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anne_thomas
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VAT number and address of Upwork in EU

Hello All,

 

I have just started a contract. I have my own company and a VAT number.

 

I have worked as a freelancer for 20 years invoicing through my own company.

 

Legally I have to provide an invoice with the company name, address and VAT number of the company I am invoicing.

 

However, after a long chat ( where initially Upwork refused to supply thier VAT number), I was supplied an invalid VAT number ( checked using http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/) and no european address.

 

I have registered my VAT number with Upwork but they refuse to give me theirs. This is not legal in EU. They also need to provide their company address in EU.

 

What is going on here..........how can I legally raise an invoice when Upwork refuse to provide their VAT number and address ?

 

thanks

anne

 

 

23 REPLIES 23
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@Anne T wrote:

Hello All,

 

I have just started a contract. I have my own company and a VAT number.

 

I have worked as a freelancer for 20 years invoicing through my own company.

 

Legally I have to provide an invoice with the company name, address and VAT number of the company I am invoicing.

 

However, after a long chat ( where initially Upwork refused to supply thier VAT number), I was supplied an invalid VAT number ( checked using http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/) and no european address.

 

I have registered my VAT number with Upwork but they refuse to give me theirs. This is not legal in EU. They also need to provide their company address in EU.

 

What is going on here..........how can I legally raise an invoice when Upwork refuse to provide their VAT number and address ?

 

thanks

anne

 

 


I have copied it from Upwork's invoices:

Upwork Global Inc. 441 Logue Ave. Mountain View, CA 94043 USA VAT ID: EU528002406

 

Upwork has an address in Norway (Non-EU-country). You will find the address on the website but you will not need this address in Norway. In regard to invoices and VAT and all discussion around this topic you find several threads here, for example this

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Clients/Name-on-a-received-invoice/m-p/92225/highlight/true#M3982

 

To make it short: Up to now Upwork issues invoices in the freelancers name and sends it to the client. However, the freelancer does not get a copy of this invoice. If you have a VAT-ID and have to charge VAT, this does not appear on the invoice. Upwork has promised to make copies available but is constantly postponing this. Some freelancers from EU countries (my included) issue their own invoices after payment through Upwork.

Hi Margarate

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

However, the VAT number of Upwork is a MOSS number ( Mini one stop shop) and does not validate in the EU VEIS system so I am not sure I can use this VAT number.

 

My accountant is looking into this.

 

Anne

Hi Anne! 

Were you able to find a solution to this? 

Which data do you use to issue an invoice to Upwork. 

P.S. I have faced the same problem here..

Any news about this topic? Nobody from the Upwork team?

 

Thanks in advance

I have the same Problem. I already hierd 2 Freelancers this Month and i have problems with the Invoice that Upwork provides.

I have just contacted my Freelancer and he don't have a VTA Number. Has somone found  a solution for this Problem? I m in Germany and My Accounter says that the invoce is not valide without a VTA Number.

I think for private individuals there is no need for VAT number of that person. That's what I thought the regulation is in EU. There has to be your VAT number if you are VAT payer. 

first of all, thanx for the response.

 

in order for the invoice to be valide (in germany) i need a VTA number. My Freelancer (hwo is not in EU) have no VAT Number. I already payed my Freelancer an amount of 2000$. And my Accounter says that the Invoice that UW generate is not valide. So i dont know what to do now.

Ok I understand. You actually don't need to issue the invoice but your freelancer does.  Have you considered signing an agreement with the freelancer, one that wouldn't require you to pay any social security etc? (not an expert on types of work contracts in Germany though) I believe in that case you wouldn't need an invoice. Unless you want one for some reasons I'm now aware of. 

 

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@louqmane G wrote:

first of all, thanx for the response.

 

___________

 

in order for the invoice to be valide (in germany) i need a VTA number. My Freelancer (hwo is not in EU) have no VAT Number. I already payed my Freelancer an amount of 2000$.

If the freelancer is not living in the EU he/she cannot provide a VAT number but the invoice has to show the freelancers address. Provided the freelancer's business is registrated you should know this number. 

 

And my Accounter says that the Invoice that UW generate is not valide. So i dont know what to do now.

Yes, your tax consultant is right as far as EU countries are affected. A well-known problem in this community. Please read the other discussions here about VAT and invoices. This might help.

