another gem from actorhub.co.uk:
For any self employed actor working in the UK a yearly self assessment tax return must be filed with the Inland Revenue. The following is general guide for actors/performers about the basic ‘tax calculation’ and ‘tax return process’ for self-employed actors for UK income tax purposes.
No reliance can or should be placed solely on the following information we have given. Specific advice should always be sought from a tax accountant.
Tax returns and deadlines
The tax year starts on 6th April. Make sure that you send in your actor tax returns in on time. The paper form tax return should be sent in by 31st October and the deadline for filling your tax return in online is 31st of January. You also need to pay any outstanding tax by 31st January from the previous tax year. For example you need to pay any outstanding tax by January 31st 2013 for the tax year ending 5th April 2012. Failure to do so will incur a fine.
Get an accountant
If you are working constantly, it’s usually a good idea to hire a tax accountant who can advise you on all the aspects of the tax system and work out your tax correctly. It also saves you the bother of getting highly stressed at the end of January when you are doing your own self assessment and have left it to the last minute!
Do it Yourself
If you only work as an actor occasionally then you can most probably do your self assessment yourself. If you have not used Self Assessment online before, you’ll need to register, enrol and ‘activate’ your account before you can complete your tax return online. Go to HMRC Self Assessment page
for the details about setting this up. For help on understanding and using Self Assessment go to the Directgov page
Always keep your receipts in order and keep on top of all your ‘in comings’ and ‘out goings’. Keep a note in your diary of any expenses you pay while out and about. All this preparation will make your tax return process much easier and quicker.
We have compiled a handy list of expenses that actors can claim for. Just click on the link at the bottom of the page.
Relevant tax period
you will need to ascertain your total taxable income for the tax year period which is 6 April to 5 April, (eg. 6 April 2011 to 5 April 2012). If you started acting during the tax year then the tax period for your acting activities is likely to be from your ‘trade start date’ to 5 April. For example, if you finish drama training and register your acting trade on 1 August 2011 then the tax return period for acting purposes will be 1st August 2011 to 5 April 2012. The period for ‘non-acting income’ will still be 6 April to 5 April.
The first step is to work out all the profits you made from your acting work (these are your ‘acting profits’) by deducting the allowable expenses from your income earned from acting. If you haven’t earned any money as an actor but still paid out numerous expenses you will therefore have ‘acting losses’.
Now you add together all your sources of income (‘total income’) which may comprise of the following:
Acting profits (or loss)
Employment (part-time job)
Other self-employment (promotional, freelance or modelling work)
From the total income amount you need to deduct the tax-free personal allowance which is currently £6,475 (this may change year to year). The excess income will be subject to income tax at 20% and your acting profits may be subject to national insurance at 8%. Again these percentages may change from year to year.
Any income tax (but not national insurance) which has already been deducted from employment income can be offset against your total tax bill.
The HMRC online self assessment form is quite easy to fill in and it should calculate it all out for you, as long as you have filled all the correct information in on the online form.
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