Accountability GoFundMe

Dear donors,

First of all, thank you again for your generous donations that made the translation possible! On this page, I explain how the donations were spent.

Donations received

The image below is a screenshot from the GoFundMe website. It shows how much was donated and how much of it I received net.

Donations received: €8,451.
Costs for GoFundMe and the like: €322.30.
Net received: €8,128.70.

Total costs and the deficit

The calculation below shows what the total cost of the translation was.

Net paid to translation agency Native Speaker Services LLC: €8,149.33. This is the total amount of the invoices. The invoices are included at the bottom of this page as evidence.

It looks just like the shortfall is €8,128.70 – €8,149.33 = -€20.63. Almost nothing, in other words. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case. This is due to €1,441 in so-called ‘reverse charge VAT’ I had to pay to the Dutch tax authorities. As a result, I paid a total of €8,149.33 + €1,441 = €9,590.33. The shortfall is therefore €8,128.70 – €9,590.33 = -€1,461.63. There is a rather technical explanation of exactly how this works under the following heading for those interested.

Due to the reverse charge of VAT, the total cost of translation was thus almost one and a half thousand euros higher. In addition, there were some additional costs related to preparing the English report and the English Technical Appendix for printing and publishing. Things like proofs, isbn numbers, making the website bilingual, setting up the webshop and so on. I also had the article translated at Wynia’s Week that accompanied the publication of the Dutch translation. The deficit and other additional costs were partly paid for by donations outside GoFundMe and partly from private funds.

On reverse charge VAT

“Under the reverse charge mechanisme VAT is reverse-charged from the supplier to the customer. The supplier does not charge VAT, but reverse-charges VAT to the entrepreneur who purchases goods or services.”
The translation agency’s invoices stated the reverse charge of VAT with text such as: “21% VAT reverse charge / Reverse charge applies according to article 12, para 3 of Dutch VAT law”.
I consulted the Dutch tax authorities about the reverse charge VAT. They took the position that whole process of publishing the translated report is a commercial activity, because I wanted to release the books in physical form as a publisher and that cannot be done for free, hence commercial. Even if I don’t sell any books, it is still a commercial activity according to the Dutch tax authorities. So the expected limited circulation was not an argument to get out of this, as far as the tax authorities were concerned. They advised me to enter the donations as taxable income and the translation costs as deductible expenses (so the two cancel each other out). That way I avoid retrospective assessments. So I followed the tax authorities’ advice. But that did cause me to have to pay reverse-charge VAT on the translation costs. In total, I paid €1,441 in reverse charge VAT to the tax authorities.

The invoices

The invoices from the payment agency are shown below. I have removed unnecessary information from the invoices.