 

Moreover, it would be nice to have a statement from an Upwork representative to a client's concern/problem who has spent already 2,000 USD on this platform. It does not help recommending a tax consultant here who can only confirm what the OP has mentioned already.

 

thank you verry much for youre response and for all the other usefull posts!!


@louqmane G wrote:

first of all, thanx for the response.

 

in order for the invoice to be valide (in germany) i need a VTA number. My Freelancer (hwo is not in EU) have no VAT Number. I already payed my Freelancer an amount of 2000$. And my Accounter says that the Invoice that UW generate is not valide. So i dont know what to do now.


If your freelancer is not in the EU he can't have a VAT number. You are responsible to file the import with the authorities and to pay the importation VAT.

 


@louqmane G wrote:

first of all, thanx for the response.

 

in order for the invoice to be valide (in germany) i need a VTA number. My Freelancer (hwo is not in EU) have no VAT Number. I already payed my Freelancer an amount of 2000$. And my Accounter says that the Invoice that UW generate is not valide. So i dont know what to do now.


 Did you ever manage to solve this? We are absolutely in the same situation - the authorities require a propoer invoice, our account was charged from Upwork and in the invoice generated from the system I can only see 'From: Freelancer's name', which is not enough for the local accounting. And I still don't get the point why we should be receiving invoices from the freelancer (she is not in EU) while all the financial transactions have gone to Upwork.


@Anna B wrote:

@louqmane G wrote:

first of all, thanx for the response.

 

in order for the invoice to be valide (in germany) i need a VTA number. My Freelancer (hwo is not in EU) have no VAT Number. I already payed my Freelancer an amount of 2000$. And my Accounter says that the Invoice that UW generate is not valide. So i dont know what to do now.


 Did you ever manage to solve this? We are absolutely in the same situation - the authorities require a propoer invoice, our account was charged from Upwork and in the invoice generated from the system I can only see 'From: Freelancer's name', which is not enough for the local accounting. And I still don't get the point why we should be receiving invoices from the freelancer (she is not in EU) while all the financial transactions have gone to Upwork.


 Anna,

 

The invoices generated by Upwork on behalf of the freelancer are absolutely okay for our tax office in Germany as long as the freelancer is outside the EU and the invoice confirms this. There is no requirement what an invoice has to look like if your partner is outside the EU. If you are not happy with them, ask the freelancer to issue the invoices and send them to you. Running all transactions through Upwork is also no problem, no difference to running all financial transactions through a bank, PayPal, a factoring bank or the likes. And, don't forget to file your import and pay the importation VAT on it.


@Anne T wrote:

Hi Margarate

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

However, the VAT number of Upwork is a MOSS number ( Mini one stop shop) and does not validate in the EU VEIS system so I am not sure I can use this VAT number.

 

My accountant is looking into this.

 

Anne


Yes you can use it. 

Hello,

 

I would like to give this conversation a little new input as I face the same problem. (Freelancer, registered company in Austria, VAT liable. 

 

Please see my final question at the bottom, it concerns their VAT (MOSS) number.

 

My problem is the same: I do not know who to invoice for my Upwork jobs. Starting to invoice clients only works if they are willing to provide their companys details. If you only have what Upwork shares with the freelancer, I would need to invoice them as private entity and therefor charge VAT that I would need to have to pay myself then on top of it to the tax authorities. This certainly is not gonna happen.

So I had some calls with authorities, lawyers and the chamber of commerce and this is my status quo:

 

Since Upwork issues invoices on my behalf to the clients, without providing me as service provider with those invoices, Upwork also has to act as entity that can be invoiced on feelancers behalf. They constantly state, they are only a intermediary agent and administrator of money and therefore are not liable for the problem how the freelancer settles proper accounting according to VAT rules. Fine. But on the other end they issue invoices for services (that they never executed theirseves). By doing that, all autorities confirmed to me, they also can be taken as means on our end. If I do not know better, and act in goodwill, I understand this action by Upwork as they actually charge the client for my services. Therefor I will charge (issue invoices for my accounting) Upwork for just the same. They cannot tell the freelancer to only act as intermediate, but at the same time become an active entity that charges services to clients.

 

I am curious about your point of view.

