Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
EU VAT number for UK translators
Thread poster: Adam Mieczyński

Adam Mieczyński
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:31
Member (2014)
English to Polish
+ ...
Jun 15

Hi,
I just registered as a sole trader and received a VAT number in UK. My question is: how do I obtain the EU VAT number needed to invoice clients within EU? I actually applied for the MOSS system but I just realised translation, it seems, is not covered by that system so I think I will have to deregister from that... Is there any other form of obtaining EU VAT number for translators registered in UK? In Poland, where I was originally based, you just apply for it when you register for VAT
... See more
Hi,
I just registered as a sole trader and received a VAT number in UK. My question is: how do I obtain the EU VAT number needed to invoice clients within EU? I actually applied for the MOSS system but I just realised translation, it seems, is not covered by that system so I think I will have to deregister from that... Is there any other form of obtaining EU VAT number for translators registered in UK? In Poland, where I was originally based, you just apply for it when you register for VAT locally but here everywhere on the government website they point you to the MOSS system which is a bit misleading because, when you look into it closely, its scope if very limited. Thanks in advance for any help!

Best,
ADam
Collapse


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:31
Member (2008)
Italian to English
VAT registration threshold Jun 16

In the UK, you don't need to register for VAT unless your turnover is more than £85,000.

https://www.gov.uk/vat-registration/when-to-register


Chris Foster
 

Adam Mieczyński
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:31
Member (2014)
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
EU VAT number for UK translators Jun 16

Tom in London wrote:

In the UK, you don't need to register for VAT unless your turnover is more than £85,000.

https://www.gov.uk/vat-registration/when-to-register


Thanks, Tom. I am aware of that but I voluntarily registered for various reasons. My question was regarding the need (if any) to register for EU VAT when you are a VAT payer invoicing EU business clients.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:31
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I wouldn't Jun 16

Adam Mieczyński wrote:

Tom in London wrote:

In the UK, you don't need to register for VAT unless your turnover is more than £85,000.

https://www.gov.uk/vat-registration/when-to-register


Thanks, Tom. I am aware of that but I voluntarily registered for various reasons. My question was regarding the need (if any) to register for EU VAT when you are a VAT payer invoicing EU business clients.


I wouldn't think so. As a UK taxpayer, you should ONLY comply with UK tax law. It would be illegal to attempt to also comply with the tax requirements of any other jurisdiction.

Quote from the HMRC website: "If you’re in the UK and the place of supply of your service is in the UK, you charge and account for VAT according to UK VAT rules."

In other words if you supply a translation from the UK to anyone, anywhere, you must comply with UK VAT rules. It is irrelevant what the VAT rate is in any other country.

But to be sure, you should consult a UK-based accountant.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-how-to-work-out-your-place-of-supply-of-services



[Edited at 2020-06-16 09:49 GMT]


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:31
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Your VAT number should be good enough. After Brexit you will not need it Jun 16

If you have a VAT number in the UK, simply put it on your invoices or quote it as required.

You can presumably check it here
https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/vatResponse.html
-- and you can check any other EU VAT number to see if it is valid and who it belongs to.

After Brexit you will not strictly need to quote a VAT number on in
... See more
If you have a VAT number in the UK, simply put it on your invoices or quote it as required.

You can presumably check it here
https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/vatResponse.html
-- and you can check any other EU VAT number to see if it is valid and who it belongs to.

After Brexit you will not strictly need to quote a VAT number on invoices etc. I do not add VAT to invoices to my Norwegian client. Like Norway, the UK will then be a 'third country' as a non-member of the EU.

We have yet to see what other regulations may apply, but that is another story.
Collapse


Dan Lucas
Sheila Wilson
 

Adam Mieczyński
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:31
Member (2014)
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jun 16

Thanks. In that case I think it's sufficient until Brexit becomes effective to report VAT in UK along with the EC Sales List.

Marijke Singer
 

Mike Roebuck  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:31
German to English
+ ...
Check the HMRC website Jun 16

Christine Andersen wrote:

If you have a VAT number in the UK, simply put it on your invoices or quote it as required.

You can presumably check it here
https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/vatResponse.html
-- and you can check any other EU VAT number to see if it is valid and who it belongs to.

After Brexit you will not strictly need to quote a VAT number on invoices etc. I do not add VAT to invoices to my Norwegian client. Like Norway, the UK will then be a 'third country' as a non-member of the EU.

We have yet to see what other regulations may apply, but that is another story.



When I checked the HMRC website in December last, it quite clearly stated that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK companies would have to set up a VAT account in each of the EU countries with which they do business, charge local VAT and remit it to the national tax body. This would certainly apply to me as I run a limited company and to others who do the same. Of course, we haven't reached that point yet but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.


 

Adam Mieczyński
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:31
Member (2014)
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I don't think so Jun 16

Mike Roebuck wrote:

Christine Andersen wrote:

If you have a VAT number in the UK, simply put it on your invoices or quote it as required.

You can presumably check it here
https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/vatResponse.html
-- and you can check any other EU VAT number to see if it is valid and who it belongs to.

After Brexit you will not strictly need to quote a VAT number on invoices etc. I do not add VAT to invoices to my Norwegian client. Like Norway, the UK will then be a 'third country' as a non-member of the EU.

