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Freelance invoicing: everything freelancers in Bulgaria need to know

02.10.2023
Freelance invoicing: everything freelancers in Bulgaria need to know

The emerging world of freelancing offers flexibility and freedom, but it also brings its own administrative challenges. In Bulgaria, as in many other countries, freelancers face specific requirements related to invoicing for their services. Sometimes this process can be confusing, especially if you are new to the field. In this article, we will look at the key aspects and best practices for freelance invoicing in the context of Bulgarian legislation.

Substantive legal

In Bulgaria, freelancing, like other types of independent professions, is regulated by a number of regulations. The main requirements for issuing invoices are determined by the Value Added Tax Act (VAT Act) and the Commercial Act. It is important for every freelancer to be informed of the relevant legal requirements to ensure the legality of their activities. Misunderstanding the legal framework can lead to mistakes and unpleasant consequences, including penalties and fines.

Types of invoices

Depending on the nature of the service and the location of the client, freelancers may need to issue different types of invoices. This includes basic invoices, invoices for advance payments or invoices for international services. Each of these invoices has its own specifications and features. Knowing the different types of invoices is key to avoid legal or tax problems.

Basic elements of the invoice

Each document issued as an invoice must contain a number of basic elements: details of the seller and buyer (including UIC/BULSTAT), a unique invoice number, the date of issue, a description of the service or product provided, the price excluding VAT, the amount of VAT and the final price including VAT. It is also good practice to include additional terms or specifications if this is necessary in relation to the contract with the customer.

Taxes and fees

Freelancers whose annual turnover exceeds a certain limit are required to register for VAT. This brings with it obligations to charge, declare and pay the relevant tax. It is therefore important that freelancers are well informed about their tax obligations. Incorrect charging or declaration can lead to significant financial losses.

Tools and software

There are numerous software solutions on the market designed to automate the invoicing process. They can greatly simplify and speed up the work of freelancers, especially if they have a large number of clients. An example of such a solution is the Taxon program, which is widely used by Bulgarian freelancers thanks to its intuitiveness and reliability.

Common mistakes and ways to avoid them

Many freelancers make typical mistakes when issuing invoices – from omitting mandatory details to miscalculating VAT. It is therefore advisable to regularly consult an accountant or other specialist on the matter. Understanding with professionals can save a lot of headaches and keep you out of trouble.

International aspects

When freelancing services are provided to clients outside Bulgaria, it is important to keep in mind the specific requirements and rules related to international invoicing. This may include special VAT conditions, currency requirements or even country-specific regulations. Knowledge of international standards and regulations is key to any freelancer’s success in the international market.

Penalties for freelancing without issuing invoices and paying taxes

In Bulgaria, as in most countries, failure to issue invoices and pay taxes are serious offences that can lead to severe administrative and even criminal consequences. Irregular or incomplete declaration of income from freelance activities may be considered as tax evasion punishable by fines and additional tax interest. In some cases, if systematic violations are found, criminal proceedings may also be initiated against the offender. This can lead to significant financial losses and legal consequences for the freelancer. In addition, the professional’s reputation can be seriously damaged, which will hamper his or her future career and client relationships.

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