I work a full time job in the UK as a software developer. I've been asked by a friend who has a publishing house in Greece to do a translation for her. It'll be a one off and cost around £1000 (money I will earn without a vat consideration).

Do I need to charge for vat on top of that and then declare it to HMRC?

I read on the gov.uk website that there is a threshold of £1000 for which I don't need to fill out a self assessment tax return. Also, another threshold for £12,500 under which I don't have to register for VAT.

I'm not sure I'm understanding correctly the exemptions for my case as an individual in the UK providing a translation service for a business in EU.

Translation services websites seem to suggest that the vat charge should happen in the country where the consumer is based. Is it a case then where I simply mention the service is liable to a reverse vat or do I simply create an invoice that doesn't include any mention to VAT?

  • You say you have a full-time job. Are you employed or are you contractor? The answer will be different in each case.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 22:01
  • @Chenmunka I'm employed, full time.
    – nosegr
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 23:06

1 Answer 1


Ten years ago, I answered a similar UK-based question - but the answer for Greece-based clients is just the same, assuming your place of business is in the UK.

  1. Register as self-employed with HMRC (or create a limited company, but for occasional work that seems unnecessary)
  2. Register for the NI small profits exemption (although this will, in future, be unnecessary...)
  3. Invoice client, without VAT
  4. Incur some small expenses to keep you below the self-assessment threshold

For a total rate of £1,000 gross, registering for VAT is an unnecessary complication (IMHO) especially in a B2B relationship where the customer would reclaim it.

  • 1
    Thank you Andrew! I'd come to the same conclusion myself but it's great that your answer comes as a confirmation I did the right thing.
    – nosegr
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 12:05

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