How to Issue Invoices as a Teacher

Every English teacher in Poland will hear this question countless times. It usually comes up when you approach a new school or client as a freelance teacher:

“Can you issue invoices?”

If you’ve never freelanced or done business before, your reaction is probably something along the lines of “can I issue what?” To make it even more confusing, you’ll sometimes hear the Polish word faktura for invoice thrown in.

An invoice (faktura in Polish) is the business equivelant to the bill that a waiter hands you at a restaurant. It is a request for payment issued by a business to a customer in exchange for a product or service. Just like that bill at the restaurant, it is clearly itemized with every product or service the business has provided, their prices, and the necessary Value Added Tax (VAT – or for you Americans, “sales tax.”)

If you’re teaching as a freelancer, you are the business and you are providing services (teaching) to a customer (the school or private student). Would you feel comfortable paying for a meal at a restaurant without looking at the bill? Very likely not. For the same reason, many schools, business, and private students are hesitant to pay for teaching services without an invoice.

Why every teacher should issue invoices?

Let’s cut right to the chase. Under Polish law, it is not legal to be paid for any freelance teaching services without issuing an invoice. If you are teaching a student and the student or school is paying you, they must either A) pay you as an employee through a work or employment contract, or B) pay you as a service provider through an invoice that you’ve sent them.

Is it common for students to pay their tutors in cash to get around this? Of course. But it’s not legal. For this reason, many students (and the vast majority of schools and businesses) will only work with teachers who can issue a faktura.

By doing private teaching without invoices, you run the risk of not only being caught doing unregistered business activity, but also have no legal protection for your services. Your students can refuse to pay, ditch off, screw you over and leave you with no legal recourse, as technically you’ve been doing something illegal the whole time.

There are numerous reasons why schools prefer to work with freelance teachers instead of employed teachers. Foreign language teaching has the unique status in Poland of being one of the few VAT-free industries. What this means is that when a school pays a freelance teacher through an invoice there is zero Value Added Tax. So remarkably, the school pays zero taxes when paying the teacher

To put things in perspective, the typical VAT in Poland is 23%, and taxes for employed teachers start at 17%, and can be as high as over 50% depending on the contract and salary. So for a school, it’s really a no brainer to pay an English teacher through an invoice rather than through an employment or work contract.

Of course, that doesn’t mean freelancers avoid all taxes. As a service provider, you are obligated to file your own taxes just like any other business. But more on that later.

So how do I issue invoices?

faktura cannot be issued by an individual; only by a legally registered business.

So logically, the first step to being able to teach legally as a freelancer and issue invoices is to register a business entity. The most basic type of business in Poland is a sole proprietorship, or firma jednoosobowa as it’s called in Polish.

This article won’t go into details about the process of registering a business as there are many excellent blog posts on this subject (such as this one). The process is quite paperwork heavy and will certainly require the assistance of a Polish-speaker (or extensive use of Google Translate). But it can be done in less than a week, and many accountants will take care of it for a very small fee.

Business ain’t easy. Neither is running a sole proprietorship business in Poland. Every invoice must be carefully processed through an accountant to ensure that all taxes are paid correctly. Social security contributions must also be carefully calculated and paid every month. Failing to comply with tax and social security laws can land you in a whole heap of trouble.

If this didn’t sound complicated enough, there’s more bad news. Unfortunately, only EU citizens, permanent residents, and nationals of a select few other countries (good news for Americans: the United States included) can open sole proprietorship companies in Poland. So, if you’re not American or European, most likely your only option will opening another type of company.

With other forms of business, the costs and complexity only get worse. This article won’t explain these further (you can find a list of what businesses foreigners can open on the Polish government’s website), as any other type of company will be far too complex and costly for the average English teacher.

Are there any alternatives?

The simplest and most cost-effective way to start issuing invoices is to join a program such English Wizards’ Freelance Teaching Program. For a small fee, English Wizards will provide you with a legal work permit and access to their accounting and invoicing system.

The entire system is almost completely “hands off;” you simply enter the details of the school or client to be invoiced, enter how much you’re charging per hour, and log your lessons through the online platform. You’ll get your full net rate at the end of the month, with English Wizards taking care of all the invoicing, taxes and accounting in the background.

Furthermore, as you aren’t technically a company, you’ll have zero social security dues to pay. So hurray to saving between 400 and 1 300zl per month! On top of that, being part of a teaching community comes with dozens of other non-tangible benefits for the freelance teacher, such as access to a library of lesson materials, a support network, job connections, and potential clients.

Offline vs. Online learning

New technologies and online learning are attracting more and more people. Regardless of whether you are a busy worker or student who has tones of classes and deadlines, online learning can be a good way to learn without even leaving your home. Learning a language with a teacher using an online tool such as Skype can mean one-on-one lessons at a reduced price. But are online English classes really a good substitute for the traditional way of studying? Look on the infographics to see all the pros and cons of online and offline lessons.

