Actors, singers, musicians, dancers and theatrical artists are permitted to make a deduction for agents fees under ITEPA 2003 S352.
But its more complicated than you might think based on recent cases…
Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan (2006) SpC 547 it was only on appeal that the Special Commissioner agreed that their chat show was considered theatrical.
The Special Commissioners also thought that Bruce Forsyth and Ant and Dec qualified.
But that Quiz shows were borderline, for example they felt Jeremy Paxman (University Challenge) and John Humphry (Mastermind) didn’t qualify, but Anne Robinson (The Weakest Link) did qualify and Chris Tarrant (Who wants to be a Millionaire) was borderline.
So do you think the special commissioners would see your act as Theatrical?
Following 18 months of extensive engagement with representatives from all fields of the entertainment industry, HMRC published on 15 May 2013 a public consultation document: ‘National Insurance and Self-Employed Entertainers’, which discussed the precise difficulties being caused by the current application of the Regulations. The consultation presented four possible options for simplifying the NICs treatment of entertainers going forwards.
The consultation ran for 12 weeks receiving 11,814 individual responses of which 99.1% supported the option of repealing the Social Security (Categorisation of Earners) Regulations in relation to the entertainers. On 23 October 2013 HMRC published a summary of the consultation responses which included the announcement of the Government’s decision to repeal these Regulations insofar as they relate to entertainers from 6 April 2014 and a first draft of the legislation implementing this.
From 6 April 2014, producers engaging entertainment performance services will not be required to deduct Class 1 NICs contributions from any payments they make to you. This includes additional use payments such as royalties. The engager will make payments to the entertainer gross of tax and NICs and the entertainer must declare these earnings as part of their normal self-employed Self-Assessment return.
Please note that this guidance does not apply if you are an entertainer on an employment contract, and receive a regular salary from your engager with tax and NICs deducted at source under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system.
If you engage the services of entertainers
From 6 April 2014, you will not be required to operate Class 1 NICs for the entertainers you engage. If you are currently deducting employees’ Class 1 NICs from the payments you make to your entertainers (including additional use payments such as royalties), and paying the respective employers’ Class 1 NICs on these payments, you should continue to do so up until 5 April 2014. From 6 April 2014 however you should cease to do this.
The changes will be of interest to all national broadcasters, film companies, theatre managers, independent production companies, their representative bodies and agents in the Film & TV Production Industries, Equity, individual entertainers, companies engaging entertainers, and any other interested parties.
See HMRC Brief 35/13 for more details