Submission of advance tax clearances to minimise withholding tax due for non-resident performers.
The good news is:
The Foreign Entertainers Unit (FEU) has relaxed the normal rules applied to productions when applying for ‘advance tax clearances on expenses’ when seeking to obtain agreement from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to avoid the usual withholding tax due on contractually due expenses paid to non-residents performers.
HMRC normally would only accept initial applications by traditional post however, in an effort to assist applicants during the Coronavirus pandemic, the FEU has provisionally put in place a dedicated email mailbox to make it easier to submit applications.
All of the usual documents will need to be submitted with each and every email application you make.
Applications received in the inbox will be redirected to caseworkers to process. Subsequent correspondence in interventions will be through the usual channels using traditional postal methods, but will likely include the FEU officers’ email addresses.
The bad news is:
The 30-day legislation requiring you to submit your applications 30 days clear of the performance or getting paid for the event will be easier to enforce, any applications that fall foul of the 30-day rule will be looked at on a case-by-case basis and on the date the email is received.
Quarterly FEU returns
Forms FEU4 (the quarterly return) will be issued by post in the normal way, and it is expected that these are also posted back to HMRC in the usual way.
These measures are temporary and the FEU intends to revert to the traditional postal system once the pandemic is over and the situation normalises.
This is currently under review on a monthly basis.
Please contact us if you have any queries or would like advice on any of the issues and processes outlined above.