Entertainers: Taxation

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 17th June 2019.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on changes in the approach by HMRC to the entertainment sector through (a) new draft HMRC tax guidance for actors and other performers and (b) legal cases HMRC is considering under IR35 following the Upper Tribunal Tax and Chancery decision of 9 April 2019 in Big Bad Wolff Ltd v The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs.

Photo of Margot James Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The Secretary of State has not discussed this matter with the Chancellor. This matter has been discussed by officials from HM Revenue & Customs and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

(a) HMRC has not changed its approach to the entertainment sector but has been working with the entertainment industry to add some practical examples to the Employment Status Manual, which provides guidance on issues relating to the employment status of individuals.

(b) In Big Bad Wolff Limited v HMRC, the Upper Tax Tribunal upheld HMRC’s long published view that the Social Security Categorisation of Earners Regulations 1978, which were in force before 6 April 2014, required actors to pay Class 1 National Insurance and could not be avoided by working through a company. Most actors paid their National Insurance correctly at the time but there are a small number of cases where actors chose to dispute liability and await the outcome of the appeal.

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