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Upwork has no shame

zoomconcepts
Community Guru
Bojana D Member Since: May 2, 2011
41 of 69

Vlad (and please, this is not meant personally to you, I know you're just doing your job): your reply itself shows that the company is really not that concerned with 'serving international customers better'. There were two other questions in my post that were much more important for European freelancers day-to-day business and accounting, yet your reply only addresses the part about Upwork covering its own bases. We know that you have to charge VAT. By all means, do it. But give us the documentation and tools needed to smooth it out with our local authorites because this blanket approch you're taking won't work for many countries. 

 


Vladimir G wrote:

The second change will print “VAT Reverse Charged” on certain invoices from EU freelancers to EU clients to enable your clients to self assess VAT on your invoice to them, when applicable.


 

 

1) This automatic print of VAT Reverse Charged won't work for many people because the reverse charge doesn't apply in some cases, and in many countries it won't be applied automatically. 

 

2) What invoices to clients? Upwork already issues one, presumably with our name, and you don't let us see it or have it - do you mean that we need to issue a second invoice to our clients, after Upwork's already invoiced them? Because I'm pretty sure it doesn't work that way. 

 

3) Even we wanted to invoice our clients, HOW? There are certain mandatory attributes for EU-compliant invoices - Upwork doesn't provide that information for clients. I suppose the answer is "ask your client yourself" - but WHY would they want to give me all their company information when they've already been invoiced by Upwork?

 

 

 

jmeyn
Community Guru
Joachim M Member Since: Mar 23, 2015
42 of 69

@Bojana D wrote:

@Victor N wrote:

 

But now the hell starts - we're buying from oDesk, we have to pay VAT from this, we shall TAX the full 90%+10% amount in our Tax Offices, and then reduce the expenses by 10% that we pay to oDesk, now this VAT thing. And then calculate TAXes with all that.

 

Overly-overly complicated!

 


What frustrates me the most is that they're trying to cover themselves on all fronts, charging VAT, dealing with their invoices and all, but they don't give us the courtesy of providing even basic documentation to help us do the same. For example:

 

  • Upwork does NOT allow me to see the invoices they send on my behalf to the clients (and these are pretty much illegal in my country anway, noone can invoice on my behalf according to our laws).
  • Upwork does NOT allow me to enter my comapny's tax information properly, so I can at least use the invoices Upwork issues for their fees as proof os expense - right now they're issued to me as an individual, and my country's tax laws won't accept them as business expenses.
  • Now they're going to charge VAT - only in EU? Really? 1) I'm pretty sure VAT does not exist only in EU, and 2) it's definitely not a new thing, it's been around for quite some time. Why start now? Are you admitting you were operating outside thelaw up until this moment, Upwork? 

The EU legislation has changed. As of October 15th companies outside the EU have to charge VAT to EU residents without VAT ID. 

cobeste
Ace Contributor
Stefan K Member Since: Oct 29, 2015
43 of 69

This is just a huge nonsense. Almost no EU freelancer is qualified for VAT number. There would be no difference if Upwork would say we are going to rise upwork fee from 10% to 30% for all EU freelancers. 

 

After they shut down Elance and moved us here, this is becoming just too expensive way to keep old clients and finding new jobs. 

jmeyn
Community Guru
Joachim M Member Since: Mar 23, 2015
44 of 69

@Andrei L wrote:

Hello

 

I just received a message from Upwork that, starting with November 30th, Upwork is introducing VAT charges for Upwork service fees, memberships and additional Connects.

I am an avid shopper on american websites and , for years now, not one has charged VAT on my orders.

I want to inform Upwork that , according to european level legislation, extra-european online orders for products and services under the value of EURO 50 are FREE OF VAT

So if I get a fixed price assignment of $100 , the upwork fee is 11.11 , so it is under EURO 50, and, consequentely, FREE OF VAT


You, and others, may want to follow the thread "Name on received invoice" in the clients forum.