Write what is your favourite way of learning new languages in the comments. Let’s share!

P.S. You can find a native speaker for both online and offline learning on our website nativespeaker.com.pl/profiles/search .

Why should you learn language from a native speaker?

So, you’ve decided to learn a new language and already know the upcoming benefits from it: discovery of new opportunities, boost of your brain and connection to more people. Awesome! Now it’s the time to find an appropriate teacher. The biggest question for you right now is: should I go for native speaker or not? We believe there are tons of great teachers who studied English or any other language as their second, and sometimes they can explain some topics even better than the native speaker. However, we are convinced, that going for a person who was raised in needed language speaking environment and has been communicating with the people in this language for the whole life would be a better choice for most of us. Here are our 3 main reason why you should go for a native speaker after all. 

Learn the pronunciation

If you want to learn some endangered language, you find the native speaker of that language, listen to him and analyze what he or she talks and try to reproduce his accent into your language. The same goes for other languages: you find your native speaker at nativespeaker.com.pl, listen to him/her, talk and voila, you speak the language, simple as that! 

Learn a bunch of new vocabulary

There aren’t any textbooks or classes that will keep you up to date with the newest slang words, colloquialisms and phrasal verbs so you’ll not feel embarrassed in front of your new friends. The best way to master second language is to simply live it, whether it’s being in another country or talking to a person from that country. 

You will better understand culture and customs

Wise man said that language is a verbal expression of culture. So besides just learning a language, you’ll deep dive into another person’s world, their traditions and custom that will not only enhance your understanding of the language, but also will give you another perspective on how people live their lives, do everyday things and behave in society.

Still not convinced whether you should go for native speaker or not? Check out our native speakers(https://nativespeaker.com.pl/profiles/search) and other articles in our blog, and decide yourself!

How to learn a new language?

Have you ever thought how to learn a language in the most efficient and effective way? If so, then there is a four-step method based on the principles of creating personalized cards and repeating intervals, extremely powerful learning tools that optimize the memory capabilities of your brain. So you not only learn the language quickly, but also remember it for a long time.

Step 1. Start with a listening. 

From the really beginning, start with the basics of pronunciation. You need to know how the language sounds before you can learn to speak it. Before you can begin to collect memories for words, your brain must create a spelling and a solid foundation on which to build these memories.

You can also train your ears with minimal paired tests.What does it mean? “Minimal pair” is a set of two words that differ only in one sound, for example, “hit” and “hid”. It trains your ears in order to help you hear the subtle nuances in your new language. In just a couple of weeks, you will find that you can reconfigure  to hear new, extraneous sounds, just by checking yourself using notes of very similar words.

Step 2. Memorizing is not the best solution.

The four-step method encourages you to learn words through guided discovery, rather than trying to learn words by memorizing translations. This has three advantages: first, when you learn new words with the images you select and create unique memories that your brain can remember more easily. Second, you reinforce the basics of sound and spelling that you created in Step 1. Third, you learn to think in your target language.

Step 3. Learn grammar not though memorizing.

Want to learn the abstract word? Other methods suggest that you memorize its translation, but you will learn much faster by studying it in the context of a sentence. In the process of woking with exact sentence, you will intuitively understand how the grammar works in your new language.

Step 4. Develop your speaking with a native speaker.

Fluency in speech is not the ability to know every word and grammatical education in a language. It is rather the ability to use any words and grammar that you know to say what’s on your mind. This is a learned skill that you can work with directly and effectively, even at a starting level. Obviously, classes with a native speaker will significantly help you to develop your both colloquial and grammar.

Speech practice combines all the data that you cram into your head, and turns them into a cohesive, honed language. This leads to a continuous cycle of improvement: the more vocabulary you learn, the easier it will be to talk about a wide variety of topics. The more you practice speaking, the easier it will be to consume foreign entertainment and learn new words, grammar, phrases and slang.

We have over 500 native speakers in all the cities in Poland. Just take a look https://nativespeaker.com.pl/profiles/search and choose the best one!

The history of NativeSpeaker.com.pl

2006 – registration of the domain

Although it’s unclear who did register the domain first, this was the first time the Internet has heard of it.

2010 – Facebook fanpage is born

The original founder of the website has probably bought the domain and created a Facebook fanpage, still available at the same address. We’ve even managed to find some screenshots:

NativeSpeaker.com.pl screenshot prior to 2017

2017 – the website is rebuilt

The website, originally running on Drupal technology, was experiencing software erosion and the decision has been made to drastically simplify and rebuild it. The website would also gain a new look:

NativeSpeaker.com.pl after being rebuilt in 2017

The new design was intended to be a temporary one, but it lasted for the next two years.

2019 – entirely new, tailor-made design

NativeSpeaker.com since redesign in 2019

The website’s design is tailor-made to what you can see right now. Enjoy 😎