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Invoice for US company

Discussion in 'Accounting and Legal' started by Nina Porter, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Nina Porter

    Nina Porter New Member

    SOS everybody,

    I've done a small translation job for a US company. I've never worked for the US before. And probably won't do it again by the looks of tax things. Can someone help me with the invoice? I've read there is a 30% tax rate that gets taken and that I need to fill in a W8 form?? Also, how did you get paid. You probably loose money doing a bank transfer, don't you?
  2. Kate Debitoor

    Kate Debitoor New Member

    Hi Nina :)

    Working out tax abroad is quite complicated - especially in the US as there can be both federal and state laws. The rules depend a lot on your specific circumstances (where the customer was based, how much you charged, etc.) so I'd suggest looking at gov.uk, as they explain all the different rules and guidelines in quite a lot of detail: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/exporting-to-the-usa#taxation-in-the-us

    When you send an invoice, you can set payment terms to tell the client how to pay you. With a bank transfer, it's likely that your customer will have to pay the bank fees rather than you, but it depends on the rules set by your bank. You could also look at online currency exchange services as these often save you quite a bit in fees.

    Also bear in mind that when you are selling services to customers in the US, you can send invoices in either GBP or USD. However, if you use USD, it's likely that the exchange rate will fluctuate, so you'll need to record this in your accounts. We have written about how you can this, here: https://debitoor.com/dictionary/exchange-gain-or-loss

    Fortunately, online accounting and invoicing software like Debitoor makes it easier for you to send invoices to customers abroad. With Debitoor, you have the option to change the language and currency on your invoices, and the exchange rate automatically updates to reflect up-to-date rates:

    I hope this helped answer your question! :)
    Nina Porter likes this.
  3. Lupita

    Lupita Member

  4. pencilpusher

    pencilpusher New Member

    Hello Nina, I too am in the middle of a payment and tax faff with a U.S client. However yours seems like it might be simpler to sort out, so I hope the following helps.

    Previously I've filled in a W8BEN form- which is basically for the company to keep to confirm you are not U.S based, and you don't get 30% tax taken off. I got paid by international bank transfer, and yes I did lose some money because of bank charges, but it wasn't too much. Include your IBAN and BIC codes and such on your invoice, you can normally find these on bank statements or on your online banking pages.
  5. Alisonp

    Alisonp Member

    Hi Nina

    Welcome, somewhat belatedly (I keep forgetting this forum exists!), from a fellow translator. I've never worked for a US client myself, but the feedback I've got from other freelances hasn't been good: losing out because of bank charges (your invoice should make it clear that the client has to pay these so that the amount ending up in your account is the amount you billed); clients sending cheques which you then have to pay to cash and lose a lot of money that way, and so on. But I can't see why you should be taxed on it when you've done the work in another country.

    I think some people have recommended Transferwise - don't know whether that might be beneficial in this case? I believe there was also another option set up *by* translators, but I'm not sure whether that hasn't foundered by now.

    I suspect this is all rather academic by now, considering how much time has elapsed, but if you're serious about translation - and assuming you haven't done so already - you might want to look at joining a professional association, such as the Institute of Translation & Interpreting, for support and advice on translation-related matters.

    Good luck!
    SuzanaM likes this.

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