Tax issues for freelancers

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Ana Castro  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 17:40
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Filling of W-8 BEN form Nov 25, 2011

I'm a Portuguese translator residing in Portugal and I was asked by an American translation agency to fill out a W-8 BEN form in order to work for them. Can anyone tell me what implications will this have? Will I have to pay taxes to the US tax authorities? Thank you in advance.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 18:40
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
The W8 form Nov 25, 2011

Ana Castro wrote:
I was asked by an American translation agency to fill out a W-8 BEN form in order to work for them. Can anyone tell me what implications will this have? Will I have to pay taxes to the US tax authorities?


The W8 form is the form on which you declare that you don't have to pay taxes in the US. The agency's bookkeeper wants it to prove to the US tax people that he doesn't have to calculate taxes on your behalf. I have placed my W8 form on the front page of my web site for people to download.


 

Ana Castro  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 17:40
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Filling of W-8 BEN form Nov 25, 2011

Thank you very much for the information Samuel.

 

Jane Proctor  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:40
French to English
Freelancers and US tax Mar 25, 2013

Reviving an old thread on the back of having recently been asked to fill in the W-8 BEN form by a US agency. I'm British, living in France. It seemed odd to me, too, but Samuel's comment alleviated my concerns. I'm still curious though.. do US agencies treat their freelancers like employees and pay all their taxes on their behalf? I'm concerned that an admin slip-up, could end up in my receiving payment net of US taxes.. wouldnn't fancy trying to unravel that one!

[Edited at 2013-03-25 16:51 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-03-25 16:52 GMT]


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:40
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
@ Jane - in a word, no. Mar 26, 2013

Jane Proctor wrote:

.. do US agencies treat their freelancers like employees and pay all their taxes on their behalf?


Most assuredly, they do not withhold taxes for their freelancers. I am a US-based freelancer. Every freelancer agreement from I've ever seen from a US agency has gone out of its way to specifically point out that the translator is an independent contractor and not an employee of the agency. As such, the translator is responsible for his/her own tax obligations.


 

Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:40
Member (2009)
French to English
1099? Mar 26, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:

Ana Castro wrote:
I was asked by an American translation agency to fill out a W-8 BEN form in order to work for them. Can anyone tell me what implications will this have? Will I have to pay taxes to the US tax authorities?


The W8 form is the form on which you declare that you don't have to pay taxes in the US. The agency's bookkeeper wants it to prove to the US tax people that he doesn't have to calculate taxes on your behalf. I have placed my W8 form on the front page of my web site for people to download.



As Rudolf mentions, US Agencies most certainly do not pay any taxes on behalf of their contractors. US translators, in fact, have to pay a self-employment tax to pay taxes otherwise paid by an employer. However, I believe the W-8 BEN also relieves the agency of the need to produce a 1099 at the end of the year. US translators use this to calculate their taxes (in theory, many agencies do not send me one, even if they paid me the amount required to do so).


 

Jane Proctor  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:40
French to English
Thank you Rudolph and Jenn Mar 26, 2013

Thank you both. I was also thrown by Part II, Claim of Tax Treaty Benefits. I think I'll pass on that and just fill in my basic details in Part 1... then see what happens when I get paidicon_eek.gif

 


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