 

And would again like to confirm that the VAT (MOSS) Number from Upwork can be used as VAT number on invoices for proof of them being a legal business? Or do I still have to add a certificate of Registration to proof that I inovice them without VAT (thats the whole point certainly). 

 

 


@Sandra L wrote:

 

Since Upwork issues invoices on my behalf to the clients, without providing me as service provider with those invoices, Upwork also has to act as entity that can be invoiced on feelancers behalf. They constantly state, they are only a intermediary agent and administrator of money and therefore are not liable for the problem how the freelancer settles proper accounting according to VAT rules. Fine. But on the other end they issue invoices for services (that they never executed theirseves). By doing that, all autorities confirmed to me, they also can be taken as means on our end. If I do not know better, and act in goodwill, I understand this action by Upwork as they actually charge the client for my services. Therefor I will charge (issue invoices for my accounting) Upwork for just the same. They cannot tell the freelancer to only act as intermediate, but at the same time become an active entity that charges services to clients.

 

No they don't. They issue the invoices on your behalf, i.e. your name is on the invoice as sender and if you provided Upwork with your UID this will also appear on the invoices. BTW, Upwork is the only freelancer site that I know of that doesn't give the freelancer access to the invoices. Must be some very unique problem thay are facing.

 

I am curious about your point of view.

 

And would again like to confirm that the VAT (MOSS) Number from Upwork can be used as VAT number on invoices for proof of them being a legal business? Or do I still have to add a certificate of Registration to proof that I inovice them without VAT (thats the whole point certainly). 

 

Why should you not be able to use it? It's a legal UID. But you don't need it for invoicing them. They are not located in the EU but a third country (Drittland), no UID necessary. You never charge VAT to companies not located in the EU.

 


 

True, I do not charge VAT to countries outside of the EU. But then I actually need them to proof me their state of being legal business. Certificate of registration etc. Something that tax authorities in Austria accept as proof of not charging VAT for my services. If they check me, the autorities want to know why I do not charge VAT for all my services.

 

Upwork does not charge VAT on their invoices on my behalf to my clients, correct? Disregarding if I provide them with a VAT  number or not. 

 

What do you do actually to keep your performed services correct in terms of VAT regulations? 


@Sandra L wrote:

True, I do not charge VAT to countries outside of the EU. But then I actually need them to proof me their state of being legal business. Certificate of registration etc. Strange. Nothing like this here in Germany that I know of.  Something that tax authorities in Austria accept as proof of not charging VAT for my services. If they check me, the autorities want to know why I do not charge VAT for all my services. If you sell abroad your tax authorities won't get any VAT either way. If you sell products to an individual located in in another EU member state you have to charge him his VAT and pay it to his tax authorities. If you sell services you can use the simplified invoice and don't have to mention the recipients VAT ID.

 

Upwork does not charge VAT on their invoices on my behalf to my clients, correct? Disregarding if I provide them with a VAT  number or not. Correct. 

 

What do you do actually to keep your performed services correct in terms of VAT regulations? I ask my clients for their address details and if in Europe for their VAT ID should they have one. Most do. Importing and exporting gets too complicated otherwise.


 

Hi Joachim,

 

I am new on Upwork and have a couple of questions regarding invoicing. I am registered in Germany as a "Freiberufler" with a "Ust.-ID / VAT" to offer international services (I do not have a "Gewerbe"!). 

 

I followed a couple of your posts to understand, how I can invoice best via this platform. I understood that you send your clients invoices that you created yourself.

Client from EU: You ask for their address details and VAT ID. I assume that you add a sentence such as "Reverse charge, VAT due to recipient"?

 

But how do you deal with clients that are based outside the EU, e.g. US or Canada? I am a little worried about accepting job offers from countries outside the EU.

 

Also, I am wondering if it is benefitial for me to give Upwork my VAT number. I have only started to do my "Umsatzsteuervoranmeldung" a few months ago and so far have only made "NULL-Meldungen".   

 

Thanks a lot,

Anne

 

 

 


@Annegret B wrote:

Hi Joachim,

 

I am new on Upwork and have a couple of questions regarding invoicing. I am registered in Germany as a "Freiberufler" with a "Ust.-ID / VAT" to offer international services (I do not have a "Gewerbe"!). 

