HMRC publishes new guidance on the tax status of Equity members

New guidance has been published today by HMRC on the tax status of Equity members. 

Christine Payne, General Secretary of Equity said: “This is a huge step forward for Equity members and is the culmination of three years of complex but constructive discussions with HMRC and industry partners across live performance, film, television and radio.

"We have achieved certainty for all the creative workers we represent - not just actors, but also stage management, directors, designers and choreographers, role player and others, as well as the industry when seeking to determine questions of tax status. At this time of crisis in the entertainment sector, we are delighted to be able to welcome some good news. ”​

The HMRC release is as follows:

New guidance to help actors and other performers pay the right tax
HMRC has issued new guidance to help actors and other performers, as well as their engagers, get their tax right and to promote a better understanding of how employment status in the industry affects tax. HMRC worked collaboratively with Equity and other representative bodies and engagers to produce this guidance in the interests of transparency and clarity at what is of course an incredibly worrying time for everyone who makes their living in live entertainment.  In this spirit, the guidance also provides insights into HMRC’s view of how employment status rules affect the taxes of stage management, theatre designers, directors and choreographers.
An HMRC spokesperson said:
“We want to make sure that everyone has ready access to all the advice and support they need. We are pleased that Equity and other industry organisations have worked with us to produce this new guidance which should help those in the sector understand how the tax rules apply to the work they do, reducing any unexpected surprises in the future.”
The new guidance is the culmination of a detailed consultation with Equity, and other representative bodies and engagers working in the industry. It confirms the long established position that most performers are self-employed for tax purposes.
The new guidance will be incorporated in the detailed Employment Status Manual guide: