Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Farewell "green receipts"

Here in Portugal one option for a worker is "freelance".

A "freelancer" (doctor, architect, writer, translator - you get the idea) provides a service and receives payment after submitting a "green receipt" to the client. The green receipt serves as an official document and is proof of payment.

After earning somewhere in the neighborhood of €12,000 per annum this system becomes more complicated. The client must pay a tax (20%) to the freelancer. The freelancer then passes these funds along to the state quarterly.

It's not like a pay raise or any kind of benefit. What it boils down to is just one more thing to do as the freelancer is required to file a form online and submit the funds. (You might remember my bitch, I mean post, last year as a result of NOT filing IVA at a time when I had no income . . .)

This whole IVA system was once again in the news. Seems that you are now obliged to file an end of the year form that nobody knows about. Evidently this law has been in place for a couple of years now and the fines for the 200,000 people who have not complied with this piece of legislation (because they didn't even KNOW about it - duh!!) have been cancelled (isn't that generous).

I was once-again reminded that ignorance of the law is never an excuse for non-compliance but this seems a little ridiculous to me. I think that most people would file all the governmental forms they need to IF they are AWARE of them.

Since these forms are all filed electronically and the govt has our email addresses - wouldn't it be in their best interest to send out an email explaining what needs to be done? Or could they maybe (and forgive me if I'm wrong but I'm just thinkin' out loud here) create a pop-up when the freelancer logs into the system to pay their quarterly fees? How about a video? a mass-marketing email? a podcast? a cartoon? a PhotoStory? an e-newsletter? an e-card?

Anyway enough of my bitching about that because I have just cancelled my status as a "freelancer" and have a book of green reciepts if anybody needs one. . .

No comments: