Charging VAT - feedback needed
Thread poster: pleasetranslate
pleasetranslate
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:19
English to German
Aug 1, 2013

Hi

I'm a new one and would not only say hello, no I have already a question(

I live in UK, I am a sole trader and don't charge VAT for my translations, for my customers in UK. How is it when I get clients from other EU countries or non EU countries do I have to charge VAT?

I have been looking for hours on the internet and in other translation forums, but it seems nobody knows it. Please are here any experts they don't mind to help?

Thank you in advance
Christine


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Enrico Antonio Mion  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:19
Member (2012)
English to Italian
+ ...
not me Aug 2, 2013

Hi Christine,

I've recently started my career as a freelance translator as well and frankly I don't understand much so I can't give you detailed information. Although, after some researches I have found out that every country has different laws and requires a VAT number accordingly on the amount of income. I live in France and for now my income is not high enough to require a VAT number.
Also, I am working for a client who is in Luxembourg and the VAT number was not mandatory - I am not charging it.

This is all I can tell you. Sorry
E


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:19
Member (2008)
Italian to English
No VAT Aug 2, 2013

pleasetranslate wrote:

Hi

I'm a new one and would not only say hello, no I have already a question(

I live in UK, I am a sole trader and don't charge VAT for my translations, for my customers in UK. How is it when I get clients from other EU countries or non EU countries do I have to charge VAT?

I have been looking for hours on the internet and in other translation forums, but it seems nobody knows it. Please are here any experts they don't mind to help?

Thank you in advance
Christine


As you seem to be resident in the UK for tax purposes, you are not required to register for VAT unless you want to, or unless your annual turnover exceeds GBP 73,000 (correction: now updated to 79,000).

Assuming that you are not VAT-registered, you should not add VAT to any of your invoices - no matter to whom they are issued. You would be breaking the law if you did.

[Edited at 2013-08-02 09:38 GMT]


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dianaft  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:19
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
You only need to register above £79,000 Aug 2, 2013

In the UK, you are only required to register for VAT, if you earn above £79,000/ year.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/start/register/when-to-register.htm

I dare say that most individual translators will earn below that threshold.

You can register voluntarily, if you wish.
Depending on the type of clients you work with and on the scale of your investments in software, furnishings etc., it may be worth it. For me personally, it is not.

As I am not VAT registered, I don't spend much time on finding out, when it should be charged. You can find more information here:
http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/managing/international/exports/services.htm

If you charge VAT without being registered, you are committing a crime.

Some clients (especially from within the EU) will ask you for your VAT number and as the threshold/ the rules are somewhat different, it often takes a bit of explaining.

Provide your UTR (Unique Tax Reference) number on invoices, that should be all you need to do. It's all I do anyway.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:19
Member (2008)
Italian to English
What I do... Aug 2, 2013

I simply write "VAT not applicable" at the bottom of my invoices (which, of course, are always in English to comply with UK law). This has never been queried.



[Edited at 2013-08-02 09:39 GMT]


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pleasetranslate
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:19
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Aug 2, 2013

Thank you all for the replies you are really great and kind, I am speachless (writeless ????) because of all the help:-)))

Think it was a lucky day for me to find this website.

Thank you once again


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Linda Dajci
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:19
English to Albanian
+ ...
No You don't register or charge VAT Sep 1, 2013

I am sure that you don't need to register or charge Vat unless your income is over 79K PA

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Jessie LN
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Very confused Oct 2, 2013

I was also under the impression that it was not necessary to register for VAT if your income was below £79k. However, I recently bid on a job from an outsourcer in Spain and was told that I would need to have a VAT number if we were to work together, even if I wasn't charging VAT. Apparently it is needed for some reason in Spanish bureaucracy (the reams and reams of it)??

I looked into voluntary registration because of this, but it just seems like a lot of hassle.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:19
Member (2008)
Italian to English
UK Oct 2, 2013

Jessie Linardi wrote:

I was also under the impression that it was not necessary to register for VAT if your income was below £79k. However, I recently bid on a job from an outsourcer in Spain and was told that I would need to have a VAT number if we were to work together, even if I wasn't charging VAT. Apparently it is needed for some reason in Spanish bureaucracy (the reams and reams of it)??

I looked into voluntary registration because of this, but it just seems like a lot of hassle.



As a UK taxpayer you are required to act in accordance with UK rules, not Spanish rules. Under UK rules you do not need to register for VAT unless your turnover exceeds £79,000 and it would be breaking all the rules should anyone in another EU Member State, such as Spain, try to force you to register for VAT if your income is less than that. Our Spanish friends seem to think they are a law unto themselves in this regard; but they are not.


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pleasetranslate
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:19
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
VAT Oct 2, 2013

Hi,

I think Tom is right and I write now also "VAT not applicable" on my invoices.

Maybe look on the internet for Spanisch laws what they say or ask translators they live in Spain.

A lot of English people live in Spain, look for any forum and ask there, they are most of the
time friendly and happy to help. It is just in case you will have again such a company in Spain,
then you can send them a link with the Spanish law that will convince them.

Maybe we could have here some posts of laws from other countries, under community for example,
because it would be helpful for all of us.


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