I just got off the phone with an English recruiting agency, discussing a job in Germany. They said that payment will be done through a "payroll company", which will pay my taxes. Apparently, this is so the employing company can make sure that I pay my taxes. He said if I don't pay taxes, the tax office can go after the employers instead of me, and they prefer to do that since it's easier.
I have never heard of this practice. I'm assuming the company and the procedure is legit, but I'm just very confused, and have the following questions:
- Why would the employer care if I pay taxes? I have never heard that the German tax office can pursue a company employing a freelancer that doesn't pay taxes. They did nothing wrong.
- How do they "pay the taxes for me"? Am I going into some sort of non-freelance employment with that company?
- Is this a red flag or common practice? I've never worked with a recruiter from outside of Germany, so I don't know about the additional administrative effort needed.