the chain passes on the difference between what they charge and what they pay.

In those places where you have a choice, it is a simple decision: "is the money good enough to be worth bothering with the bureaucracy?"


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Catherine Brix
Local time: 08:43
Swedish to English
+ ...
But the VAT number here is associated with more than tax Nov 24, 2005

Right James, I understand what you're saying about deductions and that. But. Say for instance I bill a customer SEK 10,000. I add VAT 25%. My customer pays the total - and deducts the VAT from the VAT he/she pays in for his/her business. However, if I do not have a VAT number, I bill the client (given that they'll do business with me, which aint likely) and then the client has to pay something like +40% in payroll tax/employer's contribution to the State. That isn't deductible. This money goes toward compensation for sickleave, parental leave, pension, etc...all of which I pay myself given that I have a VAT number. So what I'm wondering is - no one gets out of paying those fees, either an employer pays the fees which keeps your salary a bit lower since an employer has to budget these fees, or you pay yourself if you have a VAT number - how do other countries collect these fees? A freelance translator doesn't have an employer to pay the fees for instance. Is this something you pay in afterwards when you do your income tax report? I don't mean to put anyone on the spot, please appreciate that - I am just curious how other EU countries with similar welfare systems cover expenses, even though their taxes are lower.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:43
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Are the welfare systems realy similar? Nov 24, 2005

I think that is the question.

I know very little about it, but in France I belive hospital patients are charged 'hotel' costs for their food etc. Not in Scandinavia...

There are sure to be lots of other charges like that, or smaller pensions, lower rates of unemployment benefit etc. etc.

And what about the child-minding institutions? While Danish parents howl about the cost of child-minding, the fact remains that Denmark has one of the world's highest proportions of families with both parents in full-time employment outside the home. Practically all pre-school chilidren are looked after in kindergartens 66% paid for by the taxpayer, or 75%-subsidsed creches for those under 2 or 3 years old.

The list of 'free' services is long - with the result that taxes are extremely high, and there is 25% VAT on absolutely everything including children's clothes and basic foods like bread and milk.

Sorry, folks, I'm probably way off topic here! Back to work!

[Edited at 2005-11-24 16:40]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Jared Tabor[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Poll: Translators resident in the EU: do you have a VAT number?

Advanced search






BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search