Contractors’ Questions: Can I get paid into my foreign bank account?

Contractor’s Question: I’m a UK-registered freelancer originally from Germany. As I have a number of clients from Germany now, I was wondering whether they could simply pay me in Euros into my German bank account to avoid exchange fees? Is there anything I should keep in mind concerning this? Would I need to put Euros and Pounds on the invoice, and the exchange rate on the date?

Expert’s Answer: There should be no reason not to be able to request payment into your German account and indeed doing so may provide your German clients with an easier option with, as you mention, the possible avoidance of transfer fees and eliminating the impact of exchange rate movements.

Clearly, your knowledge of your client base will give you a good insight into whether you think there would be an uptake on this and whether any additional costs to you for altering the invoice would be worthwhile. Providing this option to clients could be regarded as a ‘value-add’ to the services you already provide.

It would be worth noting the amount in both Euro and GBP on the invoice. Doing this would provide the client with the option of paying in either currency and therefore avoid any confusion over what is due, should the client choose to pay in the currency not marked on the invoice. From your point of view, the average timeframe between invoicing and payment being received should probably be factored in to the exchange rate you apply.

Should you be in the position that you are looking to then move the funds between currencies, you would have the ability to time the transfers to your own benefit. Speaking with a currency broker to help manage the funds could benefit you even more, as you’d then be getting expert insight into the timing of any trades. A good broker will also keep you informed of market movements and update you on market data due out.

So yes, exploring the option of your clients paying in Euros and you controlling the rate could work for all parties, and make the process more straightforward.

The expert was Euan McLachlan, a manager at foreign currency broker FC Exchange.

Editor's Note: Related --

Contractors' Questions: How to go freelance in Germany?

IT Contracting in Germany -- Living & Working

Contractors' Questions: How to freelance in Germany 'on the side'?

Thursday 24th May 2018
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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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