 

I followed a couple of your posts to understand, how I can invoice best via this platform. I understood that you send your clients invoices that you created yourself.

Client from EU: You ask for their address details and VAT ID. I assume that you add a sentence such as "Reverse charge, VAT due to recipient"?

 

But how do you deal with clients that are based outside the EU, e.g. US or Canada? I am a little worried about accepting job offers from countries outside the EU.

 

Also, I am wondering if it is benefitial for me to give Upwork my VAT number. I have only started to do my "Umsatzsteuervoranmeldung" a few months ago and so far have only made "NULL-Meldungen".   

 

Thanks a lot,

Anne

 

 

 


 Hi Anne,

 

You need not be worried. Meanwhile Upworks's invoices are good enough even for business within the EU. VAT reverse charged is already printed on the invoices. Just take care that you have entered your VAT ID into your profile. A problem persisting are the client's data. Normally getting the address is no problem, if you ask nicely after you have seen that it isn't shown on the invoice. In most cases you can even look it up on the internet. More of a challenge is the client's VAT ID. You need this at the time you send your quote and there is no way to see whether or not the client has a VAT ID or not before quoting. That's why I always quote inclusive 19% German VAT and inform the client that I can amend my proposal to show the price without the 19% VAT if they provide their VAT ID before awarding the job. I then test the VAT ID in the EU's VIES system before I amend my proposal. If you have your client's VAT ID and it is not displayed on the invoice, no problem, just handwrite it on the invoice so that you can enter it into your accounting software. Most commercial clients have a VAT ID. Please also remember, for clients within Germany you always have to charge VAT.

 

Even less of a problem are clients outside the EU. Even if they just mention their name and the country in their profile and invoice, that's good enough. No VAT charge for them, I don't even quote including VAT for these. Leave it to the German authorities to run an audit of Upwork if they want to have the full address details of the clients. So far my Finanzamt hasn't objected. I'm pretty sure that after the first audit by a member state of the EU Upwork will make full address details compulsory.

 

With regards to the Umsatzsteuervoranmeldung, I don't do it. I file my VAT once a year with the Finanzamt. I have just a small handful of clients I need to charge VAT, as 99% of my business is outside of Germany and my EU clients have VAT IDs. Therefore I always receive a nice amount returned by the Finanzamt early the next year. I have to pay more VAT then I charge.

Hi Joachim,

 

Thank you so much for your elaborate and very clear reply. This was helpful to get started!

 

Is it correct that you stopped sending additional invoices? I am a little surprised that it is sufficient to handwrite the VAT on the invoice. For my part: I am not yet using an accounting software but only have to hand in an "Einkommensüberschussrechung" to the tax office (made with Excel). Do I presume correctly that you transfer the invoice number from Upwork to your software or do you create a new one?

 

I hope it is not too detailed: where do you declare the VAT that you pay to receive the return?

 

Thank you, Joachim!

 

Anne


@Annegret B wrote:

Hi Joachim,

 

Thank you so much for your elaborate and very clear reply. This was helpful to get started!

 

Is it correct that you stopped sending additional invoices? I am a little surprised that it is sufficient to handwrite the VAT on the invoice. For my part: I am not yet using an accounting software but only have to hand in an "Einkommensüberschussrechung" to the tax office (made with Excel). Do I presume correctly that you transfer the invoice number from Upwork to your software or do you create a new one?

 

I hope it is not too detailed: where do you declare the VAT that you pay to receive the return?

 

Thank you, Joachim!

 

Anne


 Anne,

 

I now only send my own invoices to clients within Germany, as the VAT has to be displayed separately. 

With regards to software, I file my Einkommenssteuererklärung with the software from WISO, around 29 Euro per year, which also includes Einkommensüberschussrechnung. It's fully integrated into the software. In February I then file my Umsatzsteuererkläre via WISO and Elster (the transfer to the Finanzamt via Elster is automatic, you just have to push a button) and I also file my list of EU clients with their VAT IDs and their turnover to the Finanzamt Saarbrücken (handles this for all of Germany) via Elster.

Regarding handwriting the VAT ID on Upwork's invoice, where's the difference between using a free PDF editor to edit the PDF file or use handwriting?

And yes, I just use Upwork's invoice number. Strictly speaking that's against the regulations but so far nobody ever cared. 

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