Freelancers' Questions: Can I supply my UK clients from Italy?

Freelancer’s Question: My partner who is Italian will be moving to Rome for work and I will also be accompanying him there. I work remotely and am currently registered as self-employed in the UK. I am a UK citizen.

Please could you advise me on what I should do with regards to tax once in Italy? My clientele is UK-based, but I would be working remotely in Italy.

Expert’s Answer: There are many elements that will influence how best to approach your situation: Do you have multiple clients or just one? Are you effectively an employee of one company but registered self-employed? Is this a permanent move to Italy? For the benefit of providing some guidance, I am going to assume that you have more than one client and you will be residing in Italy permanently.

With this in mind, as you are based in Italy and carrying out the work in Italy on a full-time basis, your absolute priority will be to ensure that you are set up to pay Italian tax and Italian social security.

There are a number of different ways that you can get registered locally. You can either find an Italian payroll provider company; set yourself up as a freelancer in Italy; or open up your own Italian limited company and invoice this way. The best option depends on which one works out to be the most tax-efficient as well as what best suits your clients in the UK. For example, they may choose not to accept an invoice from an Italian freelancer.

Whatever option you decide is best, the simple answer is that you are living and working in Italy, so whatever you do to manage this income must be Italian. In the first instance, I would recommend that you speak to an Italian accountant as soon as possible to benefit from expert guidance taking all of your personal and professional circumstances into account.

The expert was Matt Walters, a director at Capital Consulting, a compliance advisory to UK professionals who freelance overseas.


20th October 2016

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