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How easy is it to set up as a freelance?

 
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MsDooLittle



Joined: 25 Jan 2009
Posts: 63
Location: somewhere else

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:50 am    Post subject: How easy is it to set up as a freelance? Reply with quote

Hello everyone,
First of all, big thanks for any info that can be provided.
I am currently based in Bratislava, Slovakia, and have been teaching English, mostly corporate, government and professionals for eight years. I work as a self-employed freelance teacher, using 'zivnostensky'; a icense to trade. The tax admin is a bit of a hassle but its otherwise a great way to work. Higher rates (no middleman) and total control.
Does a system like this exist in Italy?
Is it easy to set yourself up with self-employed status?
I'm keen to relocate to Italy and hoping such a system can be used...
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's easy to set up as a freelancer - as long as you have a codice fiscale (tax number) and are resident (i.e. EU citizen, or Italian nationality, etc.) By far the easiest way to do the paperwork is to get an accountant to do this all for you. Your accountant can advise you which category (of freelancing) you need to apply for, and which tax regime to go for. Then you get your vat number (Partita IVA) without which you cannot legally invoice a client. Once you are a "libera professionista" (i.e. freelancer) you can work and invoice. You pay VAT quarterly, and income tax (applied to preceeding year's income as well as forward tax for present year's income) once a year. Your accountant can also show you how to write an invoice - what to include and what not to include.

Many schools prefer to take on libera professionista rather than on contract, as it saves them money in insurance. But as it might take you time to get residency, you may need to go the paid contract route first, so you can work, and start building up your client list while you wait.
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MsDooLittle



Joined: 25 Jan 2009
Posts: 63
Location: somewhere else

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks TiR - that's exactly what I was hoping to hear. Sounds a lot like the system I am using. How easy is it to find an English speaking accountant?
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Um, that's the hard part!

My accountant isn't English speaking, though he occasionally ventures a "hello". He was the company accountant, so I felt confident that he was good - and he is. I already knew some Italian before I went in to see him, and I'd prepared a list of tax words that I thought would come up.

Ask the school where you end up working if they can recommend an accountant for you (perhaps their own) and get someone to go along and help translate for you. It's probably in their interests to get you off contract and working as a freelancer as soon as possible - especially if they like the way you work for them - so don't be afraid to ask for their help.

Accountants can be quite pricey, so if your tax position is relatively simple (i.e. no mortgage tax relief etc) you can also use the free offices (think these are run by CGIL) to do your annual tax returns. But if you're also charging VAT on your invoice, it makes sense to hire an accountant. It's financial peace of mind, in my opinion.
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