Accepting Euro Payments in the UK
Thread poster: Charlotte Farrell

Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:07
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
May 22, 2013

Hi all. I couldn't find any similar topics that were posted in the last decade (although please redirect me if you know of one) and was hoping for more up to date advice.

I am new to freelance translation and am still trying to work out the ins and outs. I have a couple of clients in the UK, who pay in pounds and are no problem, but also two based in Germany paying in Euros. I recently received a payment from one of the German companies and found that I had lost a chunk due to an unfavourable exchange rate. As a lot of my work comes from Germany this would represent considerable losses over the year.

My boyfriend is also about to spend a year in a country in the single currency other than Germany. It would be ideal to be able to take money out of a Euro account while visiting him there and not be affected by an unfavourable conversion into pounds (from payments from Germany) and then an unfavourable conversion back into euros when withdrawing.

I was wondering if any of you have a Euro bank account in the UK and, if so, whether you'd recommend it. I also do still have a German bank account for which I have a debit card (EC Karte), but don't know what the situation would be with tax if I were to use it in the UK/abroad.


 

XXXphxxx (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:07
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Here you go May 22, 2013

http://www.proz.com/forum/translation_in_the_uk/228425-uk_tax_translations_paid_in_euros.html

My Euro customers pay into my a/c in France. No problem at all.


 

Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:07
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Lisa May 22, 2013

That thread was helpful. I think I'll have to talk to banks and try to find out what would be the best. Could anyone recommend a bank for a Euro account in the UK?

 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
Another option May 22, 2013

Hi Charlotte,

If you are going to spend Euros then a Euro account is a good idea (I seem to remember that First Direct had a competitive one when I was living in the UK) but if you'll eventually want to convert these Euros into Pounds you may want to consider opening an account with an FX broker. In this way you can accept almost any currency in the world (not just Euros) and get it exchanged into Pounds at a more favourable rate than the banks give you because exchanging currency is the FX broker's core business.

This is the website of mine:
http://www.infinityinternational.co.uk/

but there are plenty out there and it's free to open an account (or at least it was when I did).


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:07
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Perfectly OK May 22, 2013

Charlotte Farrell wrote:
I also do still have a German bank account for which I have a debit card (EC Karte), but don't know what the situation would be with tax if I were to use it in the UK/abroad.

You can get your euro-zone clients to pay into your German bank account - no problem. I've been moving around Europe for 20 years now, leaving bank accounts open in the UK and France, as well as having one here in Spain. It means that I can receive payments in ways that are cheap for me and/or convenient for the client. But they're all perfectly legal and everything is declared wherever it needs to be declared.

You should (I believe) be declaring all your income to the UK authorities, whether it's physically received in the UK, elsewhere, or it's sitting in the ether somewhere above our heads, and regardless of the currency it's paid in. You're taxed either at the point of writing the invoice, or when you receive the money, I don't know which applies to you. What you do with it after that is not the concern of the tax inspectors, unless you make more money in the handling.

You can certainly use your German card for purchases and to withdraw cash more-or-less anywhere in the world - it could well be free in the euro-zone. I know it doesn't cost me a cent to withdraw cash here in Spain using my French debit card. Of course, you may eventually want to spend that money in pounds rather than in euros, but at least you have more chance of choosing the best moment to transfer funds. But I often find my sterling account comes in useful, as does my USD balance in my PayPal account. With e-commerce gaining ground by the minute it's nice to have these different currencies lying around.


 

Charlotte Farrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:07
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Marie-Helene and Sheila May 22, 2013

Both very helpful. I think I'll call some British banks and see what their charges would be for euro accounts, as I'd forgotten that Deutsche Bank charges for withdrawals that aren't from their ATMS - which Malta doesn't appear to have.

 


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