HMRC denies entertainment tax evasion crackdown

HMRC has denied speculation by tax advisers that it is planning a campaign against tax evasion in the entertainment industry.

Tax advisory firm Abbey Tax said last month that HMRC had started to write to “media agents” asking for information about their clients’ tax affairs.

According to Abbey, the letters from HMRC’s risk and intelligence service in Cardiff said: “A statutory notice will be sent to you in November 2013 requiring you to send me a return under paragraph 1, Schedule 23 of the Finance Act 2011.”

The letters also said...

Continued...

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Comments

Update

guyabbeytax | | Permalink

Hi Nick

Whilst HMRC may have denied an entertainment industry campaign is about to be launched, it is definitely looking into entertainers/performers.

Since I highlighted this HMRC activity on our Abbey Tax Blog last month, we have seen more of these letters sent to media agents who represent entertainers/performers. The letters are all in a similar generic format and all refer to the forthcoming issue of an information notice. It will be interesting to see exactly what details the information notices require.

Just for clarification, campaigns and task forces are completely different. Campaigns generally focus on specific trades and professions and begin by inviting voluntary declarations of undeclared income/over claimed expenditure. Task forces are geographically specific and involve multi-disciplined teams from HMRC, DWP and other Government departments descending on targeted parts of the UK.

Guy

HMRC denies entertainment tax evasion crackdown

KateR | | Permalink

Back in 1990s Inland Revenue , as it was then known, tried to get actors working in theatre put onto PAYE. Ever since they lost that battle our tax authorities have periodically tried to have a go at the entertaiment profession. In June Equity (the actors' union) revealed that HMRC had asked for a complete list of members. The following is from a report in The Stage newspaper

Equity general secretary Christine Payne said: “Equity puts a very high importance on protecting members’ personal data, and so when we received the letter from HMRC we were determined to explore every  avenue in order to protect that data. I am very pleased that we were successful.”

She added: “The notice request was entirely unexpected, and if it had been made public could have caused enormous  distress, concern and confusion to our members. In confidence, we raised this with the TUC and they were not aware of any other union being asked to provide this information. We also checked with the Musicians’ Union, and they had not been approached.”

Equity was first served with the demand by HMRC in January. In it, HMRC told Equity to supply the “name and private address” of all its members.

The union’s first appeal against the demand was turned down by the revenue. But following legal advice, Equity accused the request of breaching the European Convention on Human Rights, and the taxman backed down, admitting defeat in May.

TaxTeddy's picture

Makes sense

TaxTeddy | | Permalink

At a lower level, an enquiry into entertainers makes sense. Having previously worked at a firm specialising in TV / Film 'names' I know one thig for sure about entertainers : lovely people but useless at all things finance.

And that includes record keeping.

Makes sense

KateR | | Permalink

I specialise in accounts and tax for entertainers and would agree that most are lovely people and some are useless at finance - performers are worst, creatives less so- but no more useless than some of the ordinary businesses I have dealt with. It is not the fact of looking into entertainers finances that is of concern but the methods used.

ShirleyM's picture

Maybe ...    1 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

... they are looking to see what proportion of highly paid entertainers are using avoidance schemes to see if Jimmy Carr & Gary Barlow are typical of the profession?

T Healy tribunal case

hiu612 | | Permalink

They now have the fall back of the Upper Tier over-turning of Mr Healy's subsistence claim whilst working in London. Maybe that's bouyed them up.

T Healy tribunal case

hiu612 | | Permalink

They now have the fall back of the Upper Tier over-turning of Mr Healy's subsistence claim whilst working in London. Maybe that's bouyed them up.