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"This blog considers the tax position for foreign entertainers in the UK and the special rules we have, often known as FEU Tax."

Edinburgh Fringe is celebrating its 70th anniversary between 4th-28th August 2017.

That’s quite a long time to have been the single biggest celebration of arts and culture on the planet!

It’s well known that Edfringe can make or break an act, with a successful run leading to bigger and better things and it there welcomes an array of talent many of whom are foreign entertainers.

The festival caters for everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children's shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word and exhibitions.

Thousands of performers take part all over Edinburgh to present show for a variety of tastes. Performers range from big names in the world of entertainment to up and coming talent treading the boards for the first time.

If you are a foreign entertainer or production company coming to the UK from overseas you need to think carefully about your UK tax position.
Foreign entertainers will include musicians, conductors, dancers, actors, TV and radio personalities, variety artistes. The person may appear alone or with others choirs, bands, orchestras, opera companies, ballet companies, troupes, circuses.

We are assured that all of these will feature at EdFringe this year! If you are reading this, perhaps that includes you, if so get in touch we would love to hear from you.

This is because the UK has a special set of tax rules for “foreign entertainers” which means you are potentially subject to UK tax on your earnings. Any foreign entertainer appearing in the UK is subject to the UK’s withholding tax regime, administered by the ‘Foreign Entertainers Unit’ (FEU) – a specialist UK tax unit. Depending on your circumstances you may have a requirement to file a UK Tax Return or your earnings may be subject to UK withholding tax of 20%, often referred to as FEU tax.

If you want someone to blame for this FEU tax, pin it on the Rolling Stones, as it was there constant touring around the world which prompted withhoding taxes being applied to non-resident entertainers!

It’s an expensive business taking your show to EdFringe, accommodation and venue hire costs are high and it’s a real investment of time AND money.

So if you’re making a loss, you really want to avoid paying 20% on your share of the box office too.

Can anything be done, you ask?

There is a solution and steps can be taken to preserve the all important cash flow benefit for your tour.

We specialise in negotiating advance tax clearances with the FEU to reduce the rate of withholding tax that is applied your performance fees and which take into account all your expenses. We also help production companies manage their UK tax position and can advise on VAT and wll other UK tax implications.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you in this area or if you have any questions please contact Jamie Favell or Matt Dede on +44 (0) 20 8037 1100.