Liquid Freelance in Europe: Al Dente - The Italian Style

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The differences in the definition and application of freelancing regimes in the working sphere have resulted often in legal suits. In order to avoid the widespread phenomenon of fake-freelancing (which would be the case if you are, for example, employed by a single company doing full-time work always within premises as describes a typical of contract-based work relationship), courts have in several occasions turned in favor of freelancers and in many cases appointed companies to normalize their relationship into an effective legal contract agreement.

There is confusion and on-going discussion both within parliament and in the work environment as to what standard practices apply for freelancing, and under which circumstances such a figure is employed. Laws are in turn quickly changed and enforced, causing the process to become more complicated and tedious.

The difficulty to keep updated with these laws also tends to disfavor a starting-up freelancer. Some work has been done through the joint effort of independent freelancers and associations to give some advice on tributary matters for independent figures, as is the example of the Survival Manual for Atypical Workers, Temporary Workers and Professionals (Manuale di sopravvivenza per lavoratori atipici, precari e professionisti), widely available on the web.

The examples we have chosen for this interview of course reflect merely three case scenarios of many within the European Union, and the situation within other countries is diverse. It is clear that fully explaining all of them would be an effort worthy of a proper specialist. So what has been done to unify or somehow make these systems compatible? As of today, in the European Communitarian Law System, there is the E101 certificate.

This procedure is viable for extra-national tax incomes within the European Economic Area and Switzerland. The agreement is standing but does not seem to be put into practice, or of any popular use, and does not cover health or pension plans when these must be paid separately. One word of advice could be: don’t try this at home, and you might need the help of an accountant. 

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