A law was passed in Belarus where a Value Added Tax (VAT) is applied to sales of electronic services from non-Belarusian businesses (like Upwork) to Belarusian consumers.
This means that Upwork will start charging VAT on our fees charged to freelancers and agencies in Belarus starting March 1, 2019. VAT charges will NOT apply if you are operating as a separate legal entity in Belarus on Upwork.
If you are a representative of a legal entity on Upwork, please enter your taxpayer identification number (TIN). Upwork will validate the information and send you an email within 3 days letting you know if your information has been validated or declined.
Enter your TIN Now
Once validated, Upwork will not charge this tax. We will print "VAT Reverse Charged" on your invoice, however, and you may be required to self-assess VAT on your VAT return under the reverse-charge mechanism applicable to e-services.
If you are using Upwork as an individual entrepreneur and not for a separate legal entity, a 20% VAT will be applied to the fees we collect from you (e.g., Upwork service fees, membership fees, or purchases of additional Connects). Per Belarusian law for digital services, the 20% VAT will be added to the applicable Upwork fees and will appear on your invoices as one bundled fee.
You will not be charged VAT on all earnings from your clients, only on the fees you pay to Upwork.
Here's a simple example of how it would work, assuming a 20% Upwork Service Fee:
Your contract amount $100.00
Upwork service fee (including VAT)
Upwork's service fee is $100 x 20% = $20
E-services VAT to be paid to the Belarus government by Upwork is $20 x 20% = $4
Total fees including VAT is $20 + $4 = $24 -$24.00
Your take-home earnings after fees and VAT $76.00
In other words, considering the example above, you will only be charged VAT on the $20 freelancer service fee you pay, meaning you will be charged $4 for VAT. These amounts will appear on your invoices and Transaction History and will be calculated in U.S. Dollars.
If you have questions regarding your tax obligations, please consult your tax advisor. For more information on our VAT policy, please see this help article. If you have questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Upwork Team