Leveraging European IT Companies to Mitigate IR35 Risks: A Wise Move for UK Businesses

This article explores the benefits of collaborating with European IT firms and how it can help UK businesses overcome the obstacles posed by IR35.

Olena Dontsova

Olena Dontsova

Head of Marketing

17 May 2023
6 min read

What is IR35?

IR35 is a tax legislation in the United Kingdom that aims to determine the employment status and tax obligations of individuals providing services through an intermediary, such as a limited company or a personal services company (PSC). It was designed to prevent the avoidance of employment taxes by workers who would be considered employees if not for the intermediary. The legislation assesses whether a contractor is a "disguised employee" and, if so, requires the client or end client to deduct income tax and National Insurance contributions from their payments. IR35 places the responsibility for determining employment status and managing tax compliance on the client or end client in certain circumstances.

How It Can Affect UK Businesses?

IR35 can have implications for IT outsourcing arrangements, particularly when engaging contractors or subcontractors from the UK.

Increased Compliance Burden: If the IT outsourcing involves contractors or subcontractors who fall within the scope of IR35, the client or end client becomes responsible for determining their employment status and ensuring tax compliance. This can add administrative complexity and increase the compliance burden for the client, requiring them to assess the IR35 status of each individual contractor.

Financial Implications: If UK contractors engaged in the IT outsourcing arrangement are deemed to be "disguised employees" under IR35, the client may be required to deduct income tax and National Insurance contributions from the payments made to those contractors. This can impact the project budget and overall financial considerations of the outsourcing arrangement.

Can be hiring IT company from Europe be a Solution?

Yes, hiring an IT company from Europe can be a solution to mitigate the impact of IR35 regulations. By engaging an IT company from Europe, such as countries within the European Union, the client can potentially reduce their exposure to IR35 risks.

Here are a few reasons why hiring an IT company from Europe can be advantageous in the context of IR35:

  1. Different Jurisdiction: IR35 is specific to the United Kingdom and applies to contractors operating within its jurisdiction. By engaging an IT company from Europe, the client may be subject to the tax and employment regulations of the country where the IT company is based, potentially avoiding the application of IR35.
  2. Reduced Compliance Burden: Hiring an IT company from Europe can alleviate the compliance burden associated with IR35. The responsibility for determining the employment status and managing tax compliance generally rests with the hired company rather than the UK client, reducing the administrative complexity and potential risk of misclassification.
  3. Cost Savings: IT companies based in certain European countries may offer competitive pricing compared to their UK counterparts. This can result in cost savings for the client while still receiving high-quality IT services.
  4. Access to Skilled Talent: Europe has a rich pool of skilled IT professionals. By hiring an IT company from Europe, the client can tap into this talent pool and benefit from the expertise, experience, and technical capabilities of the European IT workforce.

Let's take a closer look at the reasona nd perspectives of hiring custom software development company from the Europe for UK company.

Expertise in IR35 Legislation:

European IT companies possess valuable expertise and experience in dealing with similar legislation in their respective countries. They have honed their understanding of the intricacies and implications of such regulations, enabling them to provide valuable guidance to UK companies. By leveraging their expertise, UK businesses can navigate the complexities of IR35 more effectively and mitigate potential risks.

Access to a Wider Talent Pool:

The IR35 legislation has resulted in a shift from engaging independent contractors to hiring full-time employees. However, this change has limited the flexibility and access to specialized skills that contractors used to provide. By collaborating with European IT companies, UK businesses gain access to a broader talent pool comprising highly skilled IT professionals who are well-versed in various technologies and industry best practices. This enables companies to find the right talent for specific projects without the restrictions imposed by IR35.

Cost Savings:

IR35 places a financial burden on businesses due to increased taxes and additional administrative costs associated with compliance. Engaging European IT companies can help mitigate these expenses. Companies in Europe often operate under similar tax regimes and have experience managing compliance requirements. By partnering with European IT firms, UK businesses can benefit from cost-effective solutions and avoid the additional financial burdens imposed by IR35.

Enhanced Flexibility and Scalability:

IR35 restricts the ability of UK businesses to engage with independent contractors, limiting their flexibility and scalability. European IT companies offer greater flexibility, as they are not bound by the same regulations. They can provide on-demand resources and scalable solutions, allowing UK businesses to adapt quickly to changing project requirements, deadlines, and workloads. This flexibility enables companies to stay agile and competitive in a rapidly evolving market.

Cross-cultural Collaboration:

Partnering with IT companies from Europe fosters cross-cultural collaboration, providing UK businesses with a fresh perspective and innovative ideas. Cultural diversity brings different approaches to problem-solving, encourages knowledge sharing, and promotes creativity within the organization. By embracing this diversity, UK companies can enhance their IT capabilities and gain a competitive edge in the market.

Communication and Language Proficiency

Hiring IT companies from Europe with strong English language proficiency and effective communication skills is advantageous as it helps address potential language barriers. Clear and efficient communication is essential for successful collaboration between UK businesses and their European counterparts. When both parties can effectively communicate in a common language, it leads to better understanding, smoother interactions, and a higher likelihood of project success.

Time Zone Alignment

Time zone alignment refers to the similarity or overlap in working hours between the UK and certain European countries. This can be beneficial for real-time collaboration, efficient communication, and timely project delivery. When the working hours align, it allows for immediate response and resolution of issues, smoother coordination, and faster decision-making. It minimizes delays in communication and enables teams to work together more seamlessly, enhancing productivity and overall project efficiency.


The implementation of IR35 legislation in the UK has posed significant challenges for businesses, particularly in the IT sector. However, UK companies can overcome these risks by collaborating with IT companies from Europe. The expertise in IR35 legislation, access to a wider talent pool, cost savings, enhanced flexibility, and cross-cultural collaboration are compelling reasons for UK businesses to consider engaging European IT firms. By leveraging these benefits, UK companies can navigate the complexities of IR35 more effectively and drive innovation and growth in their organizations.