 

You will see more US websites charging VAT in the future as this is required by the European Union. The exception of paying VAT referes to private consumers only. As a freelancer you are a business! If you are VAT registered you can either add you VAT ID to your profile as Upwork suggested or deduct the charged VAT from the VAT you charge to your clients. If you are VAT exempted (small time business with an annual turnover of less than Euro 17,500 in Germany), you should still apply for the free VAT ID to avoid being charged VAT by Upwork. Instead the tax office will charge it. BTW, being VAT exempted means you can't deduct VAT you pay from the VAT you charge as you don't charge VAT. And, VAT exemption means only that you don't have to charge VAT, you still pay VAT. 

colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
45 of 69

Please could Upwork define the term "customer".

alupu
Active Member
Andrei L Member Since: May 6, 2015
46 of 69

You see, when I buy something from an american website, they send me a package. I pay for the goods and delivery and ABSOLUTELY NO VAT All sites that ship internationally mention that additional taxes - such as costums taxes - may be imposed by the destination state. When the package arrives at the special postal office - special because it also has a costums officer - that officer looks at the value on the bill and may charge VAT. So it is THE ROMANIAN AUTHORITY that charges VAT, not the american seller. When I go in vacaton outside EU, nobody charges me VAT on the principle that I am EU citizen. The EU law does NOT apply in USA !!! The american seller has no legal obligation to EU to charge VAT. 

Just to be clear : what is the place of selling . It is USA or  EU ? It is USA , so the applicable law is the american law. If I buy connects I buy them in America and use them in AMERICA, I do not import them in Romania 

jmeyn
Community Guru
Joachim M Member Since: Mar 23, 2015
47 of 69

@Andrei L wrote:

You see, when I buy something from an american website, they send me a package. I pay for the goods and delivery and ABSOLUTELY NO VAT All sites that ship internationally mention that additional taxes - such as costums taxes - may be imposed by the destination state. When the package arrives at the special postal office - special because it also has a costums officer - that officer looks at the value on the bill and may charge VAT. So it is THE ROMANIAN AUTHORITY that charges VAT, not the american seller. When I go in vacaton outside EU, nobody charges me VAT on the principle that I am EU citizen. The EU law does NOT apply in USA !!! The american seller has no legal obligation to EU to charge VAT. 

Just to be clear : what is the place of selling . It is USA or  EU ? It is USA , so the applicable law is the american law. If I buy connects I buy them in America and use them in AMERICA, I do not import them in Romania 


Andrei,

 

I'm sorry to say, EU legislation has changed with regards to automated electronic services. All companies, worldwide are now required to do exactly what Upwork is implementing if they offer automated electronic services to EU companies/citizens. There are talks that this might be implemented for all goods and services coming January. 

alupu
Active Member
Andrei L Member Since: May 6, 2015
48 of 69

@Joachim You are completely missing my point. The EU legislation may modify however you want, IT DOES NOT APPLY IN USA ! That would mean the EU law has extra-teritoriality, which would be an infringement of american soverignity. Upwork is an american company and, as such, obeys exclusively to american law. I am not importing anything. On the contrary, I am exporting my competencies and my laborJoachim M

jmeyn
Community Guru
Joachim M Member Since: Mar 23, 2015
49 of 69

@Andrei L wrote:

@Joachim You are completely missing my point. The EU legislation may modify however you want, IT DOES NOT APPLY IN USA ! That would mean the EU law has extra-teritoriality, which would be an infringement of american soverignity. Upwork is an american company and, as such, obeys exclusively to american law. I am not importing anything. On the contrary, I am exporting my competencies and my labor@jmeyn


Andrei,

 

You seem to be missing the point entirely. Upwork is charging EU companies with the VAT due in Europe. If you are located in the US this doesn't affect you selling to EU clients in any way. This is solely between Upwork and EU clients. Also, if you are selling out of the US to EU clients, youare  probably not selling an automated electronic service. Hence you don't have to charge VAT to your EU clients, they have to pay importation VAT and always have been required to do this. If you are located in Romania (your profile is hidden), you are required and always have been to pay VAT on the services Upwork charges to you.

alupu
Active Member
Andrei L Member Since: May 6, 2015
50 of 69

I am not missing any point. An american seller which sells locally - and the place of business for Upwork is USA - does not comply to foreign laws. An american seller does not collect taxes on behalf of foreign countries. Should Upwork open an office in EU, that office's activity will be governed by the EU law. I urge Upwork to see council from a competent tax adviser, because charging VAT based on a foreign law is dead wrong and it is liable for a lawsuit

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