I have recently received a job offer from a foreign company, the remote job is about programming and the requires me to be able to send them "the invoices" if I want to take the offer.

So I don't know exactly what "the invoices" means in this particular situation. Is that kind of the invoices that I must issue as an individual that I sell them my work so that they can do the tax declaration in their country?

If so, what about the validity of the invoice that I issue in my country, especially our countries don't use the same language, or they just don't care about that?

I also wonder what is the point of "invoices" here, is there anything not right about the offer, can I just ask them to directly pay me a lower rate and skip 'the invoices stuff'? Because it's kind of complicated stuff.

Thank you.

  • 2
    You should list the countries involved. Make an edit to your question and add tags. workplace.stackexchange.com may also be a good resource to find an answer.
    – Freiheit
    Mar 19 at 17:33
  • It means they don't (or can't) hire you as an actual employee. They want to hire you as a contractor, so any taxes, retirement, vacation/sick time is all on you.
    – mkennedy
    Mar 19 at 21:26
  • The country tag as said might help and you can just ask them what they mean, why play the guessing game? Mar 19 at 21:48
  • @mkennedy Well, so they just don't want to do paper stuff for me, everything is on my own, I have to be responsible for income tax declaration, If I don't declare tax, I have to responsible for that, and they have nothing to do with it right? Mar 20 at 7:49
  • @PhươngHầu: Depending on the countries involved, it's typical for businesses to report taxes for their contractors, but this is purely a notification (e.g., 1099-Misc); the contractor is still responsible for declaring/paying their taxes. Such reports mostly exist to make it easy for taxing authorities to catch contractors who don't declare their income.
    – Brian
    Mar 23 at 16:34

It sounds as though you will be working as a contractor, not a salaried employee.

So you both agree a contract setting out what work you will do, and how much you will be paid for it. At the end of each unit of work (that could be work packages, or just monthly), you send them an invoice, and they send the payment back to you.

The invoice is nothing more than a bit of paper (or electronic equivalent), that sets out what you have done, and how much they now owe you. If in doubt, ask the employer what information they expect to see on it. Most likely, it will need to quote a contract number, and have your details.

No large company will pay you without an invoice. They need that invoice for their records. Otherwise, it looks as though they are sending money to someone overseas for no reason. Their accountants won't be happy. The tax people may suspect some kind of tax fraud. It will end badly for them.

  • So how about the legal validity of the paper? Can I just download some random form from the internet and fill in the information and send them without informing my country's tax people? Mar 19 at 23:46
  • @PhươngHầu: There are many invoice templates online that you can use. The invoice itself is not really a legal document; it's just a communication from you to the employer saying "You owe me this amount of money." You will still (I assume) need to pay taxes on the income, but doing so is unrelated to sending the invoice.
    – BrenBarn
    Mar 20 at 2:54
  • @PhươngHầu There isn't really any legal validity. It's only there to document what you have done, and what you expect the customer to pay. No different from a bill in a restaurant, really. What you disclose to your tax authorities is another matter. I would not wish to encourage tax evasion by hiding income from them.
    – Simon B
    Mar 20 at 11:25
  • @SimonB I understand the situation better now thanks to your detailed answer. Thank you so much. Mar 20 at 14:46
  • It's not just overseas companies. At least in my experience (and I've been doing software contracting for a couple of decades) it's absolutely normal for any business.
    – jamesqf
    Mar 20 at 17:34

An invoice might just be your bill for your services. "Pay me!"

There are lots of resources for freelancers and self-employed people, e.g. https://quickbooks.intuit.com/self-employed/ allows you to generate invoices.

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