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(French) freelancer - Paying taxes

Active Member
Alecsa S Member Since: Jul 29, 2020
11 of 33

Hi Goncalo,


Thank you for the confirmation you've just added on here. I've been having the same dilemma regarding French declaration and invoicing... and I had considered the way Malt suggested to declare the income as "chiffre d'affaires" and I have been doing just that.

However, I have a question regarding what you say about issuing "French" invoices. I find it a bit strange for customers to be sent invoices twice, I don't think it would be a great experience for them. So I tried one option:


Option 1 - Send one invoice per month for total services that month

So say I have done 3 projects for $100 each for the customer i.e. 85€ each. I would then send them one "catch-up" French invoice at the end of the month showing the total of $300 / 255 € and tell them this is for information only - nothing to pay. This is what I've been doing so far.


I feel, however, that the correct option is to match every Upwork invoice, i.e. Option 2:


Option 2 - Match every Upwork invoice

In the above scenario, send one invoice for $100 / €85 every time one is generated by Upwork and the client pays.

This means the client will be getting lots of invoices, some from me through messages as "for info only" and some from Upwork.


What are your thoughts on this?

Also, there is Option 3: Generate invoices, don't send to client as they'll have one from Upwork anyway. I'm not sure what the legal status is about that - do we have to prove we've sent these "French invoices" or not?


Thanks for your help!

Active Member
Goncalo Q Member Since: Jun 20, 2016
12 of 33
Hi Alecsa,

I don’t know if legaly the client needs to receive a second invoice, but I’ve never been asked by a client to send them another invoice with the amount in euros and I’ve never been adviced to do so. And so I’ve never done that and I don’t intend to do it.

But this is something that we can ask Upwork support and/or an accountant and/or the tax office.

I think that the only thing that is indeed required is that you note on Upwork’s invoice itself the respective amount in euros. If you’re not doing this at least be sure to have this information on your records because the tax officers will probably want to know this if they ever want to conduct a verification of your business (a “contrôle”, in French).

If you choose to issue another invoice where you group several pays, be mindful of the exchange rate used for each pay. If there are different exchange rates used maybe it’s best to break it down to sub-payments on that same invoice description and refer the exchange rate (and date) used for each one of them.

I hope this helps. But I’m not an accountant Smiley Tongue
Active Member
Alecsa S Member Since: Jul 29, 2020
13 of 33



I think that's a very good point about grouping invoices... it's because I have too many per client per month (e.g. writing several blog articles as milestones) so thought it would be easier. At the same time, I keep a log of exchange rates when they pay so I guess that would suffice. It's not that straightforward is it Smiley Happy


Thanks for your input!




Active Member
Sarah T Member Since: Apr 18, 2021
14 of 33

Goncalo Q

That's so helpful thank you.

I'm usually very resourcful and good with the maths but I was loosing hope to declare the little I've earned so far which is not much with double VAT from upwork then Urssaf... + 20% upwork fee...

So thank you I'm very grateful you take the time to write it.

Active Member
Silvia M Member Since: Aug 25, 2021
15 of 33



I am new to Upwork and have been reading your replies because I am also concerned about how to declare what I earn on upwork.

I am "autoentrepreneur" in France. I just saw the invoice issued by Upwork and it doesn't indicate the client's intracommunity VAT number, which is needed when we work for a client outside France.

Should I ask for it to the client and modify the invoice myself?


Thank you!

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
16 of 33
You are entitled to a VAT# if you request one. Your local SIE (service d'information aux entreprises) should advise you. There is a form to fill and to mail them.

If you have troubles to get it, ask me in PM I'll see if I can find a copy. This is only if a client ask you though since it is not compulsory.

As for being in trouble if U stops charging you the VAT, this is purely hypothetical, I think they'll go after U if ever they find out.
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
17 of 33

"As for being in trouble if U stops charging you the VAT, this is purely hypothetical, I think they'll go after U if ever they find out. "


+ 10 René Smiley Happy

Active Member
Sarah G Member Since: Jan 12, 2016
18 of 33

Alright, thank you for your patience.


I'm trying to get everything clean before I start my first project Smiley Happy


I send you a pm for the form.

Active Member
Abdelkamel S Member Since: Mar 6, 2016
19 of 33

I have the same problem, I entrepreneur I have no VAT number !!


Sarah : peux-tu me dire si tu as trouvé la solution ? 



Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
20 of 33

It has to be sought from your local SIE (service des impôts des entreprises)


For more info, click here.



"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless