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Freelancer-GAF: How have things worked out for you?

Herr Edgy

Member
Jul 25, 2019
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Ok so, I'm from Germany and recently registered as a freelancer. I have a pretty big fish as my first client, contract isn't signed yet though.
In any case, laws are really confusing around that. Spoke to an accountant who was willing to answer questions without pay, but as it turns out, he knows jackshit about US tax law.

Now, looking around the internet, it becomes really hard to find good information. Either it's about freelancers from inside the US, or a different tax treaty applies, or there is just contradicting information or straight up misinformation floating about.

I was researching about US tax law for a couple days now and figured out that due to our tax treaty I don't need to pay income tax. However sales tax might apply.
As far as I learned sales tax is only applied at the end sale to the consumer; implying if I develop some software for my client, who then in turn uses my work for other clients and consumers to use, there won't be any sales tax in the transactions between me and the client. This is so different from the EU VAT, where any transaction charges extra VAT so the cost still ends up at the consumer at the end, but it makes it easier for me in the US, if I'm correct about that.

So I thought: why not ask Gaf about their experiences. No matter if you can answer questions I have or not, what were your experiences, any hassles that creep into your life because no one was able to tell you before it hit you?
How has freelancing been working out for you? Is it a hassle acquiring clients internationally for countries outside of your jurisdiction? Inside the EU it's pretty clear cut with the VAT ID and the reverse charge system for VAT/sales tax, but between countries with vastly different tax systems it becomes quite annoying.
 
Dec 4, 2019
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Have been freelancing in (only) NL for 8 years. Best decision ever.

Have a marketable skill (programming for me) and customers will just come to you (linkedin helps).
Pay an accountant so you don't have to hurt yourself figuring out those dumbass laws when it comes to taxes.

Freelancing means you don't have to take shit, even from employers. After all, you can easily just work elsewhere.
Remember who signs off on your checks, you work for him.
Always keep looking for new clients, keeps your current clients on their toes.

Freelancing is about breaking free from the slavery that is working for salaries. You are on your own.
 
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Herr Edgy

Member
Jul 25, 2019
418
704
505
Have been freelancing in (only) NL for 8 years. Best decision ever.

Have a marketable skill (programming for me) and customers will just come to you (linkedin helps).
Pay an accountant so you don't have to hurt yourself figuring out those dumbass laws when it comes to taxes.

Freelancing means you don't have to take shit, even from employers. After all, you can easily just work elsewhere.
Remember who signs off on your checks, you work for him.
Always keep looking for new clients, keeps your current clients on their toes.

Freelancing is about breaking free from the slavery that is working for salaries. You are on your own.
That's really cool. I kinda slipped into this opportunity, I was (still am technically) finishing up my master's degree in Computer Science (hey!). Was doing a job as a working student with pay that was okay for a student but not for long term. And with that contract I'd get a bit more than triple that - yes, freelancer deductions it's not going to be quite as much in the end but it's a huge buff compared to before.

I'm currently looking for an accountant that can handle international law, but time is pressing. Job is supposed to start January 11th lol