We have yet to see what other regulations may apply, but that is another story.



When I checked the HMRC website in December last, it quite clearly stated that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK companies would have to set up a VAT account in each of the EU countries with which they do business, charge local VAT and remit it to the national tax body. This would certainly apply to me as I run a limited company and to others who do the same. Of course, we haven't reached that point yet but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.


No one really knows how things will look post-Brexit but I think it might be even easier than now. I basically don't need to charge any non-EU customers VAT right now, only clients in EU countries need to perform the reverse VAT on their side since UK is still part of the union. But I think post-Brexit we can treat EU customers in the same way as, say, USA or Japanese customers. The idea of having to set up a VAT in every country you supply translations is downright ridiculous and I hope it's not true. You really think translators will be filing VAT returns in 10 countries with different rules?


Tom in London
Dan Lucas
Chris S
Sheila Wilson
Marijke Singer
 

Mike Roebuck  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:31
German to English
+ ...
I agree Jun 16

I agree with you but I was only quoting what was on the HMRC website. If a no deal Brexit happens and the Government implement this, mine won't be the only business it kills.

Adam Mieczyński
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:31
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Nobody knows anything... Jun 16

Mike Roebuck wrote:
I agree with you but I was only quoting what was on the HMRC website.

It sounds like a misunderstanding somewhere.

As a practical matter, I am not aware of any obligation on freelancers based in the US or Japan (other "third countries") to create VAT accounts when they sell to European clients. Why should the UK be any different? This is the same UK that deliberately maintains a high VAT threshold to allow micro-enterprises to avoid largely pointless and wasteful VAT bureaucracy - an approach noticeably not taken by most major European countries. To argue that the UK planned to implement such an approach doesn't pass the test of consistency, or that of common sense.

I suspect the end result will be that those of us who are VAT-registered continue to not charge VAT on translation services to clients outside the UK, as has been the case until now. Conversely, clients from countries inside the EU that hitherto demanded a VAT number as a comfort blanket even though it was unnecessary - I'm looking at you, Spanish agencies - will no longer have to worry about VAT issues as the UK will, as Christine points out, be a third country.

But all we can do is wait and see. Certainly my business isn't so fragile that filling in a few forms is going to lead to its collapse, so I refuse to get excited about it at this stage.

Regards,
Dan


Chris S
 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:31
German to English
Doesn't apply to translation services Jun 16

Mike Roebuck wrote: When I checked the HMRC website in December last, it quite clearly stated that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK companies would have to set up a VAT account in each of the EU countries with which they do business, charge local VAT and remit it to the national tax body. This would certainly apply to me as I run a limited company and to others who do the same. Of course, we haven't reached that point yet but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.


That only applies to third-country companies that have to pay VAT on their exports of certain goods or services to Europe. This refers mainly to online retailers and providers of telecom and a range of online services. This is nothing new, and the UK is merely joining the list of "third countries". I'm (now) in the US, and I don't charge any VAT or other tax on my invoices to clients in the EU (or anywhere, for that matter).

What this means is that, once the transition period is over, translations provided by UK translators to clients in the EU will be VAT-exempt at the point of origin, meaning that the UK-based translation provider does not show any VAT on their invoice. Of course the EU recipient has to disclose "import VAT" at the relevant rate in their own VAT return, but they can also reclaim input tax at the same amount in the VAT return.

Regards,
Robin


Chris S
Dan Lucas
Sheila Wilson
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Did anyone answer the original question? Jun 16

What is this separate EU VAT number you need to apply for?

Isn’t it just the national number plus a couple of check digits?


 

Adam Mieczyński
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:31
Member (2014)
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not sure Jun 16

Chris S wrote:

What is this separate EU VAT number you need to apply for?

Isn’t it just the national number plus a couple of check digits?


So in Poland, where I was originally registered, when you register as a sole trader you are asked if you want a "EU VAT number" and that means you are entered into the Intra-Community VAT system and you can make VAT-exempt purchases from other EU countries. The number is basically the same as your national VAT, just with the country code, but if I'm correct, unless you register for it, you won't appear as a valid intra-community EU VAT payer for other companies so they will have to charge you VAT if, say, you want to subcontract some work to a translator in Spain. I've always assumed you need the EU VAT to trade within EU but I've talked to one agency in Germany and they say they don't care if I'm registered for the intra-community system so long as I'm just the supplier, not vice versa.


 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:31
German to English
Yes Jun 19

Chris S wrote: What is this separate EU VAT number you need to apply for?

Isn’t it just the national number plus a couple of check digits?


And the answer is there is no need to apply for a "separate EU VAT number". Simples...


Chris S
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:31
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Tom Jun 19

Tom in London wrote:
As a UK taxpayer ... it would be illegal to attempt to also comply with the tax requirements of any other jurisdiction.


Why would a government (such as that of the UK) force its residents to break laws of other countries? Rather say that it would be illegal to contravene your current country's laws in your attempts and actions to comply with other countries' laws.


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


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


EU VAT number for UK translators

Advanced search






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 »
SDL Trados Studio 2021 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 270,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2021 has evolved to bring translators a brand new experience. Designed with user experience at its core, Studio 2021 transforms how new users get up and running and helps experienced users make the most of the powerful features.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Termsøk
  • Jobber
  • Forumer
  • Multiple search