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Having no tax information

I am going to move to the Netherlands from Belarus and I want to work on Upwork form there. But for some time I won't be a Dutch tax resident. And I'm not registered as an individual entrepreneur. Is it obligatory to have your own tax information to work here or will I have to use my boyfriend's tax information? He's Dutch and has his own company. Or even can I use his information?
Thank you for the reply and advice!

Community Member

I don't think your physical location matters to Upwork. Your residency does. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Darya, 

We always recommend for users to get in touch with a trusted local tax advisor for tax-related questions as we won't be able to give advice on that. However, I would like to share this help article about VAT which will hopefully clarify some things for you. 

As for moving to another country, once you've settled in your new place, please don't forget to update your address in your profile. 


P.S. I hope you don't have a hard time packing and moving! Robot Happy

~ Avery

Hi! I'm new to Upwork and have the same problem! I couldn't find an email address to get the answers for my questions.

I'm moving to EU (France) from Belarus by the end of the year, or at the beginning of the next year (it's not yet clear how long the documents preparation will take). I went to the tax office in Belarus to ask how I can legally freelance while I haven't moved yet, and the first reaction from the tax officer was "what exactly do I mean by FREESTYLE" 😞 and the officer was serious.

Then I talked to another tax officer that said that I have to become an individual entrepreneur to work on Upwork. But becoming an IE is a very serious commitment to the country I will soon leave and automatically makes me a subject to at least $600 of tax a year no matter how much I earn. This is the retirement tax, but since I'm moving to France and am planning to live there I won't get any retirement money from Belarus when I'm old. So it doesn't make any sense in my situation. Also, if I don't find clients on Upwork or stop working on Upwork, I'm still an IE in Belarus (who I will only become to work on Upwork) and I'm still the subject to paying the tax. Closing IE is a long and complicated process.

I also don't understand how the address on my profile affects the VAT payment. If I travel a lot, how often do I need to change the address? And how does the address affect how Upwork pays VAT for me and how I pay my taxes if I have Belarusian IE tax information but French address on my profile?

My boyfriend lives in France, is a French tax resident and is an IE. He suggested that I use his tax information on my profile while I'm in residence transition phase. Is it possible and legal? I don't want to break the law.

I also have read a lot of articles and discussions on the contracts between Upwork, clients and freelancers, but it's still not clear for me: I work on Upwork but I'm not hired by Upwork. I also work for clients and pay taxes for money I receive from them for my work, but Upwork takes 20% of this money, but I pay the tax from the original amount of the money I earned before the commission. I don't understand the working relationship with Upwork. Can it be explained in simple words?

I see Upwork as a source of extra income and I can't figure out if it's a good idea in my current situation. For now it seems that I'm at a high risk of paying a lot of taxes and getting in debt instead of making some extra money.

To sum it up, my questions are:
1) is it only possible to work here if you are an IE(or legal entity)? Can't just a person be a freelancer?
2) how does the address on my profile affect the taxes Upwork pays and the taxes I pay?
3) working on Upwork and becoming an IE is my own risk and if I fail to earn enough money on Upwork to pay mandatory IE taxes it is only my own problem?

I'm very thankful for any helpful information. Thank you in advance!


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