Coronavirus: live performance and the hidden costs of touring

26 Jun 2020

crowd at concert

With performers currently planning to get back on the road in the autumn of 2020, it’s a great time to look at tax planning and how to protect your money on the road.


Cancellation of shows

Promoters are sharing future financial risk from further cancellation of shows in respect of the Coronavirus pandemic by ensuring that the artist more than shares in any loss of earnings.

If a show is cancelled, and this is considered to be in breach of the artist’s performance agreement with the promoter, the promoter could levy a 2x performance fee demand on the artist!

Cancellation insurance is now more important than ever and we can assist with very competitive quotes.

Advance tax clearances for non-resident performers

The good news is:
  • The Foreign Entertainers Unit (FEU) have relaxed the normal rules applied to non-resident performers when they apply for agreement from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to tax their net UK income rather than withhold tax on the gross fee.
  • HMRC would usually only accept initial applications by traditional post. However, in an effort to assist applicants during the pandemic, the FEU has provisionally put in place a dedicated email mailbox to make it easier to submit email applications.
  • All the usual documents will need to be submitted with each and every application, such as a budget, the contract and crew details.
  • Applications received in the inbox will be redirected caseworkers to process. Subsequent correspondence in interventions will be through the usual channels using traditional postal methods, but which will likely include the FEU officers’ email addresses.

But the bad news is:

  • The 30-day legislation requiring you to submit your applications 30 days clear of the performance of 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.

If you are planning tour this autumn, we can help you do this in the most tax effective way.

Filing a tax return in countries where you have toured not only makes you compliant in that territory, it usually gets you a tax refund! We can help you minimise any lost withholding tax.