UK VAT registration
Thread poster: Sarah Port

Sarah Port  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:42
German to English
+ ...
Jul 7, 2012

My earnings are getting to the point where I shall need to register for VAT in the UK in the not too distant future. I have attended the HMRC's VAT webinars where I have learnt the basics. However, is there anywhere else I can get more detailed, up-to-date information from as I still don't feel particularly well informed.

I believe I don't need to invoice VAT to my customers outside of the UK but that I need to record their VAT registration number on my VAT return to prove that they are exempt from UK VAT. Is this correct?

Many thanks in advance


 

Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:42
French to English
Almost Jul 7, 2012

Sarah Port wrote:

I believe I don't need to invoice VAT to my customers outside of the UK but that I need to record their VAT registration number on my VAT return to prove that they are exempt from UK VAT. Is this correct?


You need to record their VAT numbers on your European Sales List (ESL) and the ESL total goes on your VAT return.

Although thresholds and whatnot change, the underlying rules for translators in the UK have been the same for a while, and there's a fair bit of useful info in these forums. Maybe get a book on tax for self-employed/small business from your local library if you're lucky enough to still have oneicon_smile.gif
'course, if your earnings are at this level, then it's more tax efficient, in a relatively wholesome and accepted way, rather than registering in the Cayman Islands, Vodafone type way, to got limited company and you ought to get an accountant for that and they can sorrt out the VAT - job done!


 

Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:42
Member (2004)
German to English
Only UK customers count Jul 8, 2012

Hi Sarah, Just to say that only the revenue from UK companies counts towards the limit. So if you do most of your work for customers based in other EU countries you would probably never reach the limit. It's worth checking how much of your work is for UK customers.
Gillian


 

Hazel Underwood  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:42
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Agree with Gillian Jul 9, 2012

It's up to you whether you want to register or not.

This bit on the HMRC website explains: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/start/register/when-to-register.htm#4

Advantages are of course that anything you buy you can reclaim VAT on (good for large items like computers, software, etc.), but it is a bit of a pain having to complete VAT returns/EC sales lists every quarter.

I'd only recommend you do it if you really have to.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:42
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
You may be doing your clients a big favour Jul 10, 2012

The threshold for VAT registration is low in Denmark, but then there is a streamlined system for small companies. I simply have to put the client's VAT number on the invoice, and state it again in my tax returns. Then there is a simple, almost painless online procedure for tax returns, as long as there is a valid VAT number. (Not that we love the tax authorities in Denmark - on the contrary. The only way to deal with them is to stay strictly on the straight and narrow, and keep a low profile!)

However, there is far more hassle if I have a client in the UK who is not VAT registered. The online system cannot cope with them, unless I charge then 25% - yes, twenty five per cent - VAT.

That means the rate I have to charge is very high, and in practice I very rarely work for clients who are not VAT registered - I refer them to a colleague in the UK. Clients everywhere else in the EU are VAT registered, and it does make my life far simpler.

I think the same applies for clients in many other countries too.


 


There is no moderator assigned specifically to this forum.
To report site rules violations or get help, please contact site staff »


UK VAT registration

Advanced search






Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
WordFinder Unlimited
For clarity and excellence

WordFinder is the leading dictionary service that gives you the words you want anywhere, anytime. Access 260+ dictionaries from the world's leading dictionary publishers in virtually any device. Find the right word anywhere, anytime - online or offline.

More info »



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