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Does Upwork handle taxes (sales tax, VAT) or do I need to handle all tax-related paperwork myself?

Dear customer support team,


I'm currently evaluating your platform to see if it is the right choice for me to handle my freelancing work. Since I couldn't find an email adress to contact you directly, I'll just by posting here directly.


I have a question specifically related to how Upwork handles taxes:
I'm from Germany and the German tax law would normally require me to manually pay all necessary taxes in the client's country (when doing business directly with the client).

The resulting overhead (contacting local tax authorities, registering, paperwork) makes a lot of potential work unfeasable for me, unfortunately.


I was hoping that by using Upwork, I could bypass all this overhead, but neither I nor my tax advisor could tell for sure how Upwork handles the actual payments, just by looking at your FAQ.


For example: If I (in Germany) work for a client in the USA, will Upwork handle all tax-related things (such as VAT, local sales tax, [...]) for me, or would I still need to take care of that myself?

Or, to put it differently: If I work via Upwork, do I (legally speaking) work for Upwork or with the client directly?


Thanks in advance and thank you for your time!
Best wishes,
Jan Ott

Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Hi Jan,


Just to clarify, we won't charge VAT if a freelancer or agency has a valid VAT number added on their Upwork profile. Freelancers and agencies with VAT numbers can add them by visiting the Accounts menu > Settings > Tax Information. If the tax ID that you submit isn't in the format provided by VIES, Upwork won't be able to validate it.
Our team will also reach out to you via ticket as soon as possible and will assist you further. Thank you.

~ Goran
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